Can I Still Use My Aligners If I Put Them in the Dryer?

I feel like a complete idiot. I put my Invisalign aligners in my pocket just while I ate. I spilled something on the pants that held my aligners. Off they came and I popped them in the washer. It wasn’t until they were in the dryer (for no more than 15 minutes) when I’d realized the horrible mistake I’d made. I dashed to my laundry room and extricated the aligners. They still fit but are a little more snug than I remember them being. Did they shrink? Is it safe to wear them?

Vicki Q. – Seattle, Washington


You’re not an idiot. We’ve all placed things in the dryer we didn’t mean to.  However, it’s not safe for you to keep wearing them. Invisalign is meant to gradually move your teeth into position. The dryer will have distorted them. That will result in them moving your teeth into quite the wrong position.

If you were close to the time to your new set of aligners (and you already have them), you may just place them on and continue with your treatment.

However, if you were early on with this set, then you’ll need to put on the pair before them and have your dentist make a new set of aligners for you.

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

Left Without Help By An Emergency Dentist

It took a lot for me to go to the dentist even though it was an emergency. I knew I had a cavity on one tooth, but had been putting off getting it dealt with because dentists terrify me. The pain became so great I had to do something. I was especially worried because the pain seemed to have migrated onto the next tooth as well and I was worried it was spreading. I told them this and said I wanted to get all of it dealt with at one appointment because I don’t think I’d have the courage to go back again. They agreed. The dentist banged at the tooth that was bothering me. He took x-rays. He said there was a cavity that need to be filled. I reminded him about the other tooth. He acted surprised and looked at it again. Then said, “Oh yeah, there’s a problem there too.” Then he told me to schedule an appointment for follow up treatment and walked out the door. I was stunned. They had agreed to help me that day. I told the receptionist that as I checked out, but she said it’s the end of the day and there’s nothing more they can do. I practically had a panic attack getting there and not I’m left with nothing accomplished except what I knew before I got there. I’m still in a tremendous amount of pain and now out several hundred dollars. Is there any way to safely deal with this myself?  Please help me.

Natalie N. – Maryland


I’m am so sorry that this was your experience, especially after it took so much courage for you to go in. At the very least, the emergency dentist should have gotten you out of pain.  I want you to understand that not all dentists are this callous. I suspect he was rushing. You mentioned it was the end of the day. I’m a little disconcerted that he missed the original cavity. That hints that he was rushing.

Unfortunately, there is no home remedy that we’re aware of for dealing with cavities. They still have to be dug out and filled.

I’d like you to see another dentist in your area. Before you panic, I want to suggest something else. I want you to go to a sedation dentist or a cater to cowards dentist. They’re used to working with patients that have dental anxiety. They’ll also give you a pain-free experience.

To make sure you don’t repeat the experience you had, it will be helpful to also check their reviews. That way you’re more likely to  get a dentist with a positive chairside manner.

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

Is TMJ Really a Big Deal?

My sister keeps saying she has TMJ like it’s a whole big thing. Is it really a big deal or is she making a mountain out of a mole hill?

Joe L. – Louisiana


TMJ can be quite serious. Not only can it cause severe migraines, but it can also cause your jaw to lock up so you can’t open and close your mouth anymore.

It’s caused by a disorder of the jaw joint. A dentist with TMJ training can help her to know how to repair the joint disorder.

The best treatment can sometimes be difficult to figure out, so be patient with your sister if she’s struggling with headaches and muscle pain. It’s always better to start with the least invasive treatment first.

Though we don’t know all the causes of TMJ, we do know that sometimes behaviors, such as grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw can lead to TMJ.

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

Tired of My Dentures Being a Party Trick

Every time my family gets together someone asks for me to do tricks with my dentures. That’s not my only issue. It’s the fact that I can do tricks with them. They move all the time. All. The. Time. I’m sick of it.  I can’t afford implants. What options do I have?

Alana B. – West Virginia


Yes, you do have an option, but I hope you won’t get angry if I say I wouldn’t mind seeing some of those party tricks.

However, even if you’re not interested in doing them there’s a way to keep them in all the time.  It’s an affordable way to get dental implants.

Snap-on dentures can anchor your dentures with as few as two dental implants. It’s not like having a complete set of implants. But, you not only won’t be able to do party tricks; the dentures will always stay in your mouth.

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