CHEAP at-home plastic braces can cause irreversible damage and your teeth could even fall out, dentists have warned.
Dentists says that while technology can be helpful for doing consultations online, it is also undermining well-established safety measures which are designed to protect patients.
Many people want straight white gleaming teeth and experts have previously warned against the dangers of at-home whitening hacks.
Now, they are also warning patients to think twice before investing in at-home alingers.
On Thursday the General Dental Council (GDC) said while it recognised these products provided at "cheap alternative" for people, new apporaches must have patient safety in mind.
The British Dental Association (BDA) said that it has seen patients with advanced gum disease that have been linked to wearing these retainers, potentially leading to tooth loss.
The new guidance states that before prescribing alingers dentists need to fully access their patient's oral health to ensure safety.
At the moment people can buy aligners without having an in person dental exam.
The GDC said that direct interaction between a dentist and patient must also be carried out so the patient can ask questions and fully understand proposed treatment.
Patients must also know their dentist’s name and be able to contact them directly if they need to.
The BDA said that the guidance was useful but would not substitute meaningful regulation.
Chari Eddie Crouch said: "Until we see proper safeguards dentists will be left picking up the pieces when patients have undergone wholly inappropriate treatment.”
While the council says some products can be used safely it highlights that people need support to make the right decision for themselves.
GDC Executive Director, Strategy, Stefan Czerniawski, said: "Traditionally, healthcare is delivered in person – patient and clinician sitting in the same room discussing treatment options and agreeing on a way forward.
"New technology is challenging that norm and we support innovation wherever it safely brings benefits to patients.
"But safety is absolutely key and new ways of doing things must not undermine well-established safety measures which are designed to protect patients."
He said that they are in talks with professionals as to what they need to do to meet requirements.
He said:"But we also want to encourage people to consider what is right for them before deciding on treatment and this is why we have developed guidance to help them do that.”
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