• Victoria Ip

Home Orthodontics yay or nay?

Recently, I have seen many advertising posts on social media about a relatively cheaper method of straightening teeth. The photos look fantastic, teeth are straight, white and very shiny. It's an offer that seems too good to be true! But is it really? (If you haven't seen such advertisements, try not to look it up... if not, your social media will also be flooded with said posts.)

The companies that offer this cheaper method of orthodontics are trying to work directly with their clients (someone like you). With advanced technology, it is possible to cut out some of the work that was previously required, but to what extent? These companies use a dental scanner to scan your teeth and create multiple trays that will sequentially move your teeth to a certain alignment. Whilst if you went to a dentist/orthodontist to have the treatment, they will do an initial check up to make sure there is no other problems, do moulds or scan your teeth with the dental scanner and create the multiple trays. So, is that initial check up really that important??? Technologically, yes. If you had any undetected decay, periodontal disease, infection or pathology and you proceeded with orthodontic treatment, you could end up with irreversible problems that would require much more comprehensive treatment. For example, if you had a tooth with an infection/abscess and had orthodontic treatment completed, there would be several consequences - first of all, the infection can spread to other teeth causing them to lose vitality, secondly, the cells that are on the tooth can detect the infection and start to cause self harm which leads to resorption of the tooth roots. The worse case scenario is that the tooth will need root canal treatment or even worse... have the tooth removed......... However, I have a method that will allow you to have the best of both worlds if you really wanted to go down the path of the cheaper method of orthodontics - to first have your teeth fully checked by your dentist before having the cheaper method of orthodontics.

HOWEVER, there is a reason to why having orthodontic treatment completed by a dentist or orthodontists is a bit more expensive. Apart from having the check up beforehand, the dentist or orthodontists will request to see you ever 6-8 weeks where they ensure that the trays are sitting properly, the teeth are moving to where it is required, there is no abnormality during the treatment and that you will be happy with the end result. Honestly, if I was having my teeth straightened, I would still go for the dentist or orthodontist.

IF, you had relatively straight teeth, with just one tooth that just wasn't as straight as you would preferred, and you would like to try this cheaper method of orthodontics, there would be no judgement from me (as long as you come for a check up first!). I would most likely be very intrigued and want to follow your journey, so please let me know if you are going down that path!!! But if you have a bit more crowding or a bit more over bite, I would prefer if someone overlooked your treatment (unless money comes freely) to ensure that you have a good smile at the end.

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