What Can You Say About DIY Treatments?Created by:
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: http://www.thedramaqueencantellstories.com/2015/10/patient-chronicles-thou-shalt-not.html
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.