Dentist vs DIY Online Provider
Hi, I’m Dr Rajiv Kumar, from Pitt St Dental Centre here in Sydney CBD.
Earlier this morning, I caught up with one of my school friends, Alex, who just started working in the city. When he found out I’m a dentist, he said to me, “Hey Rajiv. I see a lot of ads on Instagram for DIY aligners. They seem like a lot cheaper. Are they effective? What’s the difference in getting my teeth straighten with those online kits versus going to a dentist? Seems to save more time?!”
We had such an interesting conversation I thought I’d share with what we talked about in this short video.
First of all, orthodontic treatment is a science as much as an art. It is important to regularly monitor the progress of the treatment to ensure the treatment can be completed safely and efficiently.
When you have your treatment with a dental professional, the movement of your teeth is constantly checked against the treatment plan. If there’s any deviation from the plan, it can be identified early, adjustments can be made, so that we reach the desired final results safely and effectively.
Unfortunately, with the online DIY aligners, no one is actually checking the progress of your treatment. Sometimes patients can waste a lot of time, effort and money. They get a horrible result that requires even more time and cost to fix. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not fixable.
Secondly, to do any orthodontic treatment, a proper diagnosis examination is required because orthodontic treatment can’t be completed if your mouth is not stable in terms of gum health, as well as dental decay.
My personal philosophy is to not only align teeth but to place and make the teeth which enhance the smile and face.
If a person has, for example, lots of decay and gum disease, doing an orthodontic procedure will actually become more detrimental to the dental health. It actually accelerates the gum disease process by moving teeth, therefore making them unstable. Also, without proper oral hygiene, the decay will just keep on growing and become a much bigger problem.
Thirdly, having Invisalign with the dentist means we can use lots of features of clear aligners, such as elastics, buttons, and space creation, which is polishing in between the teeth to create space for teeth to rotate, allowing us to move teeth predictably.
Just by using two pieces of plastic aligners on the teeth doesn’t resolve all of the orthodontic problems in a very predictable fashion. For example, it’s extremely difficult to rotate a tooth without adding a button or attachment on top of the tooth. You can only add these button at the dentist, and can’t be done online.
DIY aligners have very few indications because every single tooth can be presented at a slightly different angle. You can never get a very nice, perfect result with DIY aligners compared to getting the treatment at the dentist.
Number four, very important and often missed is retention, What I always tell my patients is the treatment starts when we finish the active course of the treatment. It is maintaining the final result of alignment, It is all the hard work both the dentist and you have put in, is far more important because retention is for life. We don’t want to do this treatment again.
The retainers, which come in the form of fixed and removable retainers that you wear at night. They need to be checked and monitored for life because your mouth and teeth are always changing.
In 10 to 20 years time, the position of our teeth, our lips, our tongue, and muscles… Everything changes. Therefore, as part of the retention process, we’ll have to monitor and make necessary adjustments to ensure you have a perfectly aligned, beautiful smile for the rest of your life.
I hope you now understand the difference in getting DIY aligners online vs getting Invisalign at a dentist. If you’ve been looking to get your smile straightened, we’d love to look after you.
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