Key Takeaways

There are important factors to consider before using direct-to-consumer dental services:

  • If you have weaker roots, certain medical conditions, or have had facial trauma, this service might not be right for you
  • What are the potential benefits and potential risks?
  • Have the materials involved been approved for use by Health Canada?

Direct-to-consumer dentistry can include but is not limited to self-administered whitening kits, aligners to straighten teeth, mouthguards, and more. Advances in technology offer patients more treatment options and promise shorter treatment times, but is it right for you? Before you decide to bypass the dental office, you need to be informed.

Your overall oral health is a big predictor of a successful dental procedure. A thorough dental exam — which includes X-rays and an inspection of your mouth by a dentist — determines if you have any issues. Any existing dental problems need to be treated before considering any procedure.

Are You a Good Candidate?

Here are factors that can indicate if direct-to-consumer dentistry is a possibility for you:

Root Health

If you have short or unhealthy roots, you may not be a good candidate for procedures that move your teeth, like orthodontics. Root length and health can only be determined by a dentist reviewing dental X-rays.

Medication or Medical Conditions

Conditions like osteoporosis or arthritis and some medications can negatively affect the outcome of a dental procedure. A thorough dental exam will inform your decision.

Past Facial Trauma

Teeth and bones can fuse together after a sports injury or accident, but not cause a problem until you try and move your teeth. Only your dentist can confirm this with dental X-rays.

Other Considerations

Know your options! There’s usually more than one option for dental procedures. Make sure you know what’s available and why a particular option is being recommended to you. Understand the benefits and risks of each before choosing what’s best for you.

Materials used by licensed dentists in Ontario are approved by Health Canada for patient safety. Do you know if the materials used on this product are approved by Health Canada? Check for Health Canada approval before placing them in your mouth.

What if things go wrong? Know your options – who’s responsible for the treatment? Is there a follow-up, and for how long? If your procedure is done by a dentist licensed in Ontario, you can contact your treatment provider to resolve any issues.

Source: British Columbia Dental Association.

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