There has been so much hype the past few years regarding do it yourself (DIY) orthodontics. Smile Direct Club and Candid are the two companies that have risen to the top due to an insane amount of private funding. I love informing people on the pros and cons of anything dental and DIY orthodontics is one very hot topic. Let’s walk through all this crazy world of DIY orthodontics.
What is DIY Orthodontics
DIY orthodontics is a relatively new concept that basically involves the consumer moving their teeth without much supervision and from the comfort of their own home. Smile Direct club allows you to never see an orthodontist or dentist and be able to move teeth on your own.
You take an impression at home or go into one of their pretty offices and have a staff member scan your teeth. Candid or Smile Direct Club will then ship your aligners to your house and you will attempt to move teeth on your own.
Pros of Smile Direct Club or Candid
Smile Direct Club and Candid are the leaders in DIY orthodontics. They have a crazy amount of funding that allows them to advertise nearly everywhere. The great part of this is that they let everyone know that you can move teeth without big huge braces. Times have changed and there are multiple ways to move teeth. At our Allen, TX location we use Invisalign, small metal braces or clear braces to move teeth.
The other good thing is that they make it relatively affordable and convenient as you do not go into the office to see an orthodontist or dentist. You do all of treatment yourself and can call in to hopefully speak to a technician if you have issues.
Cons of Smile Direct Club or Candid
There are several issues that terrify me when it comes to DIY orthodontics.
1. You do not take radiographs before starting
I take a panoramic and cephalometric X-Ray before seeing any patients for Invisalign or Braces at our Frisco or Allen location. We find daily when taking those pictures that we would never have been able to see otherwise. I see extra teeth, missing teeth and severe bone loss every week. If we moved teeth through certain areas patients would lose those teeth. That is why the AAO states at your first visit you need those radiographs so the orthodontist can give you a proper treatment plan.
2. Taking impressions yourself is not realistic
I have been taking impressions since 2006 and IT IS TOUGH! Ask any dentist or orthodontist and they will tell you taking a great impressions is absolutely necessary to get a great result. This goes for taking dental impression for crowns, retainers, Invisalign, appliances etc.
Taking great impressions is something we trained our assistants on daily. It is a skill that takes a very long time. I know a dental assistant is good if they can take a great impression but having someone take their own impression at home is not realistic. If you take a bad impression then you will get bad candid trays and you will get bad results.
3.You never see a dentist or orthodontist
This is probably the scariest part of the whole process. Moving teeth properly is tough. There are many issues that come up when moving teeth such as bone level, missing teeth, extra teeth, cavities, dental needs etc. Dentists and Orthodontists work together to ensure the patient has a comprehensive plan to get them to where he or she wants to be.
Price Difference between an orthodontist and smile direct club
One thing that is great with DIY anything is that it is typically more affordable. This is great for people who would otherwise not be able to receive any treatment. What people are often surprised about is the price difference between candid and our Thrive Dental offices.
If you go by monthly payments the difference may only be $30-50/month. You also get the supervision of an orthodontist. Yet as I have said previously consider trying clear braces as they will always be more affordable then Invisalign clear aligners.
There are some pros of do it yourself orthodontics but the cons are terrifying. You could lose teeth and permanently damage your smile. I love how smile direct club has brought so much knowledge to the general population. People now know there are multiple ways to move teeth. You can move them with small metal brackets, clear brackets and clear aligners.
Orthodontics is changing a lot and we want to make sure everyone is educated on all of their options to move teeth.
Check out this video I made regarding DIY orthodontics and as always if you have a question or comment please let me know!