Not too long ago, a college student made the headlines for making his own braces using his school’s 3D printer for about $60. This is not a student of a dental school, or any medical field whatsoever. Amos Dudley of New Jersey Institute of Technology was self conscious of his teeth but didn’t have the money to pay for braces so he decided to make his own.
He had originally had braces in junior high but wasn’t very good about the upkeep. Now, in college he realized that he wasn’t smiling as much and his demeanor was less confident due to his crooked teeth. To change that, he started doing a lot of research on clear braces similar to ClearCorrect. (ClearCorrect are removable, “invisible braces” that are also custom fitted to your mouth and adjusted over time to straighten your teeth.)
Dudley ended up printing 12 plastic braces using his school’s 3D printer for his project and documented his journey on his blog. After a few months, his teeth became straighter and he says that he feels like he can smile with confidence again. However, he doesn’t have any plans to create a business out of his project or create braces for anyone else.
This success story has made a lot of people suddenly interested in creating their own cheaper braces. It seems so simple – just take some photos of your teeth and create slightly modified molds that all slightly lead closer to perfectly straight teeth. However, this can be very dangerous and cause you more pain (and money) to fix.
Dentists and orthodontists go to school for years and are licensed for a reason. Everything from the materials of your braces to the method in which they are installed is thoroughly tested and studied to make sure that the procedure is the safest and most comfortable for the patient.
If you think you or your child need braces, visit your dentist for a consultation. Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating patients for over twenty-five years. To make an appointment, call our New Fairfield, CT office at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.