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Do It Yourself Orthodontics: Save Money or Make Your Problem Worse?

Do It Yourself Orthodontics: Save Money or Make Your Problem Worse?

Direct to consumer orthodontics has been aggressively marketed in our community for some time now.  These companies claim to save you money while providing orthodontic treatment at a bargain price.  But is it really a bargain if the treatment does not go well and then the patient must seek out a dental professional to correct the problems created by this treatment?

Crooked teeth are generally an esthetic issue for many patients. While many patients have minor or moderate malpositioning of teeth that may seem to be treated with minor or relatively straight forward treatment, quite often the reality is that there are underlying bite issues that should be addressed.  Essentially, your teeth do not mesh together properly.  In the long run, a bite that is dysfunctional may predispose the patient to the possibility of several future problems. Some of these being advanced tooth wear which may break teeth and create further esthetic issues.  A dysfunctional bite may create jaw muscle and jaw joint problems that can cause jaw pain, headaches, and limited mouth opening.  Some patients with dysfunctional bites may clench or grind their teeth excessively.  Minimally, underlying bite issues should be brought to the attention of any patient seeking “do it yourself” treatment.  The patient should be aware of these issues prior to treatment so that they can decide if “do it yourself” orthodontics is appropriate for them.

If there is any doubt or concern, a licensed dental professional should be consulted.  Often, the best chance for successful treatment is in the initial treatment.  Trying to fix “do it yourself” treatment maybe more costly and/or result in a compromised outcome.  Do not take chances with your oral health!

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