Invisalign braces

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Invisalign braces

Post by Thevillianinbrown » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:34 pm

Hello, fellow Bogleheads,

My dad is thinking about getting Invisalign braces. Before he takes the dive, I wanted to do some research for him. If you have gotten or plan on getting some, please share your experience or the questions you asked before you decided for or against Invisalign braces. I'm trying to compile a list of questions he can ask his dentist before he makes his final decision.


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Re: Invisalign braces

Post by PalmQueen » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:13 pm

I'd suggest your dad consult an orthodontist rather than his dentist for Invisalign.
There's an art to getting it right and orthodontists have years of specialized training in the field.
Cost seems to be the same but results and attention to detail friends and family have experienced has been better when done by an orthodontist.

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Re: Invisalign braces

Post by csm » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:19 am

Agree with the orthodontist - find one with experience with Invisaligns as well as other options in order to compare what would be best.

Ask how long the treatment will take, cost (available discounts for full payment up front vs. over time), expectations of results, whether or not he is a good candidate.

I had Invisaligns and can highly recommend. I wore traditional braces as a teen but it was a poor job (it was done as cheaply as possible without addressing some of the underlying issues of my 'bite' and wisdom teeth and one impacted tooth that had never come in). My retainers never fit properly so I didn't wear them and after years, my teeth went crooked again.

At age 40, I got Invisaligns. The orthodontist was thorough and mentioned multiple options, including one that would require surgery to realign my jaw (if I wanted a 100% proper alignment with straight teeth). He also told me that if I just wanted cosmetically straight teeth, the Invisaligns would be fine. So that's the way I went, both for cost as well as convenience and "pain threshold."

The orthodontist should take an impression of the teeth as part of the consultation and then (at a subsequent visit) show your father a kind of time-lapse animation of how the teeth will move and what they will look like if he proceeds. At this point, they will know how many 'trays' are necessary, with each one being worn for about two weeks, so they can accurately predict the length of time of the treatment. No money should be required to change hands at this point, for the consultation or impressions / photos or simulation of results.

Only once he decides to go forward and signs off on the treatment after he has a complete picture of cost, time required and expected results should he pay any money.

I am thrilled I got them and the results were accurate with the simulation. Once finished, I got retainers for top and bottom which I wore every night for probably ten years and I still (nearly 20 years after completing treatment) wear the retainers at night, about every other night (I've been able to replace the original retainer for a fresh set).

Oh, and they truly are invisible. No one knew I had them unless I announced it, and then they were surprised and very impressed. I felt like I had a very slight lisp when wearing them, but they could not be seen. You must wear them 22 hours a day - only removing for meals. But I had no problem complying with the requirements and would do it again in a heartbeat. And that is from someone who cannot stand going to the dentist, even for teeth cleaning, and I have a very strong gag reflex (toughest part of the entire process for me was the impressions).

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Re: Invisalign braces

Post by Unicorn1 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:05 am

I had braces in my teens, but stopped wearing the retainers a few years later. Over a couple of decades, my teeth had shifted to the point where Invisaligns made sense. I started in Mar18 and finished up in Oct18, about 6 months in all. My case difficulty was "moderate".

Some thoughts below:
1. Definitely go with the orthodontist (as opposed to dentist), and go with Invisalign, not the knockoffs like SmileDirect. Dentists and knockoffs are fine if your case goes smoothly, but if any refinements are needed, things get complicated quickly.
2. Do they offer Acceledent, or a similar product? This is the reason my treatment was 6 months instead of 1 year. Standard practice with Invisalign used to be tray changes every 2 weeks. Now, most orthodontists opt to change trays every week. With Acceledent, I changed trays every 4 days.
3. Ask yourself if you can commit to wearing them 20+ hours a day. The more you wear them, the faster your teeth move. I wore mine on average 21 hrs a day and used Acceledent every single day. Some people are noncompliant and end up taking years to complete.
4. Get at least 2 quotes. The first place I went to said my case would take 2.5 years and that I would need wire retainers on top and bottom teeth for life. Super high pressure atmosphere, seemed more about the sale than the patient. The second place said 6-12 months with no permanent retainers. They were a bit more expensive but I felt comfortable and had confidence they knew what they were doing. As with everything in life, opinions on your case will vary among different providers.
5. Does the quoted price include all visits and services during treatment? What if adjustments/refinements are needed? What if a new scan (or 2 or 3) is taken midstream? What about the cost of retainers after treatment completion? What type of retainers do they offer? Wire retainers? Viveras? FYI, here in NC, I was quoted approx. 7K for everything from each provider.
6. Am I a good candidate for Invisalign? Should I instead consider braces? Is there any issue such as excessively short tooth roots or otherwise that I should be aware of that may impact my treatment plan?
7. I would go to the Invisalign website and find providers with the most experience in your area. Generally speaking, the more experienced providers will have seen a wider array of cases and will have better abilities to handle the subtleties of most cases.

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Re: Invisalign braces

Post by lthenderson » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:24 am

My wife finished her invisalign treatment and is getting a tweak done and then will move onto the retainer phase. Like the person above, she thought she had a slight lisp while wearing them but I didn't think it was noticeable and thus far, nobody else has even noticed, including her mother. She was very religious about wearing them all day long and goes into for a consultation/checkup once a month to make sure progress is going as desired by the orthodontist. Overall it has been a pleasant process for her.

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Re: Invisalign braces

Post by oldcomputerguy » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:02 am

This topic has run its course and has been locked (medical advice). See Medical Issues:
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
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