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Professional vs Do-It-Yourself Teeth Aligners

The do-it-yourself (or DIY) is a rage these days. And, of course, why not. We watch a few YouTube videos and find ourselves wondering ‘how hard can that be? I can do that myself!’ More often than not, it is only when we dive into a project do we realize we need lots more tools and materials (and skills!) to go about it thoroughly.

There is a rage to apply the same theory to many dental procedures as well, including teeth straightening. If you have crooked teeth, you have probably considered clear aligners to straighten your teeth. A significant trend that is catching on in India as well as globally is the do-it-yourself aligners.

Eventually, we have many concerned parents asking us about its effectiveness. And, we decided to answer some FAQs and bust some myths in the process. Read on to unravel the buzz around DIY aligners.

Professional Teeth Aligners

These start off with you visiting your family dentist who will then refer you to a specialist (orthodontist) who checks your bite, diagnoses the problem, explains the possible treatment plans, advises you on the most suitable option, cost factor, duration of treatment, expected outcomes, possible issues, suitable diet and nutrition and do’s and don’ts. This will be a long-term association as they will inspect changes every 6 to 8 weeks and intercept the modifications at each stage.

DIY teeth aligners

In this process, you order the kit online and it arrives at your doorstep. The kit includes impression material, trays, gloves and a cheek expander. Once you take the impression and send it across to them, they will send you a customised aligner at regular intervals until you complete your program without you needing to step into a dental office. Some companies can even scan your teeth at home.

A few factors to consider

Having necessary equipment: Dentists and specialists use professional-grade equipment at the office. They invest in all the equipment as well as its care and maintenance. Since it involves health and hygiene, utmost precautions are taken in most clinics to ensure the safety of all.

Time-bound steps: Orthodontic procedures are very time-specific in that different steps are carried on ideally at different ages. Unfortunately, if something misfires or does not work for you, you cannot turn back the clock and start afresh.

Making mistakes: Dentists are trained in dental school to make the perfect impression with the least discomfort to the patient. Also, they are well aware of handling allergies and allergic reactions to new materials the patient is exposed to.

Expert Knowledge: When considering DIY aligners, don’t forget the value of expert knowledge. Orthodontists are experts in aligning your crooked teeth and they know exactly what will work for you (and what won’t). Eliminating the guesswork from the picture does not leave any room for costly mistakes.

Your time is Valuable: Sure, you can spend all day learning how these aligners work and what you need to do next. But, why would you waste your precious free hours on something you can hand over to the professionals?

Customized advice: Google will probably have the answers to what works for the majority of people. But your unique oral health issues are of course best addressed by a human being - your dentist. So, if something crops up or you are stuck with no progress, think of whom you want to turn to for ‘expert advice.’

Risks to consider

Aligners single-handedly cannot be the only device to achieve complete movement and correction, especially in complex cases.
Orthodontists often make use of a different appliance at the end of the braces treatment to achieve long-lasting results.

When unmonitored, certain irreversible damage can occur to the teeth, gums, roots, nerves or bite. We cannot stress enough how important professional supervision is for orthodontic treatment.

Although many companies promise remote monitoring or telehealth consultations, it is critical for a professional to assess you before, during and after the treatment for things to go smooth.

Cost concerns

The cost of orthodontic treatment can go up to thousands and it is indeed tempting to experiment with DIY aligners. But do understand that mail-order plastic aligners treat only the front six teeth known as the ‘social six.’ The true effort of the orthodontist lies in aligning all the teeth in the mouth to work in harmony and achieve not just a beautiful smile but also a healthy bite.

Consulting with a specialist ensures you are not just treated superficially but as a whole including your teeth, soft tissues, bones and profile.

If cost is your only concern, DIY aligners may seem like the best solution. But, think of all the compromises you are making on your health in the long run. Additionally we, at Dental Ville, have always felt that money should not be a stopping factor when it comes to healthcare. So, we provide you with no cost EMI options to make your treatment charges in easy instalments. Contact our staff for more details.

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