Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects – we’ve all done them, and they have become a common aspect of our home improvement strategies. With the advent of YouTube, we can get a “how-to” walkthrough for just about anything, including many complex processes. All it takes is a quick video and a trip to your nearest Lowe’s or Home Depot and you’re ready to tackle any project with an adventurous, DIY spirit. I’ve personally implemented this process countless times as a homeowner. While the video instills the confidence I need to accomplish the project, that one quick video view often leads to repeated views. And repeated trips to the hardware store. Followed by watching more videos to clarify what I saw in the first one. So, what does this ofttimes frustrating process bring? A “completed” project that may or may not need to be re-done by a professional. But hey, at least you have the feeling that you were able to do something that saved you potentially hundreds of dollars, right?
So then, if you can DIY home projects, what about DIY orthodontics? While the at-home experience may seem convenient, do you feel comfortable moving your teeth yourself and treating your smile and your bite at home? It may seem far-fetched, but *it is happening*, and millions of marketing dollars are now being spent to make the public feel at ease with this concept. What you are not being told with your at-home impression kit is that those molds alone will not provide all of the necessary information needed to make a proper diagnosis for your orthodontic care. The missing information? Orthodontic X-rays.
As an orthodontist, I can tell you that X-rays play a key role in making a proper diagnosis and coming up with the appropriate custom treatment plan that is best for you. Orthodontic X-rays allow us to see important aspects of the form and positioning of your teeth and jaw. We’ll be able to notice any issues or anomalies with your teeth, roots, jaw, or bone that would affect the way we approach tooth movement. Seeing this full picture of your mouth ensures that we properly identify where the problems exist so that we can determine the best way to correct them. If you are able to begin treatment without X-rays being taken, you are putting your mouth, your teeth, and your bite at risk.
This means, just like my DIY home improvement process, DIY orthodontics often puts you at risk of ending up with a “completed” project that may need to be redone by a professional. What was intended to be a convenient orthodontic treatment experience that could save you money and effort has not allowed you either of those things!
However, with advances in modern orthodontic technology, visiting an orthodontist in-person actually *does* allow for a flexible and convenient treatment experience! At Smile Doctors, both Invisalign® and modern braces technologies have allowed us to move appointment intervals to 8 to 10 weeks each time – that’s just one visit every 2-3 months. This means fewer missed days at school/work than with previous orthodontic technologies and a much more seamless treatment process. Also, we use FaceTime and smartphones to connect remotely with our patients anytime we need to. As far as the financial aspect, we accept most insurance, offer financing, and customize your payment plan with affordable and flexible monthly installments. And, best of all, the all-important consultation, exam, and X-rays are absolutely FREE.
While you may trust yourself for your toilet or flooring, I would strongly caution all of my friends, family, and neighbors to seek an orthodontist’s expertise when dealing with their or their family member’s smile and bite. Getting your smile right is worth these limited interactions with your orthodontist! Know at Smile Doctors Braces we are here to give you that convenient and personable orthodontic treatment experience. Request your consultation online or give us a call at your nearest Smile Doctors location to schedule your FREE initial exam and review treatment options that fit your lifestyle with payment plans to fit any budget!
Dr. Jae Brimhall is a licensed orthodontist currently practicing with Smile Doctors at our Arlington, TX location. Visit our Arlington, TX page to learn more and to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Brimhall!