DIY aligner treatments have become more commonplace with the improvements in technology in the dental profession. Venture capital money is backing technology companies and the public is seeing many advertisements about direct to consumer or, Do-It-Yourself, aligner treatment. News outlets carried a story about a computer design student that used his school’s 3D printer to create his own sets of invisible braces. He moved his self proclaimed “snaggle-tooth” in 16 weeks from start to finish. As much as people want a beautiful smile, this might not be the safest or most cost-effective way to move teeth anyway.
First of all, his problem was simple to fix. Often times, our orthodontists can fix the problem that this design student had with a couple hundred dollar retainer. Paying a couple thousand dollars to improve some crowded lower front teeth with aligners may actually be a waste of your money.
Additionally, any tooth movement should be started only after a thorough oral, TMJ joint, and gum tissue health examination. Movement of teeth or changing of the bite under the circumstance of any underlying condition with the facial bones, joints or tissues can lead to major problems after changes begin.
If you move teeth too fast, you can do damage to teeth and gums.
There’s a reason why orthodontic treatment takes months to years. Board certified orthodontists know the science behind gently and consistently coaxing teeth, and the bones that hold them in place, into the right position. They also are acutely aware of the things that must be in a healthy condition prior to tooth movement.
If you don’t put your teeth in the right position, you could do more damage.
DIY orthodontics can cause detrimental changes to the interactions between teeth in the same arch or opposing arches. For every action, there is an opposite reaction. Prior to any tooth movement, the teeth are considered “comfortably crooked,” Dr. Ari Thanasas says. As soon as you move even one tooth, others are also effected. Dr. AJ Ker continues, “I like to think about the blackberry or strawberry seed that gets stuck in the groove of your teeth. I have been thoroughly annoyed by this occurrence in the past when they get stuck in my own teeth. What would happen if tooth movement caused an interference in your bite like that permanently?” Instead of doing good, you could throw off your bite. Sure your teeth may look a bit straighter but with what other costs.
If you move teeth too fast, they can go back to their old position even faster.
Tooth movement that is either poorly paced or incomplete with regard to root position has a high possibility of relapse. 7 types of periodontal (gum tissue) fibers exist under the surface of your gums and many of them have elastic properties. Without proper tooth movement rates or stabilization methods, teeth will certainly rebound to less ideal positions. And, most aligners cannot control root position as well as braces or orthodontist supervised and designed clear aligners such as Invisalign. If the roots are not properly positioned below the pretty white crowns of the teeth, relapse is simply a matter of time. A house built on sand will not stand.
“Probably my biggest fear for patients that elect this mode of treatment is that they could waste time, energy, money and most importantly their growth spurt. Puberty growth is such a critical part of successful orthodontic treatment. Using the innate possibility of teeth to move and erupt on their own and the growth engine in the bones fueled by the release of growth hormones during puberty is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Dr. AJ. He continues, “just like the surfer trying to catch the best wave, you must be prepared as the orthodontist to time treatment so that you don’t try to stand up and ride the wave before or after it has reached you. No amount of paddling will make the surfer ride the wave if the timing is off.”
The board certified orthodontists at Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan were trained to move your teeth gradually, properly and with explanations and supervision you can count on. The chances for an excellent outcome are extremely high when communication, expertise and teamwork are the touchstones upon which the treatment is built. There is too much on the line to make uncertain decisions when it is our health and well being that is on the line.
Please take advantage of our FREE orthodontic evaluations so that you truly know about all of your options for treatment from a board certified orthodontist. Call today 586-286-0700
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.