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It’s April 1, a day when many of us fall for pranks by our family and friends and even by companies like Google. There’s little harm in most April Fool’s jokes. We wish we could say the same for DIY dentistry.

A quick search on the internet finds there are very few dental services at least some folks haven’t tried to do themselves at home. Some DIY dental procedures, like teeth whitening, aren’t likely to cause problems – though they also won’t yield results as good as those you’ll get from a professional treatment. Others, like orthodontic treatment and dental fillings, can cause some pretty serious damage. In many cases, you’ll end up spending more to fix it than you would have spent on the professional procedure in the first place.

Before you take any dental procedures into your own hands, call 1st in Smiles at 972-380-8105. If a lack of finances is what is prompting you to consider DIY dentistry, we may be able to help! Among our payment options is CareCredit, a finance company that offers long-term, low-interest payment plans. We also offer an in-house financing plan for some procedures that allows you to pay half upfront and the rest in monthly payments over the next three months.

In the meantime, we’ve provided information on some of the more notable DIY dentistry trends.

DIY Orthodontics

Companies now offer clear aligners similar to Invisalign that can be used at home. The usual process involves taking an impression of your teeth, along with some photos, then mailing them to a company that will make your aligners. There are many problems with this approach:

  • With our Invisalign treatment, we use digital X-rays and other high-tech tools for a thorough assessment. If your case is too complex to be treated with aligners, we’ll let you know so that you can look into other orthodontic options.
  • The accuracy of the dental impression is critical to creating your customized Invisalign treatment plan. It’s much more difficult than it seems to produce an accurate impression.
  • Without periodic visits to your dentist, you have no way of knowing if your treatment is progressing on target. With his training and hands-on experience with Invisalign, Dr. Rick Barfield can easily determine if you need adjustments to your treatment. If teeth are moved too fast, for example, you risk damage to your bone or gums.

Even more alarming are the online tutorials for closing gaps in front teeth using rubber bands. This process can be downright dangerous, as evidenced by this case study of a young woman who suffered bone loss and other damage when a band became lodged in her gums. Ouch!

DIY Dental Fillings

Dental cement kits are fine for temporary repairs of fillings. In many cases, the cement can last up to a month. They won’t do the job of a permanent tooth filling, though. If left in place too long, you risk bacteria getting under the filling and into the center of your tooth where it will cause infection. At that point, you’ll need a root canal to repair your tooth.

DIY Tooth Extractions

All we can say is, yikes! Yet you’ll find a surprising number of online tutorials for removing teeth at home. Trust us, tooth extraction is best left to a professional. With tools like digital X-rays and our years of training and experience, we’ll know if your tooth can be saved with a root canal or other procedure. If possible, it’s always best to leave tooth structure intact.

If a tooth does need to go, we’ll use local anesthesia so you won’t feel a thing. If you need it, you can get dental sedation. To ensure you’ll experience the right level of relaxation, we offer three sedation options.

If you’re thinking about DIY dentistry, please talk to us first! Call us at 972-380-8105.