1 March 2020

This is Choice magazine's review of Smile Direct Club DIY home-based teeth straightening

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Cosmetic dentist Heidelberg, Rosanna
You've seen the ads on your facebook and instagram, all the celebrities are endorsing it, its on the TV, radio and in your shopping centers, it's hard not to be curious about a company claiming to save you 60% on orthodontic costs and straighten your teeth in 6 months!

Choice magazine writes, "a whopping two million Australians put off going to the dentist or orthodontist in the past year because of the cost." Now with experience we know that most people put off seeing the dentist because of cost and the fear of pain, so we understand how cheaper treatment not having to see a dentist can appeal to so many Australians.

As Dr Carmelo Bonanno, (president at the Australian Dental Association) states "With respect to orthodontic treatment, there are many dangers and limitations of consumers attempting to move their own teeth with at-home kits,"

The fact is, moving teeth is a medical procedure, and just as you probably wouldn't want to attempt other medical procedures without a professional, this should be no different.

As Dr Bonanno says, "if you're a young adult with healthy teeth, healthy gums, no wisdom teeth and a normal bite who only has very minor crowding or crooked teeth, it might work for you."

The key here is "might". If your gums aren't healthy, having unqualified operators like Smile Direct Club move your teeth puts you at greater risk of worsening your gum disease and your teeth becoming loose. The worst case scenario is that your teeth actually fall out, when the could've been saved.

DIY home-based teeth straightening kits could misalign your jaw further

DIY teeth straightening kits often cause greater jaw/TMJ pain, which if not dealt with appropriately can lead to some some serious pain.

As an example, TMJ-related issues that come from misaligned jaws most commonly lead to headaches, migraines and locked/clicking jaws. You've got to ask yourself whether the risk of DIY teeth straightening is really worth it, don't you?

When a qualified dentist is straightening your teeth, they assess all of these factors before starting any treatment. The other key factor we consider is just how much movement SHOULD take place given the the condition and position of your jaw bones, your airways and how your new jaw alignment will look with the rest of your face.

All these factors require Xrays. Without Xrays and a proper consultation no qualified dentist will ever start treatment.

What are the risks of DIY home-based teeth straightening kits?

As choice magazine states, "the notion of "remote check-ins" begs the question: is it really safe to use such kits if a dentist or orthodontist is never looking in or probing around your mouth?"

"The fact that there is no face-to-face contact is a concern," says Dr Bonanno. "These sorts of treatments, if not undertaken correctly, can cause permanent damage to the teeth, gums, jaw or jaw joints. We are aware of reports overseas of inferior treatment results."

Dr Holmes adds that no orthodontist would ever consider treating a patient without first reviewing an X-ray of their teeth and jaws.

"Because you're moving teeth through the jaws, through the bone," he says. "And if there are no X-rays and no clinical examination, the person supposedly overseeing that treatment won't be able to diagnose or detect gum disease (with associated bone loss around teeth), cracks in teeth, tooth decay, extra teeth hiding in the jaw bone, or even more sinister things like tumours or cysts."

A big advantage of visiting a modern, qualified dentist and one of the reasons our patients really appreciate, is that your comprehensive dental checkups include checks for more unseemly problems like tumours and cysts.

What are my alternatives to Smile Direct Club and DIY home-based teeth straightening kits?

The good news is that you have many options to straighten your teeth. The better news is that all these options can be tailored to fit your timeframes, your budget and the goals that you want to achieve.

Here's a quick list of teeth straightening options you can consider if you want a professional to oversee your treatment from start to finish and if you want to make sure that your general health is not adversely affected during the teeth straightening treatment: The key to making the right decision for you is to first collect all the information you need, without being subjected to pushy sales tactics. You'll agree that making an informed decision based on facts from qualified professionals and actual costs of straightening your teeth is the best way to decide how you want to change your life.
Or you can book an appointment by calling us on (03) 9459 6300 during business hours

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