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Dentist checking patient's teeth
There’s nothing more fun than a DIY project for your home or even your hair — like a new coat of paint or a cheap box of dye to help you get a new look. But your teeth?! Leave those projects to the professionals.

There’s a new-ish fad in DIY dentistry, and it’s one that stands to do a lot of harm. Only your dentist is equipped with the tools and know-how to perform procedures like extractions or removing stubborn tartar.

Keep reading to learn about what can go wrong with DIY dentistry, and then make a mental note to schedule an appointment with your trusted dentist next time you need dental care instead!


If you have a throbbing tooth or one you believe is past the point of saving, skip the pliers. Your dentist may be able to rescue it with root canal therapy.

Even if the tooth can’t be saved, it’s still a good idea to visit your dentist for an extraction. There are a number of things that can go wrong with a DIY removal, like:

  • The tooth may not fully come out, leaving you at risk of infection or increased pain
  • You could damage surrounding teeth or healthy bone tissue
  • It may cause serious pain
  • You may need prompt professional attention, like stitches to close the area

Your dentist’s office is equipped with anesthesia and expert techniques to ensure an extraction goes smoothly.

Tooth Cleaning

Plaque is the sticky, clear substance that is constantly forming on the surface of the teeth. When it is not thoroughly removed with the toothbrush and dental floss, it turns into tartar.

Tartar forms in as little as 24 hours. Once the hard yellow substance is on the teeth, it needs to be removed by a professional with special tools. Scratching at your teeth with a foreign object to try to take off tartar can damage your tooth enamel, leaving you at a higher risk of:

  • Weak or worn enamel that causes sensitivity
  • Dental injury
  • Injury to the gums or soft oral tissues

Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting your dentist every six months will help to reduce the amount of tartar that builds upon the surface of the teeth.


This one may come as a surprise, but some people have even taken it upon themselves to attempt DIY orthodontic treatment. They try to lodge small objects between teeth to correct crowding or to close gaps between surrounding teeth. Other people are trying to get crafty with 3D printers.

Don’t try this one at home, folks! Orthodontists are specialists in the alignment of the teeth. Yes, braces are a financial investment, but in exchange, you get a quality treatment performed by a professional.

Conclusion: Trust the Professionals

We all like feeling as though we’re in control of our oral and overall health — but you wouldn’t attempt to remove your own gallbladder, would you? It shouldn’t be any different with complex oral procedures.

If finances are a challenge for you, talk to your dentist’s office about special financing opportunities you may not be aware of. You can also perform a web search for a dentist accepting your insurance or Medicaid.

When it comes to your oral health, it’s worth the investment to skip the DIY and visit a professional instead!