What Can You Say About DIY Treatments?

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5 Jul 2016 - General

We love to DIY. Being frugal and practical is applauded because it saves money—and we often feel quite proud of ourselves for being resourceful. What about when patients try to DIY their treatments? I don’t know how widespread this is but here in the Philippines, we’ve been made aware of the rampancy of DO-IT-YOURSELF BRACES. Sellers offer the package comeplete with brackets, wires, rubbers and adhesives at a very affordable price and they either come with instructions on how to install or they offer to install them on the buyer’s teeth. I’ve seen random posts on Facebook about these and then one day, I came across an actual case.

In the multi-specialty clinic I work for, we facilitate mouth examinations. When I sat the patient, I asked her when her last dental visit was, and she said that she’s never been to a dentist. I was shocked at her answer because I saw she had braces and then it occurred to me that this may be what everyone was talking about so I asked her: “Is this DIY braces?” And she admitted to it.

I wanted to scream, but of course I didn’t. I talked to her and explained everything and released her, hoping that she did not just hear me—that she understood. I actually wrote about this in my blog and if you have time to, you can read it here:

Who is to blame here—the manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sellers or buyers? Are we to blame, as dentists, because the treatment is expensive? How can the Philippine Dental Association regulate this? It’s so crazy and what’s scary is “patients” do not know what harm they’re subjecting themselves to.  

Oh yes I agree with you Shunjie, it will really be tough to regulate these things. But proper information dissemination is necessary. Right now these people think that moving teeth is easy--you just put rubbers and they move magically into their proper place. The screencap of the seller's ads on FB talk about how easy it is to install, "You just have to follow the instructions", they say convincingly. And yes. The "pressure" to have straight teeth to conform with what...
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Thanks for sharing this interesting news from dentistry. Your blog was really interesting as well. As in most health problems in the system, I think the blame rest at multiple parties. Media industry for pushing for the straight teeth as a model to follow, expensive braces, dentists who charge high rates for the braces, patient who wants the braces etc) But I think pinpointing the blame will not solve any issues. Regulating it would be tough. (Just like backroom abortions, which are highly dange...
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