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The dangers of direct to consumer dentistry

There has been a lot of coverage in the press recently highlighting the dangers of travelling abroad for cheap dentistry. For example, the debate surrounding Love Island’s Jack Fincham, who recently admitted he didn’t know the dangers of getting his ‘turkey teeth’. An equally risky trend is direct to consumer dentistry, where patients receive treatments by post, often without ever seeing a qualified dentist. We look more closely at why it makes sense to invest in a reputable dental practice, and the dangers of doing DIY things.

The trend for Tik Tok teeth

As we mentioned in last month’s article about the growing trend in Tik Tok teeth, there are many dangers associated with cheap dental procedures offered outside the UK. What may be advertised as a routine procedure can cause significant damage to your teeth. In extreme cases, damage to the teeth can eventually be so extensive that dental implants are the only real option – an expensive and undesirable remedy that most would prefer to avoid.

Smiles by post

One trend that has seen a particularly concerning rise recently is that of ‘smiles by post’, whereby patients are able to order impression kits online, make their own dental impressions and return them to the supplier, before proceeding with what is effectively a mail order teeth-straightening procedure during which patients do not need to once see a dentist.

Although perfectly legal under current regulations, regular dentists are growing increasingly concerned by the the popularity of these self-administered tooth alignment treatments, arguing that they should always be carried out under the supervision of a qualified dentist.

Did you know that dentists train for 5 years in order to learn how to take accurate impressions?

Self administered impressions lack patient knowledge to know if enough detail has been covered in the impression to produce aligners that will fit correctly and achieve good results.

either members of staff from Stella Maris Dental standing outside their practice in uniform, smiling and happy to showcase their clinic

Benefits of using a trusted dental practice

One of the most important things to remember is that every patient is different. That’s why a trusted dental practice, such as Stella Maris Dental, will always offer a no obligation consultation with a trained dentist first. This is to discuss the results that you would like, what is achievable and make sure you are provided with the best possible treatment based on your individual circumstances.

A trained dentist will then prepare a precision mould of your teeth that fits exactly to your tooth line, to ensure you get the best possible results. You can also be sure that everything is handled according to the strictest hygiene protocols.

Throughout the entire course of treatment, you will be supervised by an experienced dentist, who can make sure that the treatment is progressing correctly and can answer any questions or concerns you may have.

It is important to bear in mind that your teeth and jaws are part of the complex skeletal make-up of your face, so a full orthodontic examination will take into account  your jaw alignment, teeth, bite, and the overall wellbeing of your jaw.

Post-treatment follow up

Looking after your teeth correctly after having them straightened is also important. A trusted orthodontic dentist will be able to provide you with a custom-made retainer that will keep your teeth in their desired position and prevent them from returning to their original position. As highly trained professionals, they will also be able to monitor your teeth over time to ensure that everything remains in order. This is always best done with in-surgery visits.

A final word

Although direct-to-consumer retainers are increasingly popular and many patients report being satisfied with the results, oral health organisations are becoming more and more concerned. Whilst they recognise that customers are often happy with the end result, they may be unaware of the broader dental implications when such treatments are not prescribed and overseen by a qualified dentist. Ultimately, patients are advised to seek advice from a dental professional.

Professional and safe teeth straightening at Stella Maris

Here at Stella Maris Dental, our professional team has helped thousands of people to have the confidence to smile over the last 35 years. As one of our patients, you will benefit from a comprehensive, preventive dental care programme focused on promoting a healthy mouth and beautiful looking teeth – for life. 

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Spread the costof your investment


Don’t compromise your dental care by going for second best or delaying treatment. Go for the very best that modern dentistry can offer and spread your investment with our 0% finance.

  • Spread the fees over 24 months (for treatments valued over £300.00)
  • No interest to pay whatsoever
  • No deposit required - but is optional

* Up to 24 months is interest free. If you would like to take finance over a longer period then an interest charge will apply.

** Interest free finance spread across up to 24 months for treatments valued over £300.00

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