The British Orthodontic Society has warned patients of the dangers associated with DIY braces now available online.
Warnings have come after a websites have been found that are offering visitors the opportunity to carry out their own orthodontic treatment at home, with an ‘assessment’ to judge their suitability using ‘selfie’ photographs, and if deemed suitable a series of aligner-type appliances are sent directly to the patient.
‘When it comes to the health of your teeth, cutting corners is a really bad idea,’ Richard George, director of external relations, said.
‘Buying aligners online to straighten your teeth without a clinical examination and then embarking on unsupervised treatment is risky and could cause permanent damage.
‘When you start treatment with an orthodontist or dentist, a full set of records is taken by clinicians who are trained in clinical diagnosis and treatment planning.
‘By contrast, the selfies taken by prospective patients for DIY aligners and uploaded to a website cannot match this level of care and skill.
‘Patients should be aware that there is no regulation of websites that are run by non-dentists or businesses operating from abroad and thus there is no protection for patients.
‘The cost of treatment may be lower but the risks to health and wellbeing are far greater.’