Has 3D Printing Opened a Dangerous Door To Do It Yourself Orthodontics?

Has 3D Printing Opened a Dangerous Door To Do It Yourself Orthodontics?

A design major at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Amos Dudley , has designed his own clear trays and unintentionally rekindled a dangerous practice.  Dudley never intended to change the way orthodontics are done “I was also routinely asked about whether I planned to start a business creating cheap invisible aligners for people. It was obvious early on that this wouldn’t be a good idea. For one thing, I had a very simple relapsed-braces case – I don’t have the knowledge to go beyond what I did. Beyond that, there would be huge liability issues, and major logistic challenges to treating people remotely, especially since I wouldn’t have x-rays, much less the training to interpret them.  I’m a designer and a hacker, not an orthodontist – those are my passions, and I’m sticking to them.”.1 The media coverage Dudley’s accomplishment has spiked an interest in DYI orthodontic treatment and this is a dangerous trend.  A recent American Association of Orthodontist press release highlights the danger to consumers any time dental procedures are undertaken by an untrained or unsupervised individual. These dangers present substantial risk for irreparable damage.2

Other methods of do it yourself Orthodontics are found on the internet and the consequences can be dire.  As a elementary school student, David Campbell, a 47-year-old who works for a nonprofit that sends missionaries abroad, had a gap between his front teeth. A dentist advised him to use rubber bands nightly to close it. After elastics got stuck under his gums, the two front teeth started protruding; by age 13, he had lost both teeth at the root. “It was pretty traumatic,” he said.3


“Do it yourself orthodontics isn’t like a home improvement project where a mistake can easily be corrected by a professional,” according to Dr. Kristin Huber of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics4,  Atlanta’s top provider of Invisalign.  “Moving teeth unsupervised can cause damage to the teeth, bone, and surrounding structures that likely cannot be reversed and could result in tooth loss.”  The best solution is to set up a consultation with an orthodontist, which is complimentary at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.  Orthodontists receive two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school and are specialists in straightening teeth, aligning the bite safely, and  the affects on the supporting biology  once they have completed Dental School.


Dr. Kristin Huber








  1. http://orthopundit.com/interview-with-amos-Dudley
  2. http://aao.informz.net/admin31/content/template.asp?sid=43185&ptid=1194&brandid=3395&uid=781318262&mi=5207678&ps=4318
  3. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/01/the-hazards-of-do-it-yourself-orthodonture/?_r=0
  4. http://www.westpacesferryortho.com/meet-dr-huber

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