The Serious Risk of Mail-Order Dental Appliances

We live in a modern, fast-paced society where we no longer need an actual bank, gym or even grocery store to carry out our daily tasks and agenda. With the click of a button we can deposit checks into our banking account, follow a fitness trainer online or even have our weekly groceries delivered to our doorstep. While these advancements have undoubtedly made life easier, there is always a line that shouldn’t be crossed. One of the latest trends in dentistry is “mail-order appliances.” By just typing in some personal information on your computer, you can get your nightguard or snoring appliance in the mail within a few days or weeks. Not only is it cheaper, but you don’t have to physically go see your dentist to address your nighttime dental habits. Seems like a win, right? Wrong!

Relying on a virtual dental office to provide your dental appliance can not only be ineffective and a waste of money, but it can also do more harm than good – leading to more costly treatments down the road. The most common types of oral appliances that are available in “mail-order” form are those that presumably treat TMJ, teeth grinding and snoring. Before you click that payment button for a dental appliance, you need to carefully consider these significant risks:

Neglected Sleep Apnea
You may assume that your nightly teeth grinding habit or snoring problem is only a nuisance to your bed partner. However, these are two primary symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea is a very serious sleep condition that should never be addressed by an online provider who doesn’t offer proper testing and FDA approved treatment products. By choosing mail-order dentistry to treat your bruxism or snoring, you are essentially opting for a DIY strategy. This could mean ignoring the root cause of your dental habits and leaving a sleep apnea condition unnoticed. Unfortunately, unmanaged sleep apnea can threaten your daily life, your overall health and even your life!
More Harm Than Good
When looking at teeth grinding in particular, many online patients (or customers) receive a boil-and-bite nightguard to tackle the problem. This is a concern because these models are often made of soft, squishy material. When it comes to bruxism, this can further stimulate the act of grinding or clenching instead of stopping it. Some may end up with worsening TMJ problems and more costly treatment in the future.
Not FDA Approved
Many of the appliances that are available online are marketing scams. They are not backed by a licensed dentist, and their products are typically not approved by the FDA. Don’t miss this credential. These are appliances and materials you are putting your mouth for several hours of the day. It is imperative that they be safe and proven effective for your particular dental concern.
Not Customized or Monitored
Don’t fool yourself; that boil-and-bite nightguard is not nearly as customized as one that is fabricated by your dentist. A dentist takes advanced imaging and precisely calculated measurements of your unique bite before making your appliance. There’s no possible way to get this kind of customization from a DIY “custom” guard. In addition, your treatment will not be monitored by a dentist, or really anyone but yourself. This can be dangerous, especially if there changes that occur within your jaw, gums or teeth that should alter your treatment or take precedence over your teeth grinding or snoring problem.

Don’t Cheat Yourself in Dental Care

Avoid the temptation to treat your dental health like you do your holiday shopping. Mail-orders just don’t work for everything. Your teeth grinding or snoring habit deserves a physical visit at the dental office under the care of a board-certified dentist. Remember that your oral health is the pathway to your overall health – so don’t cheat yourself in order to save a few bucks or the mileage in your car. Call Park South Dentistry today to get the safe, effective and personalized dental care you deserve.

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