With all of the options available on the internet, the adverts all over social media…. is tooth straightening at home really a safe option?
The first, most important point to make is that with Invisalign treatment, you are in the hands of a registered dentist who sees you face to face. They know your lifestyle habits, they know what you look like in person, they know what you would like to achieve, and most importantly…. they know what you teeth and gums actually look like!
With Invisalign, your dentist will check your teeth before treatment, ensuring you have no active gum disease, no cavities that require fillings, and they can take x rays to ensure you have no underlying abscesses which could flare up and cause problems. They will also arrange appointments with you for a review every few weeks, to ensure no problems have occured and to monitor your treatment to ensure nothing goes wrong.
As with all dental procedures, there are risks that come with Invisalign treatment, however these are minimised with regular reviews with your Invisalign dentist.
By using an Invisalign treatment with a dentist, they can ensure the impressions required to start your treatment are as perfect as possible before being sent away. Additionally if, like ourselves, they have a 3D scanner – they can take an actual scan of your teeth to send to Invisalign to create your Clini-check and aligners. (It doesn’t get much more accurate than that!)
Throughout an Invisalign treatment with a dentist, they will ensure everything fits correctly, adjust your teeth as required before treatment, and add small amounts of white composite to the fronts of some of your teeth to help create areas for the aligners to grip to move your teeth.
Home Teeth Straightening
By using a home tooth straightening kit, you don’t have a dentist there to take your x rays, check your teeth and gums and regularly review the treatment in person to ensure everything is going to plan. This can result in a higher chance of risks occurring, such as finishing treatment with straighter teeth that then need to be filled or extracted…. so not really the result you would hope for!
With home teeth straightening kits, they send you the basics of what you will need to take your own impressions to start. These impressions can sometimes need to be retaken even when a dentist does them for you, so they are extremely difficult to get accurate, especially on yourself!
When you complete these impressions at home, they are sent away to the laboratories that make the aligners for the online company, so it is essential that these are as accurate as possible to ensure the aligners will actually fit, and the course of treatment you require is correct. If these impressions are not taken correctly, they will need to be retaken and sent away again, adding more time to your treatment.
During the course of treatment, any reviews will be completed either other the phone, video chat or just through a chat or email with the company. This may or may not be with a dentist, and it’s certain that nobody will be there to physically examine how the treatment is progressing
Unfortunately, applying composite material and adjusting the spaces between your teeth at home is just something you’re not going to be able to do! Therefore meaning any treatment provided with your at home teeth straightening kit is not going to be the optimum of what you could achieve.
In a nutshell, registered dental professionals have a professional responsibility to follow the Standards for the Dental Team and provide patient-centered, safe care based on authoritative clinical guidance. Therefore you can be assured that your Invisalign dentist is working as safely as they possibly can to minimise any risks. Dental professionals also need to ensure that they are appropriately indemnified, meaning they are insured if anything were to go wrong. Those who do not comply with the Standards for the Dental Team, indemnity requirements and authoritative clinical guidance put patient safety, and their registration, at risk.
It is therefore our recommendation that patients visit a qualified Invisalign dentist or orthodontist for any tooth straightening treatments, to optimise your safety and take care of those pearly whites!