Does At-Home Tooth Straightening Work?
At-home teeth straightening programs have become more and more popular in recent years. But do at-home dental aligners actually work? While these programs boast miracle results, the reality is that without professional oversight, they can do more damage to your teeth than good.
At-home tooth straightening is based on a customer kit that allows you to create a 3D mold of your teeth. Once you have sent your mold to the company, you will be sent a series of clear aligners periodically. The idea is to skip the dentist’s office and the associated cost of the trip, so many people are tempted by the low price and convenience such programs offer.
The downside to at-home teeth straightening is visible in the number of orthodontists who have treated patients who tried these aligners. Some patients experienced irreparable damage to their teeth. Most of these problems arose from the lack of professional supervision associated with these “self-aligners”.
When you use dental aligners, you are actually adjusting the bones in your jaw. As your teeth and bones move, there may be a need to change the way you continue in order to prevent injury or misalignment. Without a dentist to inspect your progress, it may be too late when you realize there is a problem.
Aligners also aren’t meant to solve all misalignment problems, and it can be hard to understand the source of misalignment without the help of a professional. Your dentist can determine if grinding your teeth or other behaviors are contributing to your malocclusion, and they can spot issues with the roots of your teeth or even cancers to make sure you are a viable candidate for aligners.
While the most attractive part of at-home aligners may be cost, the cost of repairing a problem created by these aligners can cost a lot more than starting out properly under professional care. Likewise, “DIY braces” made of dental floss, rubber bands, or even paper clips generally do more harm than good. Many popular DIY methods can result in tooth loss. The price of treatment for a lost tooth averages $2,000, making DIY options far more expensive than contacting your dentist.
Modern dentists have a wide array of options at their disposal to help you straighten your teeth. Your dentist can discuss your issues and your goals and help you determine the best way to proceed, and help you find a program that might fit your budget. Most importantly, as your teeth shift and your mouth changes, your dentist can adjust your program to get the results you want.
If you are considering orthodontia or tooth straightening, call us and we would be delighted to consult with you to find the best plan for you!