Tag Archives: invisible braces

Do I Need Porcelain Veneers, Teeth Whitening AND Invisalign?

I am a bit confused. I thought that porcelain veneers could make teeth look straight and white. When I went to see my dentist about getting a smile makeover with porcelain veneers, he said I would need to get my teeth whitened first, next Invisalign, THEN I can get porcelain veneers. I really don’t understand why three procedures. The only thing crooked on my teeth is a slight overlap of my front teeth. I truly thought the porcelain veneers would take care of that. Do I need all three procedures?


Dear Samantha,

Invisalign aligner

No, you should not need all three procedures. Two makes sense. The third does not. Which two you get will depend on your goals. If you are wanting your teeth to simply be whiter and straighter, then you would save a LOT of money by having teeth whitening and Invisalign. In fact, you could do both of these procedures at the same time. This is because the Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays.

If, however, you were wanting to change the shape or size of your teeth, then your best option is to get teeth whitening and porcelain veneers. You may be wondering why both? Most people’s smile is eight to ten teeth wide. If you cannot get that many porcelain veneers, you will want to whiten your teeth before getting the porcelain veneers so that the teeth can blend together more naturally. Most people do not place veneers on their bottom teeth unless they feel the need to change their appearance. In most cases, the will just whiten the bottom arch. You will not need the Invisalign in this case because a skilled cosmetic dentist can make those front teeth look perfectly straight.

So why is your dentist suggesting all three? The most logical reason is that he or she is not skilled enough to make the teeth look straight. If you want porcelain veneers, you will want to have an expert cosmetic dentist to do the procedure. If you decide to do Invisalign and teeth whitening, just about any dentist who does Invisalign can do both procedures.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Can Invisalign Work With Missing Teeth

I never got to have braces when I was younger. Since then, I lost a couple of teeth. I am too embarrassed to smile. I have a job and they recently hinted that they want to promote me. However, because it is an upfront position, I would need to get my smile fixed up. The job description does include a professional appearance. I was thinking I should straighten them because I have some crooked teeth, too. Do you know if Invisalign would work with missing teeth? Do I have to replace the teeth or can the gaps just be closed?


Dear Amanda,

Invisalign aligner

Congratulations on your possible promotion. It is obvious they value your work. Invisalign can work with missing teeth. Depending on which teeth are missing, you may or may not need to replace them. One thing to be aware of is that different dentists have varying degrees of confidence when it comes to cases such as yours. I would feel better if you got about three opinions from different Invisalign dentists so you have a bigger picture in your mind.

If you do need to replace your teeth, I suggest you replace them with dental implants. They are more expensive, but they are the most like having natural tooth structure. More importantly, they’re the only solution that will protect you from bone loss in the area, which will impact your smile.

As you are trying to get the most professional appearance possible, using Invisalign will also allow you to whiten your teeth and straighten them at the same time for a fraction of the cost. This is because the aligners will double as teeth whitening trays. All you’ll need to purchase from your dentist to whiten your teeth is the professional strength gel. You won’t need the custom-fitted trays because you can use the aligners.

Best of luck on your promotion!
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Fixing Beaver Teeth

I have really large front teeth that tend to make me look a bit like a beaver. I am trying to think of a way to improve the look of my smile but can’t think of anything that won’t be very unpleasant. I could get braces, but I don’t want a bunch of metal in my mouth at my age. Plus, though I am no orthodontist, I am guessing that because of the size of my teeth there might not be room to move them in, which might require removing some back teeth. That is something else I am not too keen on.  Is there an option that I have not considered?


Dear Sammie,

Invisalign aligner

I am glad you wrote. Yes, there is another option for you. First, if your dentist has some cosmetic skills, he or she could trim the sides of the teeth enough for them to be moved into a more esthetically pleasing, aligned position.  This has to be done with diamond burrs and diamond strips.

You would not have to move them with braces. Instead, you could use Invisalign. These are a type of invisible braces that use clear aligners to adjust the position of your teeth. No one will even know that you are wearing orthodontics, even at a conversational distance.

If your teeth require a great deal of trimming, enough to where the dentin is exposed, then you will need to have porcelain veneers placed in order to cover the dentin.

All of these procedures require training, so don’t pressure your dentist into any of them. If he or she is unfamiliar on how to do this don’t push them into it. You won’t like the results. Instead, find a cosmetic dentist with the training to do the trimming and, if necessary, the porcelain veneers.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.


Ways to Straighten a Crooked Tooth

I have two crooked teeth and a couple of small gaps. I went to my dentist to discuss braces. I heard there are clear braces these days. My dentist is suggesting porcelain veneers because my teeth are yellow and these can straighten my teeth and make them whiter. I am a bit concerned on how expensive porcelain veneers are. Are there better options?


Dear Enid,

Invisalign aligner

Let’s start with the porcelain veneers. They can make your teeth look straight, but they will not actually straighten your teeth. These are more useful if you are looking for a complete smile makeover, but not a great use of your money if you are just wanting to straighten and whiten your teeth.

In all honesty, there is a much less expensive option for you. If you get Invisalign, which use clear aligners. These can both straighten and whiten your teeth simultaneously. The aligners can double as teeth whitening trays so all you will need is to get some professional strength gel from your dentist.

This will straighten and whiten your teeth at a fraction of the cost of porcelain veneers.

Of course, if there are other things that you would like to change about your teeth, such as their shape or size, then porcelain veneers will be a great option. Just make certain that you go to an expert cosmetic dentist to have the work done. Otherwise, you could end up with a smile that is less attractive than your natural smile.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Forman and Thimmesch.

The End of Smile Direct Club

Hi, I am really hoping you can help me. I was a patient with smile direct club. This month, they closed their business and I am only halfway through my treatments. I don’t have everything I need. There are a few other companies that do mail order braces. Do you know if they will finish off my treatment? I’m having trouble getting my information from Smile Direct so I don’t know how to continue. I paid for all of this upfront too and I’m not hearing anything about getting my money back. I’m in tears and don’t know what to do.


Dear Kaycie,

Smile Direct Club Closed

I am sorry this happened to you. For those who are unaware about this situation. SmileDirectClub was a mail order service that was trying to be a cheaper version of Invisalign. The problem was, when patients are not under the care of a dentist a lot of things can go wrong. A LOT. And they did.

However, most potential patients were not aware of the problems because in order to get a refund, SmileDirectClub required them to sign a non-disclosure agreement which forbade them from posting anything negative about the company. In June of this year, a court in the District of Columbia ordered them to stop doing that. The truth about their problems came flooding out. They filed for bankruptcy and when they couldn’t get a buyer just closed their doors.

I am going to be honest with you that you will likely have a hard time getting your money back. You can file as one of their creditors, but it is a long line.

I’m honestly not going to recommend any of the other mail order companies because they will have the same problems as SmileDirect. The one possible exception to this would be Candid because they incorporate care with a dentist into their program. That is a bit safer.

The safest option for you is to go to an Invisalign dentist and explain your situation. They can continue your treatment and may be willing to work with you on payments because of the tough spot you are in.

Again, I’m sorry this happened to you.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.


Lumineers or Orthodontics?

My nephew is graduating and I promised to get him orthodontics as a gift. His parents are struggling and I know his teeth bother him. However, his dentist told him that he could get his teeth fixed much faster with Lumineers. I looked into it and they are a LOT more expensive. Would these really be a better option for him than straightening his teeth?


Dear Angie,

Invisalign aligner

I am glad you wrote before moving forward. If the only thing his teeth need is to be straightened, than orthodontics are the way to go. To do Lumineers simply to straighten teeth would be a bit of an overtreatment, and an expensive one at that as you have noticed.

At his age, instead of traditional metal braces, I would suggest you look into Invisalign. This would allow him to straighten his teeth without anyone even knowing because it uses clear aligners.

If there are other things wrong with his teeth, like their shape or size, and you are willing to invest in a total smile makeover, than porcelain veneers would be the way to go.

That being said, I would not recommend the Lumineers brand. This particular brand is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. Additionally, their lab, which they force dentists to use, is not known to produce beautiful results.

Instead, I would look for a dentist who is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They are the most skilled cosmetic dentists in the country and can give your nephew a stunning smile.

I hope this helps you with your decision.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Retainer After Invisalign Treatment

I am on my last pair of aligners for Invisalign. An opportunity I cannot pass up has been offered to me, but it will require me moving in the next week to another state. As you can imagine, I have a LOT to take care of between now and then. Fortunately, my new company is paying for my move and a temporary home until I find something. However, I still have to figure out what to do about my Invisalign. I don’t know if I will need to find another Invisalign dentist when I move or not. My dentist mentioned that I will need to wear a retainer after my treatment is done. I don’t know if that is like a regular retainer or if Invisalign does something different. Can you give me some guidance here?


Dear Belinda,

Invisalign aligner


Congratulations on the new job! It sounds like you have exciting things ahead of you. If you were in the middle of your Invisalign treatment, I would say that you would need to find another Invisalign certified dentist to continue your treatment.

You are on your last pair of aligners, so unless there have been some complicating factors  that you have not mentioned, then I see no need for you to have to find another Invisalign dentist.

Retainers are something just about any dentist can do. Plus, your current dentist is ethically obligated to send them all of your diagnostics and treatment records, including his notes.

Using Your Invisalign Aligner as a Retainer

You may not even need to do that, though. It sounds like you are going to be very busy so I want you to focus on getting your new life and home set up and not have to squeeze getting fit for a retainer in for that. You can actually use your final aligners as your retainer. Here is how:

  1. Start by wearing them all the time for a month.
  2. Then wear them only at night for one to two months.
  3. Try every other night, testing for movement.

Here is how you test for movement:

If you find it a bit more challenging to put the aligner in after you went to the next stage, that means that the teeth shifted some. Go back to the previous stage for another month or two and then test it again.

4. If every other night works, do that for a couple of months.
5. Try every 3 nights. After each new stage, test for movement.
6. Go to once per week.
7. Try not wearing them at all.

Keep your aligners around even after this for two reasons. First, you can periodically check for shifting of your teeth and use them as needed. Second, the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. If your dentist offers teeth whitening, they can provide you with the whitening gel and you can wear them without having to have custom trays made, which will save you money.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Will Invisalign Stop My Headaches

I have been dealing with headaches for years. At times, they can be rather intense and make it difficult to function. I had one the other day while at lunch with a friend of mine. She told me that she used to have headaches all the time until she had her teeth straightened with Invisalign. She didn’t get them for that reason. She just wanted to straighten her teeth, but noticed that her headaches stopped when the treatment was done. Is it possible that if I get Invisalign that it could solve my headache problem?


Dear Marina,

Invisalign aligner

If your headaches are due to the misalignment of your teeth then, yes, getting your teeth into alignment could get rid of your headaches. Invisalign is a great way to do that.

When your bite is out of alignment it can cause headaches, jaw pain, and even lead to TMJ disorder if it doesn’t get repaired.

However, headaches can also be from medical conditions, so I would see your doctor even if your teeth are in need of realignment. They should run some tests just to eliminate some important possibilities.

If you do decide the problem is your bite, then you’ll find Invisalign to be a much better option than traditional metal braces. They are  much more comfortable, invisible even at a conversational distance, and can straighten your teeth in half the time.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.


Am I Too Old for Invisalign?

I have never had a straight smile. When I was little, my parents could not afford dental care, let alone braces. In adulthood, I had one tragedy after another, which also kept me from getting braces. Now, I am 57. I know it sounds vain, but I am in a situation where I can finally do something about this. I know the teenagers are mostly using Invisalign to straighten their teeth. Am I too old for that way of straightening my teeth? I was hoping to do it without a mouth full of metal.


Dear Althea,

Invisalign aligner

First, let me say there is absolutely no vanity in wanting straight teeth no matter what your age. Not only is it just taking the best care of your teeth that you can, but when your teeth are not straight, it can contribute to jaw pain and even migraine headaches.  That means that straightening your teeth is also taking care of your health.

Second, you are definitely not too old to have Invisalign. While you may know about it from teenagers, it was actually made first and foremost for adults. Invisalign Teen didn’t come into play until several years later.

I personally know of an 80 something year old woman who used Invisalign and was quite pleased with it! You’ve got quite a few years to catch up with her. In fact, you’re practically a pup!

I’ll let you in on a little secret too. If you were also interested in whitening your teeth, you could do it simultaneously with your Invisalign treatment. The aligners you would use for your orthodontic treatment can double as teeth whitening trays. Then, your dentist would only need to provide you with the whitening gel.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Will Invisalign Work for Crooked Teeth?

I was hoping to get Invisalign to fix my crooked teeth. They have bothered me my entire life. My dentist referred me to an orthodontist. However, the orthodontist said that Invisalign is not intended to fix crooked teeth. His suggestion is that I go with traditional braces. I’m 47 years old and will feel ridiculous with a mouth full of metal. Is there another option for me?


Dear Kelly,

Invisalign aligner


Not intended to fix crooked teeth?? What in the world does he think they were designed for? My suspicion, in this case, is that the orthodontist you went to see is not trained in Invisalign. All of his training is with traditional braces, therefore that is what he is going to recommend.

My recommendation, however, is that you get a second opinion. Look for a dentist in your area that does Invisalign. It does not have to be an orthodontist and see what they think of your case.

The procedure has advanced quite a bit over the years. While, originally, it only worked on ideal cases, now it is also effective with the complicated cases as well.

You’ll find it has a high patient satisfaction rate and can straighten your teeth in about half the time as the metal braces.

Additionally, there is a hidden benefit. The clear aligners used to straighten your teeth can also double as teeth whitening trays. This means, if you wish, your dentist can provide you with teeth whitening gel to wear in the trays, enabling you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time.

By the time your procedure is over, it will be like having a mini smile makeover with a straight, white smile you can be proud to share with the world around you.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.