No, You Should Not DIY Invisible BracesPublished by Cashion Dental on November 28, 2016
If you run a search for invisible braces online, you’ll soon find that there are a lot of retailers that will sell “aligners” and ship them right to your doorstep. Desperate dental patients might take this as an invitation to straighten their teeth on the cheap. There are also dental companies that will apparently allow you to take an imprint of your own teeth, send them off by mail and get a return set of “customized” alignment trays. There are a great many ethical problems with this method, to say the least.
One patient even decided to use a 3D printer to create his own aligners. A great deal could have gone wrong with this project, and a great deal could go wrong if you choose to pop aligners in your mouth without obtaining support and guidance from an in-person dentist.
A real dentist looks at your total oral health before prescribing alignment trays.
If you have cavities, gum disease or other issues, they must be addressed before you use an alignment tray. Otherwise, alignment trays may exacerbate these issues, and lead to potential tooth loss.
Unless you are a dentist, you are in a poor position to diagnose yourself.
We also look at the underlying bone structure to see if your teeth will move where you want them to move with the help of an alignment tray.
Mail-order companies claim to uphold the same standard of care as your local dentist, but this cannot be the case. Where are the X-rays? At what point is an intensive exam taking place? Where is the discussion on your oral health history and habits? The dentists at the helm of these companies are taking shortcuts. They’re making snap decisions as quickly as possible to make as much money as possible, while preying on those who want to straighten their teeth but despair of ever coming up with the money to pay for real dental care.
If you ignore these warnings and use DIY trays anyway, you could face tooth loss.
You may also have the kind of orthodontic issues that only braces can correct. If that’s the case, your attempt to use mail-order alignment trays could leave your mouth in even worse shape, making it harder to correct problems properly in the future.
The FDA has classified alignment trays as prescription-only devices.
You wouldn’t try to 3D print your own eyeglasses, nor would you write a detailed email to a customer service rep at an internet company to try to diagnose your eye problems. Like eyeglasses, alignment trays require a prescription, since you can seriously damage your teeth if you get them wrong.
There’s a reason why every tray is custom-made after we take a high-tech 3D scan of your teeth. Some companies don’t even bother taking an impression of your teeth. They might require you to take a photograph instead. Some even go so far as to send generic trays without getting any information on your teeth at all. This is the equivalent of trying to correct near-sightedness with a pair of $4.99 reading glasses.
The money isn’t as much of an issue as people imagine it to be.
Yes, a full Invisalign regimen can cost up to $6,000. However, there are many ways to handle these costs. Some dental insurance plans will pay up to half of the costs, since they know that straighter teeth are healthier teeth. Some very good insurance plans will pay full costs.
You can also save up the amount of money it would take to get Invisalign. Saving up for one or even two years is a better plan than wasting a bunch of money on a short-cut method that could ultimately threaten your teeth. Remember that the long-term investment will continue to stick with you and enhance your life for many years. That might be worth doing without an expensive amenity here or there until you can come up with the money.
There’s also Care Credit, which will allow you to make payments on your invisible braces. If you have good credit, we may be able to help you finance them, making your costs far more manageable.
And remember, if you damage your mouth by trying to take a shortcut, you could wind up having to pay far more money when it’s time to repair that damage. While you might luck out, there’s a good chance that your “cheap” solution won’t really deliver the results you were hoping to obtain.