Invisalign Versus Lingual Braces?

I’m a 40 something professional. I had my teeth straightened in my younger years, but they have shifted over the years. I’d like to tidy things back up.  I have a very visible job that requires video conferencing as well as press conferences, so I’ll need to look professional too. That means NO mouthful of metal. I’m torn between lingual and Invisalign. Do you have anything that will tip me in a specific direction?


Dear M.,

If I were in your place, I’d likely go with Invisalign. Lingual braces are better for patients who worry about losing their aligners or forgetting to change them. Another reason for using lingual braces is if your case doesn’t work for Invisalign. I don’t think that will be your problem. Your case sounds like it will be a breeze.

Some adults have trouble speaking with Invisalign and lingual braces. If that becomes an issue for you, and it’s not often an issue, you may like the versatility of Invisalign. You could remove them for a press conference and then pop them back in when you’re done.

Another benefit of the removable issue is the ease of oral hygiene. When someone has stationary braces, it’s often hard to get all the area of your teeth clean, which can lead to soft spots and decay.

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

Why Would An Emergency Dentist Remove Most of A Child’s Teeth?

I read this horrific story about a little girl who had to have 16 teeth pulled by an emergency dentist. Is this standard procedure to simply pull out a child’s teeth?

Julie W. – Nevada


No, that isn’t standard procedure. Most dentists work to save teeth, especially in children because they want their appointments to have as little trauma to them as possible, even in the case of emergency dental care.

I think I’m familiar with the case you’re referring to. It’s an unusual one. If I’m correct, you’re writing about the little girl in Great Britain who had severe decay.

In her case, she should have received help much sooner than she did, which could have saved her teeth. It took her hours to eat because it was so painful.  That alone was enough of a heads up that something was going on with her teeth.

Truthfully, it is important to take your children to the dentist early on. You want their first visits to be without having to repair damage. Let them experience the fun of having their teeth cleaned.  Do this regularly, and you won’t have to worry about situations like the one you read about the little English girl.

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

Are Numb Fingers Related to TMJ?

If I have known TMJ problems, could my numb fingers be related or is that a separate issue altogether?

Mark A.


Yes, numb finger can be an issue with TMJ. The muscles in your jaw connect with other muscles further down in your shoulders, arms, and hands. Plus the misalignment can cause it to impinge on a nerve, which will also contribute to tingling or numbness.

This is not a diagnosis. I am just saying it CAN be related; not that it is. My recommendation is that you follow up with a TMJ dentist. If you’re not already getting treatment, I would make that an priority. It will only get worse. Look on Dr. Burba’s TMJ page to know what kind of training you’ll want a dentist to have who’ s going to treat you.

There are other issues that can cause numbness as well, some as simple as needing a chiropracter. But, because you know TMJ is an issue for you, that would be my starting place.

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

Totally Depressed I’m Going to Have to Get Dentures

I am so depressed. I’m losing my teeth. It’s my own fault and I’m owning up to that. The problem is I was hoping to get dental implants. The sticker price for those puppies were just too expensive.  Now I’m just 50 years old and having to get dentures. I wish there was something in between.

Darby N. – Philadelphia


It’s always hard when you can’t afford something you know is better for you than what you can afford.  I have a suggestion for you, that will make your wish come true. I know that dental implants are out of your reach at this time.

There is something called snap-on dentures. It takes your denture and anchors it with as few as two implants.

This can help with some of the things people hate the most about dentures, such as the moving around and even slipping out, as well as the bone loss.

This will also enable you to save up and eventually get more implants placed.

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