We’ve seen a resurgence of the do-it-yourself mentality in the last few years, but the latest tactic — DIY teeth straightening — leaves us more than a little scared.
A new service that’s hitting the market offers teeth straightening for as little as one third of the cost of leading industry invisible aligners or traditional braces, and promises zero trips to the doctor’s office. While many of these companies promise strong results, there have also been numerous cases in which users of these products have experienced painful side effects. Some users have even lost teeth.
Invisalign services can cost anywhere from $3,000-$8,000 out of pocket, while the most popular invisible braces company, Crystal Braces, can straighten their teeth for around $900-$2,100. Application and upkeep of metal braces costs anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, yet there is extremely low risk involved with getting braces or Invisalign fit by a professional.
At-home teeth straightening kits send customers mouthguard applicators and a paste to mix together to create a mold of the user’s teeth. This mold, along with a picture of the user’s teeth, is sent off to the company where a doctor reportedly studies the mold and picture and consults the user over the phone. Some users are not recommended for at home teeth alignment programs, while others are sent to consultations at participating dental practices. The majority of users are accepted by the companies who then proceed to create a series of invisible aligners to straighten teeth over time.
While trips to the dentist or orthodontist may be significantly more expensive than at home services, risk associated with straightening your teeth without the supervision of a dental expert is exponentially higher than when braces are applied in an office and cared for under dental or orthodontic guidance.
Critics of at-home invisible aligners present the risk of permanent damage, such as tooth loss, root resorption, tooth decay or other serious and costly problems, according to the Today show.
Should at home teeth alignment programs and kit be legal? Would you order one? Let us know what you think in the comments below.