Recently there have been several reports in the news and posts on social media about how to perform “do it yourself” dental procedures. These are, at a minimum, problematic trends which can lead to serious consequences.
Among these are:
- Charcoal Teeth Whitening
I don’t know where this came from, but using charcoal or anything other than ADA approved products to whiten teeth can permanently damage tooth structure. Even using readily available over-the-counter tooth whitening products, without the supervision of a dentist, can be problematic. It’s not hard to wind up with a smile that looks like a row of “Indian Corn” if you don’t know what you’re doing!
- Do It Yourself Orthodontics
Reports of people using rubber bands to straighten crooked teeth is especially troubling. Rubber bands can work themselves under the gum causing inflammation and bone loss. Not only is this ineffective but
extremely dangerous. It’s not uncommon to lose teeth with this technique. You should never try to straighten teeth without professional supervision!
This brings me to another new and marginally legal technique:
- Unsupervised “Mail Order” Orthodontics
There are offices opening up in cities around the country that will either digitally “scan” your mouth or send you “One Size Fits All” impression trays so that you may take your own impressions at home, mail them in, and have the company send you aligners that will purportedly straighten your teeth. All this without ever being evaluated by an orthodontist let alone a general dentist. In my humble opinion, based on 43 years of knowledge, skill and experience, attempting to accomplish any of this without the supervision of a trained professional is sheer folly. Such an attempt would be in the same vein as “any attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Anyone who attempts to do their own dentistry may as well do their own brain surgery as well!
As always, my staff and I are always available to address any concerns you have about dental procedures and how they can impact you and your family. Don’t hesitate ask us the next time you visit our office Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA , or feel free to contact us at 215-230-7667.