Tag Archives: Salem Invisalign

Invisalign as a Retainer?

I am about to finish with my Invisalign treatment. It’s been great and I’ve loved seeing the progress of my teeth. My dentist said I’m going to need to wear a retainer for a time. I’m kind of bummed that after all this time with the invisible treatment I’m going to have to switch to a metal bar. Could I just wear my last pair of aligners as a retainer?

Lana B.

Dear Lana,

Pretty brunette with a beautiful smile
Invisalign can give you a gorgeous smile

I’m so glad you’ve loved your Invisalign experience. They have quite a high patient satisfaction rate. Aren’t you glad we live in the time period we do when we no longer have to wear those uncomfortable metal braces?

Unfortunately, your aligners are designed to be temporary. If you wore them for the length of time you’d need to wear a retainer, it would not only wear through with holes, but would get kind of gross and nasty.

However, I have some good news for you. You won’t have to wear “ye olde metal bar” for your retainer if you don’t want to. Just like braces, retainers have had their own advancements as well.

Options is Retainers

  • Lingual Retainers

While these are metal retainers, they’re placed behind your teeth on the tongue side. No one will be able to see them so you’ll get the invisibility you want.

  • Clear Retainers

You can find two types of these. The first of these are small and cover about half of the tooth, made out of similar material to your aligners, but made for more long-term use. The second covers the whole mouth and can be decorated with a logo from your favorite team or other favorites.

What you’ll need to do is talk to your dentist handling your Invisalign case and discuss these newer options. That way you can get the treatment you need in a way you’re comfortable.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba. Check out his beautiful smile guarantee.

Dentist Fleecing Me Over Tooth Gap

I told my dentist I was finally ready to close my tooth gap. My dentist has been after me to do it all year. But, I assumed we’d do braces to close it. That’s one of the things which took me so long. I wasn’t too excited about that idea. But, I’ve finally decided that I’d rather have some temporary embarrassment instead of permanent embarrassment. But, when I told him, he suggested something called Lumineers. He explained it to me and it seems like a huge overtreatment and expense for a tooth gap. Should I just go to an orthodontist or is this the new standard?

Kelly A.

Dear Kelly,

A woman putting in her Invisalign aligners in two stacked images

I am glad you wrote before going through with this. It sounds to me like your dentist is an inexperienced cosmetic dentist trying to gain some. He’s using your tooth gap as an excuse to practice. Lumineers are a brand of porcelain veneers often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place.

Even if he weren’t trying to gain experience, porcelain veneers are not the standard treatment for a tooth gap, unless the patient wanted a total smile makeover. Now, if you wanted to completely change your smile then that would be fine. But, that’s not what you’re after. You simply want to close your gap. I have great news for you in that regard. There are two fantastic options for you to close that gap which not only are much less expensive than Lumineers, but you won’t have to wear any metal braces.

Invisalign for a Tooth Gap

There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to orthodontics these days. Invisalign uses clear aligners to straighten your teeth. They’re much more comfortable than traditional braces and often work in half the time.

This will allow you to straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. There are no restrictions on what food you can eat. Plus, because they’re removable, you’ll brush and floss normally without the challenges that come from a mouth full of metal wires and brackets.

Dental Bonding for a Tooth Gap

Depending on the size of the gap you’re talking about, a good cosmetic dentist (not necessarily your family dentist) can close the gap using a composite resin. He or she can shape it to blend in perfectly with your natural tooth structure. This is also a great solution for minor chips on your teeth.

The only thing to be aware of with bonding is that once it’s on the color can’t be changed, so if you plan on ever whitening your teeth do it before the bonding is done.

I’d do either of those two procedures before Lumineers.

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

Need Invisalign to Save My Marriage

Help me! I totally blew it at Christmas, apparently. I thought I was listening and being attentive. She’s always complaining about how we have the worst vacuum ever. So, I spent more money than I thought you should on a vacuum. Pro tip: That’s not a good Christmas gift. I wasn’t aware that things you have to have anyway to keep the house clean doesn’t count. She’s been mad at me since Christmas morning. In my defense, I have noticed she is vacuuming more, even if she’s glaring at me while doing it. I’m determined to make it up to her on Valentine’s Day. She also always talks about wanting a smile makeover. So, I thought I’d get her a gift certificate for Invisalign and teeth whitening. I went to see her dentist at lunch today to order it (see I’m actually a month ahead of the game), but he said no. She has to be there for an exam to know the cost. How can I surprise her like that? Will all dentists feel that way?

Dennis (the gift menace)

Dear Dennis,

A woman putting in her Invisalign aligners in two stacked images

I love how much you’re trying. You’re absolutely listening, so she can’t fault you for that. I think you’ll be able to get her that mini smile makeover you’re hoping to. Before we do that I want to make sure you know a distinction. When your wife says smile makeover, she could be referring to Invisalign and teeth whitening. Many people get beautiful smile makeovers from these two products.

Be aware, though, most people are referring to getting a smile makeover with porcelain veneers. Either way, I’d make sure you do some digging to see which she means as you’re trying to make something up to her she was unhappy about.

What’s the Smile Makeover Difference between Invisalign and Porcelain Veneers

With Invisalign, her teeth will be gently and precisely shifted to a correct position wearing a series of aligners. The image at the top of this post shows a woman placing an Invisalign aligner on her teeth.

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrumentWith porcelain veneers, her teeth can be made to look straight even when they’re not using thin wafers of porcelain an expert cosmetic dentist designs. You can see an image of a single porcelain veneer directly above. These can also change the shape, size, and color of her teeth. This is the smile makeover most celebrities get when they’re going for that “Hollywood Smile.”

Can You Pre-purchase Invisalign Ahead of Time?

My suggestion, if you want to get an Invisalign Gift Certificate is to talk to the dentist again asking what the minimum cost would be. If he knows your wife’s teeth at all, he can probably give a semi-educated guess. Then purchase a gift certificate for that amount. Let him know after her exam and treatment plan is designed, you’ll make up any cost difference.

If it turns out porcelain veneers is what she was after, the dentist you choose to do this is the most important decision you’ll make in this procedure. You really want her to go to a dentist who’s reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Those are the dentists which can give her a stunning smile. Be aware, this procedure is much more pricey than Invisalign. But, you get way more for your buck at the same time. The aacd.com website can help you locate one near your area.

This blog is brought to you by American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Accredited Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Is It Really Necessary to See a Dentist Every Two Weeks for Invisalign?

I’m wanting to update my smile, but the site mentioned I’d have to come in every two weeks. I live in a very remote area. It takes me over three hours to get to the nearest dentist. I can’t imagine making that trip every two weeks. What’s the purpose of going so often?

Maleiki K.

Dear Maleiki,

Salem MA Invisalign

How great that you’re getting to update your smile. You’ll find that Invisalign has a very high patient satisfaction rate. There is an important purpose for those visits, but given your unique situation, you may see if your dentist would be willing to work with you.

Generally, they want to see you twice a month in order to make sure there are no problems with your treatment and the health of your gums is staying on track. They also give you your next pair of aligners. However, because your drive is so far, they may give you two pairs of aligners at a time so you only have to come once a month. You don’t want to wait more than that, because if a problem does develop such as gum disease or root absorption, the quicker the dentist catches it the better.

If you don’t catch those issues early enough it could derail your treatment. Left unchecked, you could even lose teeth.

Teeth Whitening and Invisalign

Given the limitations on your accessibility to a dentist, if you’ve ever considered getting your teeth whitened in your smile makeover, I’d talk to your dentist about doing it simultaneously with your Invisalign treatment.

It’s possible for your aligners to double as teeth whitening trays. Not only will this keep you from having to do another set of visits to the dentist, but it will also save you money on teeth whitening aligners. It’s a win-win for you.

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

Can I Disinfect My Invisalign in the Dishwasher?

I am rather OCD and really struggle with germs. I wash my whole house from top to bottom with bleach every month. I constantly wash my hands. I’m telling you this so you get an idea of how much germs bother me. I’ve been trying to not wig out about wearing the same aligners in my mouth for two weeks straight. I’m brushing my teeth and the aligners several times a day, but I’m thinking once a week they may need a deep disinfectant. Can I run them through the dishwasher? I think the heat will help kill any germs.

Phoebe A.

Dear Phoebe,

Invisalign Aligners

I understand you’re concerned about germs. I appreciate you explaining in detail what you do to help me get a full picture of your concern. I’m going to give you a way to disinfect your aligners, but am going to warn you off putting them in the dishwasher. That same heat you were thinking will disinfect the aligners will actually do more damage than good. The heat will warp them. Plus, the detergent is almost always abrasive which will scratch up the Invisalign aligners causing them to pick up stains. When the aligners get warped out of shape it will completely throw off your treatment.

I know you’re bothered by them being in your mouth. First, I want to make sure you know that your saliva has specific minerals in it to fight bacteria. That’s why patients with dry mouth are more prone to cavities. They don’t have as many bacteria fighting minerals in their mouth. But, there are other safe things you can do.

It’s good that you’re regularly brushing after meals. Be careful you’re not brushing too hard or using an abrasive toothpaste. You don’t want to scratch up your aligners while you clean them.

As far as disinfecting goes, vinegar is a natural disinfectant. You can soak them for 30 minutes about once a week full strength. You’ll want to rinse them off well afterward so you don’t have that bitter taste. If you want to do it more than once per week, you don’t want to do it full-strength. Instead, do a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water.

Did you know your Invisalign aligners could also double as teeth whitening trays? That’s another handy way to have some disinfectant on your teeth. You’ll have the whitening gel to both disinfect and give you a stunning white smile all at the same time.

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

Orthly App Versus Invisalign

I recently read about an app called Orthly.  It’s a lot cheaper than Invisalign. In fact, I can’t afford Invisalign, but I can this app. Is it safe?

Benjamin H.

Benjamin,

This app hasn’t been available long. It could be a wonderful product, but there are a few things which concern me. The first is that it is developed by students who, like many people including yourself, couldn’t afford Invisalign. That in itself isn’t so bad, but they admit themselves they have no knowledge of dentistry.

They evaluated how Invisalign works and came up with what they felt was an affordable solution. Unfortunately, one of the ways it saves so much money is by keeping dental professionals out of the treatment plan, except for a few “check-ups” by photo to see how your teeth are coming along.

Here’s my concern with those check-ups. How can an orthodontist measure and track things such as mobility, root absorption, periodontal disease, and oral hygiene through a photo? The answer is they can’t. Unfortunately, any of those issues can mean serious problems for your teeth. They can even lead to you losing your teeth.

The jury is still out on Orthy. In your place, I’d talk to your dentist. Let him or her know your financial concern. It’s likely they can work out a payment plan of some type for you which will work with your budget.

Straightening your teeth can do a lot more than give you confidence in your smile. It can help with things like jaw pain and migraines if they’re being caused by your bite.

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

 

Feel Stupid Asking My Dentist About Invisalign

I want to repair my smile, but I a little embarrassed to ask my dentist about it. I have a couple of gums that are longer than the others. I wondered if Invisalign would fix it, but when I asked the hygienist about it, she laughed at me like that was the dumbest idea ever.  Now I feel pretty stupid. I thought I’d ask you instead. Is it a dumb idea? I liked the idea of fixing my teeth without needing metal all over my teeth.

Adrianna N. – Colorado

Adrianna,

You should never feel stupid talking to your dentist about anything. The reaction of the hygienist was inappropriate, to say the least. While she is right that Invisalign won’t fix your gums, she should have explained why.

Invisalign, like any other type of orthodontics (including traditional metal braces). only fixes your bite.  The gums can be repaired, but it will require something called a gingivectomy. This will remove the extra gum tissue from your teeth. It’s a simple, quick procedure which is done in just one office visit.

After that’s done, if you’re still wanting to do something like straighten your teeth, then Invisalign will be a good option. If you’re wanting a more dramatic cosmetic change than just straighten your teeth, then I suggest you inquire about porcelain veneers. These can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth.

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

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

Vicki,

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.

Invisalign as a Mouthguard

What are the possibilities I can use my Invisalign aligners as a mouthguard? I just got Invisalign. I’m really excited about it because I have really bad teeth. I am soooo glad I’m getting them fixed. But, I’m on the wrestling team. I’ve been taking the aligners out to use my mouthguard. But, I’ve heard taking them out slows the treatment down. Can I use  my aligners as a mouthguard?

Aidan T. – Montana

Aidan,

It’s great that you’re trying to be so responsible with your treatment. And, yes, if you don’t wear your Invisalign aligners for the prescribed amount of time, then it can hinder your treatment. But it sounds to me like you’re wearing them properly.

Unfortunately, your aligners will not  serve as a mouthguard. They’re not designed to absorb shock that way sport’s guards do.  You could end up severely damaging your teeth that way.

Continue taking out the aligner out during wrestling. Just be sure you put them back in as soon as you’re done. Also, make sure they’re safe in a case during your matches.

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

 

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?

M.

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.