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CDA Public Statement: Direct-to-Consumer Dental Appliances

There are many new options available for patients to purchase dental appliances directly from suppliers. Although claims of shorter treatment times by “doing-it-yourself” or the convenience of purchasing dental appliances directly online or over-the-counter may seem attractive, you should be informed that using direct-to-consumer dental appliances may not give you the most appropriate care to achieve your desired results. Examples of direct-to-consumer dental appliances include but are not limited to bleaching kits to whiten teeth, aligners to straighten teeth, occlusal splints to temporarily modify your bite, tooth guards to protect your teeth, and anti-snoring devices.

A dentist is in the best position to recommend dental treatment options that are right for you. Using direct-to-consumer dental appliances may, in some cases, remove critical interactions between you and your dentist, such as:

  • receiving a complete clinical oral examination, diagnosis and recommendation for treatment that is unique to you and your overall oral health needs;
  • discussing treatment options and co-developing a treatment plan that achieves the most appropriate results for you;
  • monitoring the progress of your treatment; and
  • having direct access to follow-up care after completing your treatment plan.

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) encourages you to make informed decisions about your oral and overall health. Make sure to ask your dentist or dental specialist if the appliance you are thinking about suits your individual oral health needs and that it’s considered within all aspects of your care. If using a direct-to-consumer dental appliance leads to unexpected complications or results that fall short of your expectations, your dentist or dental specialist may have limited choices to help, correct, or address your situation.

CDA is committed to sharing important information to help protect and promote the oral health of people living in Canada. To find a Canadian licenced dentist or dental specialist in your area, please visit: cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/talk/find.asp.