Orthodontists warn about dental appliances sold on the Internet

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    A perfect smile, white and aligned teeth… Faced with an ideal of perfection, many young people order questionable dental appliances on the internet, without the slightest diagnosis or clinical examination. Dr. Olivier Migault, orthodontist, alerts us to the dangers associated with this practice.

    Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube… They’re all over the internet.”the promise of a perfect smile”. These devices are “illegal” and misleading gutters, which primarily target young workers with small budgets. All but benign dental aligners, according to Dr. Migault, orthodontist.

    “Correspondence” protocols without expert or diagnosis

    With the development of the Internet, multiple questionable “health” products have emerged on social networks. The latest? The dental alignment tray with remote monitoring, without a visit to the dentist.

    Young adults – who are no longer eligible for health insurance coverage – are particularly fond of it, and for good reason: the device, easy to use, is offered at an unbeatable price.

    But this low price is a reflection of a much darker reality: the device, not personalized, is set up without any assistance. The brands indeed leave it up to the patients to make their own dental impression, without consulting a dental surgeon.

    More rarely, an appointment is made with a health professional to perform a CT scan of the teeth. But then there is no follow-up: the gutters are simply sent to the patient by post.

    However, the regulations are clear on this subject:

    Any act resulting in dental displacement is a medical act and its exercise is reserved for qualified health professionals (dental surgeons, stomatologists, etc.).

    Treatments carried out without X-rays, without precise diagnosis and without research into the causes and origins of the pathology, can indeed prove to be disastrous.

    Consult a GP online

    “Illegal” gutters: what are the risks for the patient?

    For Dr. Migault, “The first risk is linked to this lack of diagnosis, established on a clinical examination (photos, 3D examination, etc.). Without these building blocks, patients can see their teeth become infected or fall out.”.

    Indeed, the simple photographs or even fingerprints offered by the brands do not constitute a serious diagnosis.

    On the other hand, the multiple consequences are very real:

    • Cavities (due to wearing uncontrolled trays);
    • Loss of teeth due to uncontrolled movements;
    • More or less serious periodontal damage (gingivitis, periodontitis);
    • Risks of cancer by friction of badly adapted “gutters”;
    • Problems with chewing, swallowing, speech, tongue posture…
    • Maxillary necrosis (following dental procedures in patients treated with bisphosphonates or with a history of radiotherapy).

    In addition, the price of dental appliances sold on the Internet would not be as attractive as expected:

    The promise of an extremely low rate is a huge lie. It takes 15 to 18 months to modify a smile… not a few weeks. The price of a treatment sold on the internet – if it were carried out for the right duration – would ultimately be worth the same price as a treatment with an orthodontist”says the specialist.

    Orthodontic post-treatment is as important as the treatment itself: it aims to immobilize the result obtained using a steel wire. Only a qualified practitioner is able to install this element.

    In case of pain, infection – and even in the absence of clinical signs – any dental appliance sold on the internet must be removed. “It is only on the radio that we will see the damage”recalls the expert.

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    Orthodontists warn about dental appliances sold on the Internet

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