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Would You Wear $60 Braces?

Mar 21, 2016

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that seems to contradict itself. Examples of this would be "jumbo shrimp" or "ground pilot." The two words seem to be in conflict with each other. Most of them carry real meaning and are used in everyday speech, but, when you think about them too hard, they start to sound a little silly. They're also a convenient way to express sarcasm: "Exciting museum? Isn't that an oxymoron?"

There's a news story that's been getting some major coverage lately, and while it might sound like an oxymoron, it's absolutely real. Digital Design student Amos Dudley has created the very first pair of DIY braces. You read that correctly ... DIY braces. If that doesn't make your teeth tremble, then you've probably never had braces. Dental braces are what orthodontists use to straighten patients' teeth for cosmetic or health-related reasons. It's a lengthy process filled with precise measurements, minuscule adjustments, and a criminal lack of bubblegum and hard candy. It's no doubt that orthodontists have this down to a science, but those years of expertise often come at a high price.

A set of clear braces, which are far less noticeable than traditional metal brackets, can cost around $8,000. Dudley, a 24-year-old student, wasn't willing to shell out that much dough for a better smile, so he devised a way to hack the industry. Using his school's equipment and only $60 worth of materials, Dudley designed a series of clear braces that would straighten his teeth without making his bank account go crooked. Check out the photos below to learn more about how Dudley pulled off this bizarre feat. Were the results worth it?

While what this young man did is interesting and worth learning about, we certainly don't recommend trying anything like this yourself. Even Dudley himself cautions readers not to attempt what he did. For him, "it was more of a hacker project than making a business out of this."

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Amos Dudley studies design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.


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He also bears a striking resemblance to actor Miles Teller.


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Unlike Miles Teller, who most likely had his teeth straightened by a professional, Dudley decided to go with a more DIY approach.


Amos Dudley

He used his college's equipment to print 3-D models of his teeth and then used those to create plastic molds that would serve as his braces.


Amos Dudley

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If you don't factor in the price of the school's printer, Dudley's braces cost a grand total of $60.


Amos Dudley

It was actually more like a series of retainers than braces with brackets. By measuring how much his teeth needed to shift, Dudley was able to map out a regimen for the next 16 weeks.


Amos Dudley

The methods Dudley used were nothing revolutionary. Orthodontists do essentially the same thing, only they've spent years studying the human mouth. For Dudley, the process was pretty difficult. He had to teach himself how teeth move and apply that knowledge to his mouth's own unique requirements.


Amos Dudley

But, at the end of the 16 weeks, it looks like he got the results he was looking for. While we don't endorse Dudley's method, it could foreshadow a new future for orthodontics. With 3-D printers becoming more functional and affordable, who's to say we won't all be printing our own clear braces in a few years?


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H/T: LifeBuzz | Amos Dudley

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