Well known celebrities such Justin Bieber, Khloe Kardashian and Zac Efron, have adopted Invisalign. However, a cost of between £2,500 to £4,500 may be out of reach for some patients.
A growing trend of DIY braces is causing concern for orthodontists globally. Dating as far back as 2012 it became known for teens, particularly in America, to use standard rubber bands in an attempt to close gaps and then showcase the process on YouTube. This can severely damage the root and crown of your teeth and possibly result in the loss of your tooth. However, online businesses are now monopolising and offering their own solutions to Invisalign.
One of these businesses is YourSmileDirect.com. Here they offer a 4 – 6 month long course of treatment that promises to undercut the expected price of ‘Invisalign’ by 75%, while offering a similar treatment. All you have to do is send them an image of your untreated teeth; from there they will determine your eligibility for treatment. If you are eligible, you will receive a free home impression kit; this allows you to make a mould of your teeth for them to create you custom ‘aligner’, and an orthodontic treatment plan. The aligners you receive will be very similar visually to that of the ‘Invisalign’ retainers, and you will then go on to follow your treatment plan.
The British Orthodontic Society has released a statement regarding these DIY treatments. Richard George, Director of External Relations for the BOS has said that these procedures are a risk:
“A number of websites are offering the public the opportunity to carry out their own orthodontic treatment at home. Most involve an individual being “assessed” as to their suitability for treatment using “selfie” photographs, which they take themselves with their mobile phone. If deemed suitable, and upon the payment of a fee, the appliance is sent to them direct. Most take the form of a series of aligner-type appliances.”
Their public statement furthers George’s opinion by saying:
“The BOS is extremely concerned about this trend for the following reasons
• A full clinical examination by a trained clinician is necessary to decide if orthodontic treatment is in the best interests of an individual
• There are a number of different types of orthodontic appliance with different advantages and risks. Those considering braces need to be aware of the choices available to them and also to understand the risks of treatment
• Unsupervised treatment will at best result in a compromise result and at worst may cause damage resulting in expensive dental problems or even early tooth loss”
BOS have been very forthcoming in informing the public that they strongly advise them to avoid these treatments, as well as online discount sites offering greatly reduced deals on dental treatment as patients should always see a clinician before any procedure is carried out.
While the customers featured on YourSmileDirect.com’s website appear to be very happy with their treatment, its long term effects and staying power remain to be seen. In all cases, Defacto would recommend visiting your dentist and taking their advice.