Mail Order Braces: Are They Beneficial?
With the rise of Tik Tok and Instagram influencers there’s been a nationwide take up of mail order braces.
These clear aligners are quicker, easier and seem far more patient-friendly than the braces we’ve had previously. They aren’t dissimilar to Invisalign and in fact are working on the same principle of movement.
However, as recently reported by the BBC these braces aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and have left hundreds of patients with life altering dental issues.
There are lots of companies online claiming to address orthodontic issues using clear aligners, some who claim to have successfully treated thousands of people.
Unlike traditional orthodontic practices which would require you to go to the dentist for pretreatment checks and fittings, you are able to either go to a scanning centre (if there’s one in your local area) or use a home DIY impressions kit.
Of course, these kits are capable of working just fine in the right hands.
However getting a mould just right and getting the setting time accurate is actually a skill and not something anyone should be doing at home. Particularly when, if it is done incorrectly, the patient could well end up applying pressure to the wrong area of the tooth with disastrous consequences.
What the experts are saying
It’s worth noting that any traditional orthodontic work done by an orthodontist in a practice would involve, as we said, pretreatment checks. These checks are done to ensure that a patient’s dentition will be able to cope with the pressure of a dental move.
The hard and soft tissue in the mouth needs to be checked for disease, and the roots of the teeth need to be checked by X-ray too. It’s then through regular check-ups that a dentist can monitor the process and quickly pick up on any complications.
Most online providers are not offering these pretreatment checks, nor are they enforcing checks during treatment. They recommend you see a dentist but won’t withdraw treatment if you do not.
The General Dentist Council who are responsible for the regulation of the dental industry have said there is no really secure and beneficial replacement for in-person examinations at a dental surgery with a dental professional.
And a spokesperson for the British Dental Association has said that people using these online treatments have undergone ‘inappropriate treatment’ and are concerned for the dental professional left to pick up the pieces of these dental disasters.
Read more: Exploring Different Orthodontic Treatments to Perfect Your Smile
So, are mail order braces beneficial?
In short, no. Because though they may save you money upfront, but they could cost you a whole lot more in the long run.
There can be no arguing that patients are saving thousands of pounds through these online services.
However, the potential damage to teeth moving forward could go on to cost over double what an original braces Windsor treatment would and leave patients with teeth in a worse condition than they were to begin with.
A price tag cannot be put on the stress of living with teeth that have been badly damaged and the anxiety of wondering if they can be put right.
Lots of dental practices are now offering excellent finance plans and even 0% credit options for braces. This would be worth exploring before committing to a potential online disaster.
Would you buy mail order braces?
Have you bought braces off the internet? I’d love to hear your experience with them if you have.
Personally, I wouldn’t put my money on them, but then I don’t even buy clothes or shoes online because I prefer to go into a shop and fit them, so perhaps my point of view is a bit skewed.
When it comes to braces, I would only feel comfortable having a health professional fit them.