Hey, I’m as crafty as anyone. Give me a good Do-It-Yourself project and an online tutorial and I’ll make something half-decent or have fun trying! But there is a new trend on the internet that is making all us dentists very nervous – DIY Dentistry.

Unfortunately, due to the barriers to dental treatment in our society, I can see why people are tempted to try DIY Dentistry. The online “kits” and “tutorials” look easy, are very cheap, it’s well marketed, and websites are full of positive testimonials and success stories. But what about the cases that go wrong?

DIY Dentistry Isn’t Effective or Safe

The biggest threat of DIY dentistry is that it isn’t conducted in a controlled environment and under professional medical supervision. How do YOU know if you are a good candidate for the procedure? Do you have healthy roots and gums that will support this type of treatment?

The two most common examples of DIY dentistry are extractions and orthodontics, both of which can have major consequences if not done correctly.

There are stories of people removing their own teeth or using rubber bands on their teeth in an attempt to improve alignment. Both of these DIY tactics can be catastrophic to your smile. People who remove their own teeth may not remove the entire tooth AND they could be setting the stage for a serious infection. If you’re doing your own orthodontic treatment, especially with rubber bands, you risk serious tooth or gum damage. The rubber bands can slip underneath the gums, causing the teeth to be lost or gums to recede. Sadly, you will almost never receive optimal results from these techniques. So, what happens next?

Cleaning Up DIY Dentistry is Expensive

One of the big reasons people elect to do their own treatment is the price. Orthodontic treatment alone will typically cost thousands of dollars. An extraction, on the other hand, is only a few hundred dollars. But your costs can skyrocket if your DIY project goes wrong, and there are now reports of patients attempting to perform their own treatment and then needing tens of thousands of dollars in restorative dentistry, corrective orthodontics, treatment of gum disease, etc. Some people have even been hospitalized due to major infections.

Talk to the Professionals

When it comes to DIY projects, I urge you to stick with home improvements, crafts, and cakes. Instead, ask your dentist what your options for treatment are. Ask your insurance company to verify what procedures are coverage, or ask your employer if there are options to enhance your dental benefits so that certain procedures, such as braces, might be better covered. Don’t risk permanently damaging your health before you’ve considered all the possibilities.

Our team at Horizon Dental would be happy to help you achieve optimal oral health and we are happily accepting new patients. You can contact us by clicking here!

Beyond Straight Teeth – The Value of Orthodontics

Orthodontics can make a huge difference in a person’s life by treating irregularities in the teeth and jaws. Not only will it help straighten your smile – which will make you look and feel great – but it also helps align your bite and your jaws for better function.

Orthodontics has come a long way from the old days of “metal mouth” and “head gear”. There are so many options available – no more suffering with huge appliances and ugly wires. White brackets can blend in with your smile, braces can be placed on the tongue-side to shield them from view, or you can dare your friends to notice the clear retainers hiding in plain sight.

Orthodontics for Children

Starting early makes it easier to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems, while taking advantage of your child’s growth to guide the jaw position and shape. For most children, we start thinking about orthodontics around age seven, when there is a mix of adult and baby teeth to work with.  Sometimes we can correct growth or strategically extract teeth to make room for the new ones. Space maintainers and other orthodontic appliances can also help prevent the need for jaw surgery or reduce the time required to finish aligning the teeth with other orthodontic treatments later.

Orthodontics for Adults

It’s never too late to invest in your smile! But there are other reasons to consider orthodontics as an adult. Misaligned teeth and jaws leave you at a higher risk for gum disease, cavities, and broken teeth –  which can ultimately lead to a lifetime of costly dental treatment.

But it doesn’t stop there. Orthodontics are also used to treat other health problems related to misaligned teeth, including:

  • Grinding and clenching
  • Mouth-breathing
  • TMJ and facial pain
  • Jaws that shift and make clicking sounds or move painfully
  • Migraines and other headaches
  • Chronic earaches

Orthodontics can also be used to correct damage already done to your teeth or jaws. Sometimes we use orthodontics to close gaps or move teeth into ideal positions that allow for placement of crowns or veneers. This can be crucial when treating people that have short, worn, or broken teeth from a lifetime of grinding or acid erosion. Orthodontics is also used to “upright” teeth that have shifted place after another tooth has been lost. This allows us to re-open the space required to replace missing teeth with dental implants or fixed bridges.

Interested in Orthodontics?

Speak with your dentist, contact my office, or schedule a consultation with an Orthodontist!

At Horizon Dental, I am proud to offer Invisalign for my adult patients – and if you have any questions, you can contact us by clicking here.  I hope this post got you thinking. If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear from you. If you like what you see, please share with your friends and follow me on Google +, Facebook, or Instagram!

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