The risks of buying dental braces and aligners online
A recent trend on TikTok has led to a significant increase in online purchases of dental braces and teeth aligners, but some dentists are warning that this do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to orthodontics can have negative consequences. They are concerned that people are turning to cheaper online options instead of seeking professional in-person care.
Dr. Tamer Mohsin Abusalah, a General Practitioner Dental, says that social media has misled the public with false campaigns. He believes that these DIY orthodontic treatments will cause more harm than good, as the comprehensive diagnosis performed prior to treatment is the most important part of any orthodontic procedure. A thorough evaluation of the patient's tooth, radiographic study of their bone, and related structures are all necessary to create a treatment plan that is unique to each individual case. This can only be done with a trained eye, which is not the case with these online products. According to Dr. Abusalah, the current evidence-based practice in dentistry is highly systematic, effective, and safe, whereas these online trends are uncertain, and should be discouraged for the sake of patient safety and well-being.
In the UK, the NHS has issued a warning about DIY dentistry products and the country's health watchdog announced that any company providing remote orthodontic services must first register with it. The UK's General Dental Council, which regulates dentists, says there is no effective substitute for an in-person clinic exam, which should take place before any treatment is prescribed.
Dr. Arshad Ahmed Abbasi, a Specialist Orthodontist and Dento-Facial Orthopedic Surgeon, says that cutting costs by opting for these online products can come at a much higher cost in the long run. The true cost of circumventing professional dental care can be substantial, as individuals may end up with irreversible long-term negative consequences. There is no direct contact between the provider and the patient during an online treatment, and no assessment of their dental health to determine the best course of action. A provider's authenticity and credibility are crucial, as patients may not be able to differentiate between orthodontists, dentists, or IT experts.
Dr. Abbasi believes that these concerns must be addressed in order to educate patients about the potential long-term effects of these products on their health. He says that most patients choose these options due to a lack of awareness, low prices, and the desire to save time, and the only way to address this issue is to raise awareness. He stresses the importance of seeking opinions from clinical experts, as social media and digital platforms play a vital role in decision-making but should not be relied upon when it comes to clinical judgments that impact patient health.
Read more on this Alarabiya News article.
According to Dr. Patricia Khamis-Silva, DDS at By The Lake Dental, studies indicate that 75% of people, including adults, have some sort of orthodontic issues and each case requires a unique approach. “The only way to determine the proper treatment is through a professional evaluation. Modern technologies can enhance the accuracy of assessments and the efficacy of treatments, but they cannot replace the trained eye and humanized approach of a dentist” said Khamis-Silva.
If you are looking for top-notch technologies and a patient-centric approach, you can have the best of both worlds at By The Lake Dental. Book a FREE orthodontic consultation and let our dental team take care of your smile.
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