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Why are DIY Clear Aligners a bad choice?

DIY clear aligner companies such as SmileDirectClub, Byte and Candid Co. promise a simpler, easier, more affordable way to realign your teeth without the hassle of visiting an orthodontist. They simply scan your teeth, make a mold, then send you all the clear aligners you need. It almost sounds too good to be true. So what’s the catch?

By skipping out on the regular supervision and trained expertise of an orthodontist, DIY aligner users risk making their teeth even more crooked than before. One mail order ailgner user was no longer able to chew her food and was likely to lose her front teeth after treatment. Another SmileDirectClub customer could not even close his mouth normally after using their mail order aligners. This is because of a fatal flaw in the way the whole treatment is rendered.

Many of these companies have disclaimers that it is the patient’s responsibility if something goes wrong. The patient may even have to sign waivers which state that you are not allowed to leave them negative reviews online. There are many horror stories online that you can find by doing a Google search.

DIY aligner users put on the aligners themselves, without knowing how healthy their teeth are or if it is even safe to move a tooth. Orthodontists have seen people using DIY aligners despite having gum disease or tooth decay, which means that aligners wouldn’t even work for them. There are no x-rays or examinations to make sure nothing goes wrong. This may result in long-term damage to gums, teeth, and the bones surrounding them.

As one orthodontist says, moving teeth too quickly might even cause them to return to their misaligned positions. DIY brace users may be permanently risking their smiles only for convenience and lower prices. Orthodontic treatment requires routine appointments to determine how the teeth are moving and adjust the treatment if necessary. DIY aligner users with no supervision do not know if their teeth are moving the right way and have no way to adjust their aligners if the treatment needs to change. Furthermore, aligners might not even be the best choice for a patient’s specific needs. Another orthodontic treatment might be a better fit for someone’s teeth. Either way, there’s no way to know unless an expert is continuously supervising the rendered treatment.

The California Dental Board has received numerous complaints from consumers who have utilized DIY aligners. The risks of using DIY aligners have become so notorious that the American Association of Orthodontists filed a complaint against SmileDirectClub with 36 state dental boards. In response, Alaska’s dental board even attempted to ban SmileDirectClub from selling in their state. In 2017, the American Dental Association also passed a policy stating they were against DIY orthodontics. Unless companies like SmileDirectClub make their products safer, opposition against DIY aligners will continue, and if they fail to fix these issues, DIY clear aligners may eventually become a thing of the past.

Teeth are precious and sensitive tools. That’s why there is no substitute for seeing trained experts when trying to improve your smile. They have all the necessary equipment, experience, and knowledge to align your teeth the right way. So instead of spending a thousand dollars on a DIY clear aligner, the best choice is still visiting a certified orthodontist who will treat your teeth with the care and attention they need. If your teeth are damaged by DIY clear aligners, the cost of corrective retreatment will be higher and sometimes, the damage done is not reversible. If you see an orthodontist, you may have to spend a little more, but at least you’ll go home with no regrets and the smile you’ve always wanted.

Here at Remarkable Smiles we offer price match for orthodontic services on similar cases. Come see us today!

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