Indianapolis, IN– Dr. Jessica Maynes recently launched her new program aimed at helping people do more at-home dentistry when it fits their schedule. Do-It-Yourself Dental began as a dream and has become a steam engine that can’t be stopped. Recently, The Facebow had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Maynes.
What sparked the idea for Do-It-Yourself Dental?
Well, I kept seeing the commercials on TV for teeth aligners that could be made from impressions people took of their own teeth. Those aligners have been successful and non-controversial, so why not offer other treatments and procedures at home? Many people are taking college courses when their schedules allow, so why not dentistry? Also, many of my patients have told me that they can do my job and I didn’t believe them, so I put it to the test. I’m not too proud to admit when I’m wrong. I’m embracing the evolution of dentistry.
How does it work?
Patients will diagnose their own treatment and then go to my website to enter the necessary information. At that point we send them the necessary instruments and materials for successful treatment. For example, for cavities we will send a cordless high-speed handpiece, burs, bond, composite or amalgam, and any other instruments we think they may need. Syringes and anesthetic come in all kits. If they need a crown, we also send impression material and tray, retraction cord, and temporary material. If they can make their own ortho impressions, surely they can make a crown impression.
How has at-home dentistry affected your practice?
I’ve never been busier in my practice. I know many dentists see do-it-yourself dentistry as competition, but I’ve been swamped with more root canals and suturing soft tissue lacerations than ever before. I can’t explain it, but I’m not complaining. It’s been nice to let some patients do their own fillings and crown preps at home to free up time in my schedule to do other treatment.
How do you respond to your critics who say this is dangerous and unethical, bordering on illegal?
That’s like saying people shouldn’t be allowed to cook their own dinner at home. Do they need a food handlers permit for that? I don’t know why they should need a license to practice dentistry just to improve their oral health.
What do you have planned in the future for Do-It-Yourself Dental?
Currently, we are offering DIY fillings, crown, inlays, inlays, and extractions. Soon, we will be offering at-home dentures and sleep apnea devices. My goal is to get to the point where patients can do their own root canals. Everyone has bleach at home, and no one knows their bodies like the patients do. And who knows? Maybe implants at some point?