Why do I need to see a human orthodontist? Why apps and technology can’t replace the real thing
The outcomes of 'do it yourself clear aligners' can be devastating with consumers having to deal with the repercussions. There are a number of reasons why algorithms, apps and technologies cannot replace a human orthodontist.
We have become increasingly reliant on apps for food delivery, shopping, movies, live streaming, and the list goes on. There is an expectation that we should be able do everything cheaper and faster by downloading an app. Quicker and at a lesser cost does not necessarily mean better, this has been shown in recent times especially when it comes to health care.
There has been an increase in mail order orthodontics and “do it yourself clear aligners”. These products have begun to enter the Australian market. They are sold direct to consumers with no face to face clinical assessment by an orthodontist. The outcomes can be devastating with consumers having to deal with the repercussions. There are a number of reasons why algorithms, apps and technologies cannot replace a human orthodontist.
Orthodontists are specialists who have first studied to become a dentist, this takes five years. They then go on to do post graduate study in the field of orthodontics, this takes another three years. This requires intense study and practical training to become a fully trained orthodontist. It doesn’t stop there, there are many more years of cumulative learning in the field. This cannot be replicated by an app or a retail shop assistant. Orthodontists are experts in their field.
Apps and technologies have evolved but they cannot emulate human emotion and empathy. Orthodontics is a complex medical and dental procedure, it is vital to develop a professional relationship with the underlying foundation of trust. Orthodontists see their patients as people not as customers and develop personalised treatment plans with this in mind.
Mail order orthodontics products are marketed at a fraction of the price for a reason, and many people are learning that fast and cheap is not necessarily the answer for a healthy mouth and attractive smile in the long term. Orthodontic procedures that are carried out without professional supervision can be disappointing and may cause damage to your teeth and gums. It may require corrective treatment by a specialist orthodontist at an extra cost to you.
Orthodontics is a complex procedure requiring a thorough pre-treatment clinical and x-ray assessment and ongoing supervision to ensure that the proposed tooth movements are safe, feasible and long lasting. Direct to consumer orthodontics cannot replicate this, it takes generations of practice and years of learning to be able to achieve the best results for you. So please ensure your treatment is in the hands of a human.