Three cheers for ‘do it yourself’ ingenuity! We love the alchemy that can result when curiosity collides with a real need and a DIY (do it yourself) spirit.
Ready for an inspirational story how a young man safely (and successfully) created his own braces?
Understanding the root cause of issues like what causes teeth to be crooked can help us avoid expensive and potentially damaging procedures. While we can do a lot toward avoiding the cause of crooked teeth, here’s a story of a young man who took matters into his own hands.
Amos Dudley, a 24 year old, was self conscious about his crooked teeth. Ironically, he had already worn braces in high school and didn’t keep up with the retainer. So, his teeth shifted back out of place.
However, being a digital design student and having a DIY spirit, Amos decided to develop a series of retainers using the 3D printer at his school to help straighten his teeth.
The cost? $60 in supplies (plus the use of the 3D printer, of course).
As Amos shares on his blog, as an undergrad college student he had a unique combination of having no money but access to expensive equipment. He took stock of his options and decided to take the matter of straightening his teeth into his own hands.
Over the course of 16 weeks using 12 trays Amos 3D printed using his digital design skills, Amos was successful in adjusting two teeth that were crooked and overlapping.
He definitely did his homework on the subject and studied how much each tooth can move safely and designed a sequential series of which teeth to move, as he puts it, ‘like a digital animation’.
He even did his homework and used a very safe plastic, PLA. So cool…
Before you think you can reach out to Amos, he has made it painfully clear on his blog that he isn’t in the business of making retainers for others. And we agree to an extent. There are so many factors involved with orthodontics, the idea of anything but very passive support like we share in our article ‘how to straighten teeth without braces’ would be a risky undertaking.
However, the ingenuity and determination Amos demonstrated through this project reminds us very much of the same DIY spirit that Susan applied in her own mouth so many years ago to address periodontal disease.
Truly, necessity is the mother of invention. Our HealThy Mouth Blend wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for us pondering the question, “How can we help people avoid the ravages of advancing gum disease?”
We also think, if gone about wisely, that there may be a very real market for a company to create a safe way for each of us to make a cast or our bite and mail it to them and they would ship us custom made trays to use in sequence, just like Amos has successfully done.
Presuming safety, we can see applications of a home-based solution ranging across the board:
- an alternate to traditional orthodontic work
- a way to support a gentle maintenance of a good bite (like a retainer)
- a way to maintain tooth positioning for those who have lost teeth to gum disease or failed root canals
- providing very small night guard to help those who grind their teeth
Perhaps this is the future of orthodontics?
We are not going out to buy a 3D printer anytime soon. What about you? Would you be willing to do this on your own? Would you be willing to follow the directions of an ‘at home’ based sequential treatment provided it was proven safe and effective? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Helpful, Related Resources:
How I ‘open sourced’ my face [Amos Dudley blog article]
How to Straighten Teeth Without Braces [article]
How to Stop Two Common Habits that Cause Crooked Teeth [article]