Waiting on aligners

I’ve been doing invisalign treatments for about a month. My dentist insists I wait for two full weeks before changing my aligners. The thing is, my teeth are ready well before the two weeks. What’s the point of waiting?

Dillon A.- Illinois


Let me take a stab at what is happening here. You put on your aligners. In about two or three days, your teeth have moved into their new position. You want to go ahead and switch to the next pair of aligners, but your dentist insists that you wear them for the full two weeks before you get the next pair. Am I right?

Believe it or not, your dentist is not just trying to drag out the Invisalign treatments. You really do need to wait two weeks between each It is common for the teeth to move into position quickly. The purpose between sticking with the same aligners is to give the bone in your jaw time to catch up.

There is a process known as osseointegration. This is when your jaw bone forms around the tooth root, giving it the support it needs. If you don’t give the bone time to form around the roots of your teeth and  just go straight into your next pair, your teeth will become loose and your risk their falling out.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Infection back

I had a tooth infection and got some antibiotics from a doctor friend.  I felt better for a while and thought the infection was gone. However, I think the infection is back and I feel worse than before.  Do I just need a stronger antibiotic?

Andy G. – Utah


You’ve made a common error. Antibiotics alone will not solve the problem of a tooth infection. When you get a tooth infection, it is inside a confined space. While antibiotics will help the defenses of those areas with a bloodstream, the tooth does not receive any of the benefit, so while the antibiotics may make you feel better for a while, it will not kill the infection.

Instead, a dentist needs to get in there and remove the infected pulp.  I would call your dentist as quickly as possible, becuase this infection has been there for quite some time and will be worse than it was before.  If you neglect caring for this, it will get significantly worse.  Bear in mind your jaw is close to other parts of your body, including your brain.  Eventually, if left untreated, the infection will spread and become life threatening.

If you don’t have a dentist, call an emergency dentist and tell him or her the situation.  Don’t waste any more time on this.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.