WARNING: SHOCKING IMAGES AHEAD
Below are real photos of DIY braces gone wrong
With the increasing prevalence of 3D printing, there are more people these days who experiment with printing everything from phone casings to table lamps and even aligners!
Just like DIY braces, printing your own DIY 3D aligners could also go really, really wrong.
DIY braces have long been sold on the internet, and the effects of self treatment could make you lose the very teeth you wanted to straighten.
Now, how about aligners? We give you the low down on it!
SHOULD YOU 'D-I-Y' YOUR OWN SET OF ALIGNERS? (Yes, you can do it!)
Amos Dudley has done the impossible. On a shoe-string budget, the undergraduate digital design student has managed to fabricate Invisalign braces for a mere $60, with 3D printing technology. Despite his wild success with DIY orthodontics, he refuses to manufacture retainers/aligners for other people, even if you paid him to do so. Here’s a few reasons why we think that Amos declines to make a huge splash on the dental industry:
He’s a designer. Not an orthodontist.
The method that Amos used, according to dentists we asked, is grossly inaccurate and should not be attempted. Amos claimed that he ‘acquired’ knowledge of orthodontic movement, which he applied to the fabrication of his teeth mould. However, it seems that his understanding is rudimentary at best. The concern Amos was trying to correct was just his front teeth, and he could have potentially caused a poor ‘bite’ (malocclusion) for the sake of aesthetics.
Lack of dental training places the braces-wearer (and Amos) at high risk.
The practice of orthodontics involves careful calculation of the movement of teeth. If improperly done, it will result in a prolonged issue of loose teeth. This could lead to a number of severe issues such as:
Even if you had similar technological access and design ability as Amos did, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
Fun fact: Dental records are used to identify faceless corpses, because teeth are as unique as thumbprints!
Since every individual has different set of teeth, the solution to correcting misalignment has to be tailored specifically to each one of us. What seems to work for Amos, who wished to align a couple of his white nuggets, is most definitely NOT the answer to someone with severe malocclusion or oddly shaped teeth.
DIY Braces cannot give the same treatment as that by a professional orthodontist.
Let’s say that you are willing to spend thousands of dollars to fabricate your own DIY braces. The nature of DIY is to experiment, and experience new lessons through trial-and-error. You only have one set of adult teeth, and it’s best to treasure it! The dental expertise of a professional orthodontist is absolutely crucial in ensuring that you are receiving the right adjustments for your pearly whites.
Investing in professional orthodontic treatment is the most rational decision you could make. While you can DIY your own braces, it is highly advised that you do not do so!
Some things are simply better left to the professionals.