Category Archives: Invisalign

Can I Switch Dentists During Invisalign Treatment?

I am in the middle of my Invisalign treatment. I do love my Invisalign treatment. It is comfortable and I am can see the results. However, the dentist I am using is intolerable. He’s rude and always talks about controversial issues. He’s angry all the time. Plus, he’s got bad breath. I could live with the latter, though it isn’t pleasant. I just don’t want to spend the rest of this time dreading my appointments because of all his rants. It’s like getting Invisalign from Stalin. Is it possible to switch Invisalign dentists during treatment? He isn’t my normal dentist. I love my regular dentist and have checkups with him on schedule, but he doesn’t offer any orthodontics. I had a Groupon for this guy. but it has been too difficult.

Help.

Laura

Dear Laura,

Invisalign Aligner

I am sorry you have had such a horrible experience. I was surprised to hear you had a Groupon for Invisalign. My guess is this dentist has a hard time keeping patients so this was a way to draw new ones in.

Your happiness with your Invisalign itself doesn’t surprise me, though. It has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of any dental treatment. The good news is you can definitely switch dentists in the middle of your treatment. Additionally, your dentist is under an ethical obligation to provide your new Invisalign dentist with all your diagnostics and treatment notes.

The only downside may be that because you did this through Groupon with Dr. Stalin, you may have to pay a little more with the second dentist who may not offer this same price. From what you have described, it will be worth it though to be rid of this dentist, though.

A Bonus Benefit with Invisalign

There is a way you can get a little bonus treat, however. I doubt your current Invisalign dentist mentioned it. Because the Invisalign aligners are custom-fit to correct your bite into proper alignment, they can also double as teeth whitening trays.

This means you can just get the professional-strength teeth whitening gel from your dentist without the expense of having to have bleaching trays made. Between that and Invisalign, it is like getting a mini smile makeover at a fraction of the cost.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

She Needs to Leave This “Cosmetic” Dentist

I went to see a dentist who advertises as a cosmetic dentist. I mostly wanted them whiter and brighter. I also have a slightly crooked front tooth, but it really isn’t that crooked, certainly not enough to pay for braces. I wanted to get some porcelain veneers on my upper arch. But, the cosmetic dentist I saw wants me to do Invisalign first and then get the porcelain veneers. If the tooth is only a little crooked, is that really necessary?

Madeline

Dear Madeline,

Invisalign Aligner

I want you to find a different dentist to work on your smile makeover. While I am sure he calls himself a cosmetic dentist, there are a couple of things that bother me here. You should be aware that cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty. Any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist regardless of the amount training they have invested in.

I have a strong feeling your dentist doesn’t have much training. Under normal circumstances, you would either need porcelain veneers OR orthodontics, not both. Porcelain veneers, done skillfully, can make crooked teeth look straight. He obviously does not know how to do this, so he is setting up the ideal situation for himself. This does not inspire confidence in me with his abilities.

Doing smile makeovers are not taught in dental school. In order to learn how to do them well, a dentist would have to invest in significant post-doctoral training.

If you want a smile makeover done well. You want a dentist with the highest skills.

However, there is something else for you to consider. If the only thing wrong with your teeth is you need them whiter and brighter, plus there is one crooked tooth you could save a significant amount of money by instead doing Invisalign with tooth whitening. In fact, the Invisalign aligners can double as the teeth whitening trays thereby saving you even more money. Unless there is something else you want to change about your smile, that is what I would recommend.

However, if you decide you still want to have porcelain veneers done, perhaps because you want the fastest solution, then I would look for a dentist with more expertise. In fact, I would only go to a dentist who is AACD accredited. These are the best cosmetic dentists because they have the proven skills and artistry.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Dentist Insisting I Get Invisalign

I feel horrible about my teeth and now my dentist has made me feel even worse about both that and my finances. I have two crowns on my front teeth. They’re 16 years old so they are in definite need of replacing. When I went to see my dentist about that, he insisted I have Invisalign done first before he would replace the crowns. The front teeth do stick out a little, not a ton. I”m ashamed to say I don’t have the money to do both procedures. If I do the Invisalign, I won’t be able to replace the crowns, but my dentist won’t replace them without straightening my teeth first. What do I do?

Miriam

Dear Miriam,

Clear Invisalgin Aligner
Invisalign’s aligners are invisible, even at a conversational distance.

I’m very sorry your dentist has placed you in this position. It is unfair of him to insist on perfect cases or nothing. I am going to tell you now that this isn’t the best dentist for you. I’d like you to look for another one. In your case, I’d like you to look for an expert cosmetic dentist.

Your crowns can be replaced with or without you doing Invisalign. In fact, you can get your crowns replaced and then do Invisalign later if you’d like. It’s completely up to you. It is obvious to anyone with a brain the teeth can have dental crowns, even with their slight overbite, because you already have them.

What Type of Dentist Should you Get

crowned front teeth without all-porcelain crowns and then with

You are replacing your front teeth which is one of the first things people notice about you. You’ll want a dentist who understands both the technical aspects of your procedure but also has an artistic eye. This way you may get a beautiful smile. Plus, you can be assured a dentist with the right skills and training will know to only place all-porcelain crowns on your front teeth.

The image above, on the left side, shows teeth with metal-based crowns on the front teeth. The right side shows that same patient who had their dental crowns replaced with all-porcelain crowns. You can see what a beautiful smile a great cosmetic dentist is able to create.

I’d look for an AACD accredited dentist in your area. If you can’t find one. Try mynewsmile.com. Any dentist they recommend is excellent.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Best Way to Fix My Nephews Teeth

My nephew wants to be an actor but his teeth are pretty crooked, at least in my opinion. He is about to graduate from high school. I want to get his teeth repaired for him as his graduation present so he can pursue his dream of being an actor. I spoke to one dentist who suggested Lumineers, but I’m a little concerned about this option. It doesn’t have the best reviews. Plus, from what I hear they will only last about 15 years. Should I look for something more permanent?

Aunt Mary

Dear Aunt Mary,

Clear Invisalgin Aligner
Invisalign’s aligners are invisible, even at a conversational distance.

If only everyone had an aunt like you! What a great way to help your nephew. I’m actually very glad you wrote because I want to make sure your money is well spent and not wasted on such a kind gift.

With how you described your concerns with your nephew’s smile, you have two options. Let’s start with the one your dentist recommended— Lumineers.

Option One: Porcelain Veneers

Lumineers is one brand of porcelain veneers and you’re wise to be concerned about the reviews you’ve read. It is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. The company claims it doesn’t require any tooth preparation (which is what they say makes it easy). In most cases, that makes the teeth look bulky.

A secondary problem is the company which makes Lumineers requires dentists to use their lab, which isn’t known for its beautiful work. Because of that, most expert cosmetic dentists prefer other brands of porcelain veneers.

If you decide to go the route of porcelain veneers, make sure you take your nephew to an AACD accredited dentist. These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. They’ll know which brand will work best for your nephew’s smile goals and will create a gorgeous smile for him.

As far as the longevity of porcelain veneers. A lot of that depends on how well cared for they are. If they are not taken care of, they will only last around five years. If they are cared for diligently, they can last 20+ years.

However, you have a second option, which costs significantly less.

Option Two: Invisalign and Teeth Whitening

If all he really needs is orthodontics, I would suggest you go this route. With Invisalign, he can straighten his teeth without anyone knowing in half the time of traditional braces. Instead of metal wires and brackets, these use clear aligners. A sophisticated software program plans out his treatment then produces the aligners which he’ll switch out every two weeks.

Additionally, if his teeth need whitening, the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays which will allow him to straighten and whiten his teeth at the same time.

I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Finishing Invisalign without a Dentist

I have moved and have the last three sets of aligners left for my Invisalign. If my treatment has gone very smoothly, can I just continue the treatment on my own or do I need to find another Invisalign dentist in order to finish?

Mary

Dear Mary,

Clear Invisalgin Aligner

There are times when an Invisalign case is more complicated. For instance, when some teeth need to be shaved to make room or when buttons are necessary in order to grip the aligners and help them shift. You said your case wasn’t complicated. So, in all honesty, you could probably finish off your treatment without needing another dentist if you have the aligners.

If you don’t, you can ask your original dentist to send them to you or he can transfer all your information to another dentist. He is ethically obligated to send all treatment and diagnostic information to your new caregiver.

In all honesty, because you haven’t had any issues and it doesn’t seem like there have been additional treatment processes necessary, you can probably get along just fine without another dentist. That will give you time to settle in and find a new caregiver you are pleased with.

Retainers after Invisalign

In almost every case, after orthodontic treatment, there is a need for a retainer. This helps train the teeth to stay in place and doesn’t allow them to scoot now that they are free. The mynewsmile.com website has a great post about wearing retainers. Because your last pair of aligners have your teeth in their correct position, these can double as retainers, which means you won’t have to pay for a traditional retainer. I have a suggested method for doing this.

  • Month One: Wear them all the time.
  • Month Two: Wear them only at night
  • Month Three: Wear them every other night
  • Month Three Test: If it is harder to put your “retainer” in, that means your teeth have moved and you’ll need to go back to every night for a while. If they’re fine you can move on
  • Month Four: You can try using them once a week, then not at all. Just keep your aligners available to periodically check them.

You should know those aligners can also double as teeth whitening trays, so when you’re ready to whiten your teeth, just ask your dentist for some gel.

Best of luck on your new location!
This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Invisalign or Braces?

I want to get my smile beautiful once and for all. Invisalign appeals to me, but I didn’t know if there was an advantage to braces. Are they better? If not, why would anyone use them when Invisalign is available?

Marcy

Dear Marcy,

Clear Invisalgin Aligner

You raise a good question. If Invisalign is more comfortable and invisible why would anyone use any other orthodontic option?

Here are three reasons some people might choose traditional braces over Invisalign.

  • Cost: Braces can, depending on the particular case, be less expensive than Invisalign
  • Complications: It used to be that Invisalign only worked on certain ideal cases. That is no longer the case. It can now handle most cases. However, there are still a few highly complex cases which would require traditional braces.
  • Compliance: With traditional braces, the orthodontics are bonded directly onto your teeth. Invisalign is removable therefore it requires patient compliance. If you don’t keep the aligners in, the treatment won’t work. Some parents don’t feel their child is responsible enough to not lose them.

If none of those issues are a problem for you, then Invisalign would be the better choice.

Getting a Beautiful Smile Without Orthodontics

If you’re wanting a total smile makeover, you may feel happier with porcelain veneers. These can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth. They can even make crooked teeth appear straight. In fact, they are the go-to procedure for celebrities wanting a stunning smile.

There’s one precaution with this. With Invisalign, any dentist can do the procedure. When it comes to porcelain veneers it takes an expert cosmetic dentist. Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. A dentist has to invest in post-doctoral training in order to do them well.

It takes both technical training and an artistic eye to do them well. If you want a gorgeous smile, look for a dentist who has reached accreditation. These are the best cosmetic dentists in the country and any one of them can give you a smile you’re proud to share with the world.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Flipper to Help teeth look straight

I don’t want braces. They take forever, look ridiculous, and from what I’ve heard from every middle-schooler, feel horrible. I have three teeth which stick out and are crooked. I wonder if a dental flipper can make them look straight. What do you think?

Ben

Dear Ben,

A woman putting in her Invisalign aligners in two stacked images
Invisalign: The Modern Orthodontic Solution

A dental flipper isn’t the solution you think it will be. It’s actually designed to be a temporary replacement for missing teeth and uses wires to clasp onto adjacent teeth.

There is something called snap-on smile which can snap over your teeth to make them look straight. They’re acceptable looking but not stunning. Because they snap over your teeth, some people have found that they look a bit bulky. If your teeth are sticking out they might look even more bulky.

Invisalign: A Great Alternative to Braces

You don’t have to get braces anymore. These days we have alternatives. Invisalign uses clear aligners to straighten your teeth. They’re completely invisible even at a conversational distance. This means you don’t have to worry about unsightly metal wires and brackets.

Because of that it is also comfortable. Plus, it works in about half the time of traditional braces. You can have naturally straight teeth sooner than you realize.

A Surprise Benefit to Invisalign

Many people don’t realize that the aligners Invisalign used to straighten your teeth can also double as teeth whitening trays. This means you can simultaneously whiten and straighten your teeth at the same time.

It’s like getting a mini smile makeover. You’ll feel confident and look years longer.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Dingy Invisalign Solution

My sister’s Invisalign is still sparkling clean and looks completely invisible. Mines getting dingy. What am I doing worng?

Cath

Dear Cath,

Clear Invisalgin Aligner
Keeping Invisalign Sparkling is Simple

I’m glad you wrote. No one wants a dingy smile. Plus, your Invisalign is designed to be unseen. I’m going to give you four tips which will help you keep them sparkling clean.

Never Use Toothpaste on Invisialign

Toothpaste, especially whitening toothpastes, are too abrasive for your Invisalign aligners. Using that will cause tiny scratches on your aligners. Those scratches will begin to pick up stains, which could by the cause of your dinginess.

When you received your first aligners, your dentist should have provided you with an Invisalign cleaning kit. That’s what you’ll use to clean them. If your dentist neglected that, call your office and request one. In the meantime, you can give them a brush using a very soft toothbrush with a baking soda and water mixture. This is gentle enough to not damage them.

No Smoking or Vaping with your Invisalign In

While most patients know not to eat with their aligners in, some don’t realize that smoking or vaping can rapidly stain them. If you happen to have one of these habits and you can’t just quit, make sure you take your aligners out before indulging.

Brush and Floss Your Teeth

What is left on your teeth after a meal, will soak into your aligners. It is important you brush and floss after every meal before placing your Invisalign back in your mouth. If you don’t, that traps bacteria in there making you a strong candidate for decay.

DIY Disinfectant

It wouldn’t hurt to give them a good soak every once in a while. You don’t have to do it regularly, but seeing as they’re having some issues, you want to make sure you get rid of any lurking bacteria at least this once.

An easy DIY solution for this is peroxide and warm water. Use a 50/50 mixture to loosen the stains. Then rinse them out. If you’re still worried about bacteria, you can do the same thing with vinegar and water, just don’t leave them in the mixture more than about 10-15 minutes because vinegar is acidic. Also, make sure you’re using white vinegar.

Give these a try and enjoy getting those beautiful, straight teeth.
This blog is brought to you by Salem Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Invisalign Issues

Invisalign has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates in dental care. It’s such an improvement on the old way of dealing with orthodontics. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you need to be aware of and prepared to deal with if one of them become an issue for you. It’s always better to be informed.

Clear Invisalgin Aligner

Solutions to Invisalign Issues

Invisalign Issue 1: Pain

While the clear aligners you get are much more comfortable than their metal cousins found with traditional braces, you are still moving teeth. There’s bound to be some uncomfortableness as your teeth are shifting into their new position.

With Invisalign, this discomfort hits its peak about 24 hours into putting on the next pair of aligners. Rarely, does it last more than a day or two. After the initial shifting is over, the next two weeks go by like a breeze.

That doesn’t mean you want to brush the pain aside. I would recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever on schedule starting an hour before you start your new aligners. Being proactive lowers the amount of discomfort you’ll have to deal with.

Invisalign Issue 2: Excess Saliva

This is another issue that passes very quickly. Our bodies are amazing. When your mouth senses there’s something there which isn’t a normal part of your anatomy, it tries to digest it. One of the ways it does that is by producing excess saliva.

Fortunately, this goes away quite soon. Practice speaking with them when you’re alone (preferably without spitting) and that should speed up the demise of this issue.

Invisalign Issue 3: Death Breath

man with bad breath

Think about it. You eat food. Bits of bacteria get between your teeth and in your gums. If you don’t remove them pretty quickly with brushing and flossing, you’re going to have problems. If you also pin them down and let them stew in some clear plastic aligners, you’re going to have death breath.

It’s is very important you brush and floss after each meal before you place back in your aligners. This will keep your breath sweet smelling. It will also prevent you from developing decay and needing to get fillings on your soon to be straight teeth.

Invisalign Issue 4: Kiss Killer

There are two specific things people bring up when it comes to kissing and Invisalign. One is the breath issue. That one is easily solved by following our instructions above. The second one, however, is a bit different. Some people have complained that it feels bulky when they’re kissing.

If this becomes an issue for you, there are two potential solutions. The first is to take them out. You get two hours a day where you don’t have to wear your aligners. It’s up to you how you use those two hours. A second option is practice, practice, practice. Kiss enough where it’s easy to work around.

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

Do It Yourself Invisalign

I keep seeing the advertisements for at-home Invisalign. You only have to submit photos, etc. Do they work?

Cecil

Dear Cecil,

A woman putting in her Invisalign aligners in two stacked images

There are several of these type of companies at the moment. None of them are actually aligned with Invisalign, which is a specific brand. They’re just sort of leeching off the name recognition to get people to click and learn about them.

Some of them work and some of them are outright dangerous. However, all of them have one thing in common which gives me pause. You rarely, if ever, see a dentist. Yes, you submit photos. Yes, a dentist looks at those photos. What they’re not saying is there are things which even the best dentists can’t discern from a photograph, such as gum disease.

While there are some cases, depending on their severity, which are obvious even in a picture. Most of the time it requires x-rays and some probing of the gums. Plus, molars are very difficult to see in pictures. Your oral health needs to be checked during treatment. Gum disease can derail your treatment process as well as your teeth. If gum disease progresses untreated you can lose bone mass and teeth.

Benefits of Seeing a Dentist for Invisalign

Seeing a dentist and getting the real deal when it comes to your Invisalign treatment means you get a jump start on fixing any issues which develop, such as the gum disease listed above or decay and tooth pain.

Other times teeth have to be shaved in order to make room for treatment with crowded teeth. If those cases, you will be sent to a dentist even with these “do it yourself” treatments. But, you’ll likely be working with a dentist who is not invested in your case in any way. It actually takes some cosmetic dentistry skill to do this in a way which still allows the teeth to look natural.

Additionally, there are other cosmetic procedures you can do simultaneously when you work with a dentist. Your Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays, essentially giving you a mini smile makeover between the straighter teeth and a whiter smile.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.