Tag Archives: invisible braces

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.

Kaycie


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?

Angie

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?

Belinda

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?

Marina

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.

Althea

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?

Kelly

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.

Will Invisalign Trays Stain My Teeth?

I’ll be using the Invisalign system soon to straighten my teeth. My friend is getting great results with hers, but I have a question: since the trays are worn all day every day for as many hours as possible, will I develop decay or staining from where the trays collect moisture and stuff? I’m trying to keep my teeth as white as possible, and I may want to professionally whiten them once I’m done with treatment. So I really don’t want stains. Is there any danger of this?

Thanks so much,
Jasmine

Hi Jasmine,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

Great question–it sounds like you’ve thought this through. It is exciting to look forward to having a beautifully straight smile.

Invisalign Is A Great Choice

Instead of metal brackets, bands, and wires, Invisalign trays use clear aligners, which is obviously what so many people love about them. They are thin, clear and flexible, and comfortable enough to wear all day and they are invisible even at a conversational distance. Yes, they do have to be worn against the teeth for many hours a day, and even at night.

The good news is that the Invisalign system promotes much less staining than traditional “old fashioned” metal brackets do, which collected plaque around the edges and were more difficult to keep clean. The plastic material that the aligners are formed from does not pick up stains.

That being said, if the trays are not cleaned properly and regularly they can collect plaque, bacteria, and food debris, all of which can then collect stains. If allowed to rest against the teeth for many hours a day, this could transfer the stains to the enamel, or worse, demineralize the enamel and lead to decay. This is especially true if highly-staining foods are regularly eaten without frequent cleansing: foods such as beets, red wines, coffee, black tea, and the like. Use a straw, and rinse right after eating if you do take in these foods.

It Is Simple

You will not have this problem as long as you cultivate the habit of brushing and flossing well each time before placing clean trays into your mouth. Also, be sure to change your aligners as directed, ensuring a fresh start. If you do notice stained, white, or discolored areas on your teeth despite these measures, let your doctor know right away.

You Can Whiten Right Now

I have some more good news for you as well. Your Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This will allow you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time. All you need is some professional strength whitening gel that your dentist can provide for you. Simply wear the gel in your aligners at a time that is convenient for you and you will soon be sporting not just a straight smile, but a white one.

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

Will Snap on Smile Help with Crooked Teeth?

I am an adult with crooked teeth and I am trying to re-enter the workforce. It has been hard to clean my teeth because they are so crooked. I am wondering if the snap on smile I have read about would be able to make my teeth look straight and white so I have a better chance of getting a job? My dentist is suggesting porcelain veneers but that is a bit out of my budget. I have had several interviews for which I am more than qualified for but can’t seem to get the job. I asked a friend what she thinks is holding me back and she suggested my teeth could be a problem. So, would this snap on smile option work for me?

Patricia

Dear Patricia,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

Your friend is probably onto something regarding your teeth having an impact on the way the interviewer perceives you. Our smile is the first thing people notice about us so we want to put our best teeth forward.

While it is possible that Snap-on Smile could make your teeth look straighter, it is very likely that it will also look fake and bulky. This is made of acrylic, which often ends up looking flat and dull. That will not be a natural look. Another issue is you are placing it on top of already crooked teeth. This adds bulk and will make your smile stick out a bit more. The bulk can also affect the way you speak, which can also negatively impact your performance and impression with the interviewer.

Instead of Snap-on Smile, I am going to suggest you do Invisalign. These will straighten your teeth without anyone knowing you have orthodontics on. Instead of the metal wires and brackets you get with traditional braces, Invisalign uses clear aligners that straighten your teeth in about half the time of braces. These aligners are invisible even at a conversation distance. This is done at a fraction of the cost of the porcelain veneers procedure your dentist suggested to you.

You can also ask your dentist to provide you with some professional strength teeth whitening gel. You can wear these in your aligners, which can double as teeth whitening trays, at a time convenient to you. This will give you a mini smile makeover by straightening and whitening your teeth simultaneously. Plus, whiter teeth give you a more youthful appearance which can also help you if you are re-entering the workforce after a period of time away.

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

My Aligners are Curled

I did the stupidest thing and I am too embarrassed to ask my dentist about it. I’ve been wearing Invisalign and really like the treatment. However, I was going to lunch with some old college friends and one of them was someone I was always competing against. I didn’t want to take out my Invisalign in front of her, so I just took them out in the car and popped them in the glove box. I wasn’t thinking about it and we all went out to a movie afterward, then drinks. We carpooled, so by the time I got back to my car the aligners were warped and curled in the back. They fit snuggly. Can I just wear them like this or do I have to call my dentist? I just find it embarrassing.

Laura

Dear Laura,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

Don’t be embarrassed. We’ve all left stuff in the car before that we probably shouldn’t. While very durable, one of the things that can be damaging to Invisalign aligners is prolonged exposure to heat. You do not want to keep wearing the curled aligners. The Invisalign procedure is based on small movements. You do not want drastic movements which will happen if you wear the deformed aligners and then go to the next set.

If you were just starting that pair of aligners, you can wear your previous pair a new set can be made for you. It’s possible you can go to the next set, but before doing that you really need to see your dentist and have him look at the situation. I know you feel embarrassed, but honestly, you do not need to. I promise you, things like this happen all the time and your dentist is not judging you.

Whitening While You Straighten

As you have to see your dentist anyway, I thought I’d fill you in on this hidden benefit to Invisalign. Your aligners can double as teeth whitening trays, allowing you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time. Your dentist can provide you with professional strength teeth whitening gel that you can just wear in your aligners at a time that is convenient to you each day. By the time you are done with your Invisalign treatment, you will have a mini smile makeover with straight, white teeth.

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

Help! I Look Like a Chipmunk!

Can you advise me? I’m looking for a second opinion. My two front teeth are long and stick out a bit from the rest of my teeth. I always feel like my teeth make me look like a chipmunk. My dentist is suggesting I extract them and get dental implants, but I want to make sure there is not another option before I go that route.

Avery

Dear Avery,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

Whatever you do, please do not have your teeth extracted. That is way too drastic a solution. I suspect your dentist said that because he doesn’t have any training or familiarity with cosmetic dentistry options for people in your place.

Bear in mind that I have not examined you. However, I do have some general advice. Though, I’d like you to see an expert cosmetic dentist and get his or her opinion. Look for someone who is AACD accredited.

One thing you can do is trim down the protruding teeth. This can be done with diamond burrs and diamond strips. A dentist skilled in this procedure can file them on the sides and bottom to make them match the remainder of your smile more appropriately.

The next step would be to move the front teeth back into place. You have a couple of options for this. The first is to get a retainer to move them back. The second would be to use Invisalign. That would be my suggestion.

If a lot of the tooth structure has to be removed in the trimming process, you may need porcelain veneers to cover the exposed dentin. The key to all this will be a great cosmetic dentist who looks at your specific case and makes recommendations. However, at least now you know you have good options and don’t have to remove your teeth and replace them with dental implants.

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