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Basement Braces: Please, Make It Stop

The term “basement braces” sounds like something out of a horror film. While not sprung from the imagination of Jordan Peele or John Carpenter, it is pretty horrifying. But first, some context.

It feels like yesterday when TikTok user Dani popped up on our timeline. The creator racked up over six million views exposing “Veneer Techs” advertising their “services” on the popular social media platform. The TruCrew was completely engrossed…and alarmed as video after video revealed a predatory and dangerous scam. As it turns out, we weren’t alone. Medical and non-medical professionals alike weighed in on the latest craze to takeover our For You pages.

After emerging from our social media rabbit hole, we wrote a whole blog about the matter. Naturally, we kept tabs on profiles that particularly stood out – the ones that sold “veneer tech” classes with a certificate earned in a weekend; the ones that embarked on multi-city “tours” and boasted that they would soon be offering their services in a city near you; and the ones that applied Temu veneers on top of rotted teeth.

We are relieved to report that certain websites are no longer accessible and once very smug “entrepreneurs” are now hiding behind privacy settings. It seems that the possibility of having to face very real legal consequences (aka prison) is having a calming effect on the illegal dentistry – we mean “veneer tech” industry. Scammers operating out of the back of nail salons and fashion boutiques may work hard but Dentaltok works harder. This has to mark the beginning of the end, right?

Buckle up for part two: let’s talk about “Basement Braces.” 

They Did What? With Who?

Dental and Ortho professionals can’t catch a break because as soon as these “Veneer Techs” went into hiding, here come the “basement braces” videos. Guys – people with no degree or certification in sight are putting on braces with elastics in private residences. You read that correctly…BRACES OUT OF SOMEONE’S HOUSE. Cut to TikTok when people realize they’ve set $500 on fire as they flick off these “braces” with their fingernails

Straight from the veneer tech handbook, “basement braces” are being promoted on social media – complete with appointment setting via direct messaging, decorative price lists made in Canva, and a link to somebody’s Cash App. Some may call this behavior bold and delusional. And while we don’t disagree with the verbiage, we prefer negligent and criminal.

We’re Not OK

Dr. Truman is kind of amazing – PHD, board certified, Diamond Invisalign provider-kind of great. Furthermore, the TruCrew that supports both the clinic and front office are also pretty awesome. At Truman Orthodontics, our business is teeth – straightening teeth and correcting jaw alignment to be precise. So, the fact that something like “fashion braces” and “basement braces” exists sends a chill down our spines. 

Here’s why:

  • Braces are not a fashion accessory – they are functional and meant to move your teeth slowly over time. Placing braces incorrectly or unnecessarily can lead to more serious complications. 
  • Medical procedures of any kind must be performed in a sterile environment in order to prevent contamination and spread of bacteria. We highly doubt that Braces by Brandon is OSHA compliant. 
  • Orthodontic offices use medical grade instruments and supplies. Whatever was purchased from Amazon or Temu is not going to cut it. 
  • Only a licensed orthodontist or a clinical assistant under the supervision of an orthodontist should be putting braces on one’s teeth. 

Speaking of supervision and licenses…

Ortho is Hard

Remember those two-day certification courses mentioned previously? Here’s a screenshot of the advanced education programs offered by UNLV’s School of Medicine:

Two days versus years? This indicates that it’s literally impossible to learn anything about the science and artistry of dentistry or orthodontics in 48 hours. That $5000 handed over to some guy in a white coat renting a meeting space in a strip mall could have gone towards legitimate dental work. Congratulations, you played yourself. 

Oh, and we’ve actually gotten ahead of ourselves. Orthodontics is a dental specialty, meaning that all orthodontists are trained dentists and have first completed four years of medical school. Here’s what that curriculum looks like at UNLV:

You see that 5,000 contact hours? That means you can’t just wake up one day and decide to start putting on braces. The fact of the matter is that there’s A LOT behind the scenes that goes into every wire and bracket. We could go further and list the school’s competency statement, but we think you get the idea. 

In other words, medicine is hard. Dentists and Orthodontists are doctors. And your oral health should only be entrusted to those who are licensed and certified to practice medicine in your state. 

We Still Haven’t Told Dr. Truman

In our last blog, we concluded our veneer tech investigation by revealing that our marketing department didn’t have the nerve to tell Dr. Truman about illegal dentistry running rampant on social media. Teeth by Tiffany kept the TruCrew up at night and we simply didn’t want to pass on the stress. 

So, here we are again to say that we still have not shown Dr. Truman the videos we’ve saved in TikTok and Instagram, nor the linked videos featured in this post. Who’s going to tell him – a Dr. with twenty years of private practice under his belt and a respected figure in his community – that people are putting $25 deposits down via Venmo for braces? Writing that then reading it back, frankly, gives us a headache. And we simply can’t have Dr. Truman bobbing and weaving throughout the clinic all day in discomfort. 

So, if you’re reading this and you’re NOT Dr. Truman: when it comes to one’s health, taking shortcuts can have devastating results. It’s why Truman Orthodontics works diligently to keep our patients safe and healthy. If you’re ready to embark on your smile journey, give us a ring to make an appointment. 

If you’re reading this and you are Dr. Truman: our sincerest apologies. 

About Truman Orthodontics – Henderson

Truman Orthodontics-Henderson celebrates twenty years of private practice. Dr. Truman and the TruCrew provide highest quality orthodontic care in a family-oriented high-technology practice. We maintain a commitment to our patients in every facet of our practice to ensure that every patient achieves a healthy and beautiful smile. For more information, visit www.trumanortho.com.

Posted By Truman Office Category: Blog, General Post Date: May 15, 2024