A word of caution
Posted on May 26
Hello again, I hope that you are safe and well. It’s not been as warm as last year and that’s for sure. Yes, I’m an Englishman a bit obsessed with the weather! This month I’ve been doing plenty of webinars with various study groups as part of life-long learning. I enjoy them to be fair and its less hassle than traveling etc.
There has been quite a lot of stuff in the media about DIY dentistry and people taking their own teeth out. It’s a bit disturbing to say the least. Dentists are back at work now and can offer the full gambit of dental treatment so please don’t try it for yourself. Some people have ended up in A&E with severe problems afterwards.
Another type of dentistry has also been referred to as ‘DIY’ and that is the so-called straight to consumer teeth straightening or orthodontics. This seems to be something that has travelled across the pond from America. It seems that people can take their own impressions at home and send them in to be assessed and have dental aligners sent out and all to be done at home without any kind of supervision. Another alternative is to go to a shop and a non-dentally trained person do some kind of assessment and do a scan and then the aligners are made. It all seems a bit fishy to say the least. There has been a large TV publicity campaign as well. The thing is we need to look at our patients as a whole and not just crowded teeth. We need to check for disease of the gums, the teeth, the jaw joints, the jaws, airway, and soft tissues. Teeth straightening is not appropriate when disease is present. Also, we need to monitor treatments to make sure things stay healthy, are working the correct way and patients are doing things correctly.
There really have been some horror stories with this type of treatment. Not to mention the fact that it sometimes appears to be illegal.
Sometimes people decide one day to get their teeth straightened. Like I say, “things need to be healthy”. So, I often use an analogy. You might decide that one day that you are going to climb a mountain. If you just put your trainers on and start on your way the odds are you will not do well and put yourself at risk of harm. You need to plan and train, get to base camp, make sure you have the right gear, the right team, the right route and that the weather is OK. You can look at base camp as being dental healthy. Also, it’s important to get an idea of exactly what you want and treat people and not models of teeth.
It’s been playing on my mind, so I thought I’d put it out there. Just because you can do something does not mean that you should. That applies to loads of stuff in life, but I won’t drone on anymore.
Having said all that, when things are planned right and done in the right order and sequence; bespoke for the individual, you can get some really nice outcomes that are healthy and stay healthy with supervision.
Until next time. Take care and be good.