While some are doing damage to their teeth with the aligners, orthodontists say many more, like 52-year-old Peter Quattro, have paid for a product that doesn’t work at all.
Mr Quattro started at-home treatment with Smile Direct Club in 2019. Although the company offered in-person 3D scans as an alternative to DIY moulds, when the businessman received his aligners in the mail, he soon had problems.
“They were flimsy, they were ineffective. They buckled when you put them in your mouth,” he said.
Mr Quattro said the aligners cut his gums, causing pain because they weren’t moving his teeth.
“It just progressively just got worse every time,” he said. “My teeth weren’t ready for the next aligner – they had not done what they were supposed to do.”
A survey conducted by the Australian Society for Orthodontists in October 2020 found 35 per cent of orthodontists who responded had treated a patient in the past 12 months following failed use of at-home aligners.
It’s now calling on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency to follow the lead of the UK’s dental regulator in warning the public that there was “no effective substitute for a physical, clinical examination” when assessing someone for braces or aligners.
But the medical watchdog said it had no plans to provide specific advice on the issue of direct-to-consumer…