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Go to a Different Provider as my Regular Dentist for Invisalign?

  • trfie
  • 10 months ago

My dentist mentioned Invisalign to me before but I did not research it until today. I searched their website and found that my practice with 2 dentists is a "Preferred Provider" whereas there is another practice in my area with 2 dentists that is listed as "Elite Preferred Provider" and also top 1%. Both are also orthodontists and apparently teens are seen in the practice as well (is this good or bad for their ability with adults? is it diffusion of effort or useful practice for adults?). Is it common for persons to see dentists for Invisalign that are NOT their regular dentist, and how have dentists reacted to this? Is there any reason I should not go to the one with more experience? I think my teeth are fairly straightforward (one tooth on the bottom that is posterior to the next but it's not visible from the front, only from the top, and one tooth on top that is slightly crooked) but I'd like the best result and someone who will take the time to answer questions. I also saw numbers from 2011 regarding how to attain the various designations, has this changed since then? 10 cases for Preferred seems quite low. Are prices usually comparable in the same geographic area? Thank you very much!

Comments (3)

I went to a dentist for Invisalign and she didn't know enough about orthodontia to know that they wouldn't work for me due to crowding, overjet and a crossbite. Two years later, my teeth look straight, but I have a posterior open bite and my teeth aren't lined up one over the other. So I have to start over with an orthodontist and spend another two years in real braces. If I'd started with an orthodontist, I'd be done. If you only have mild crowding, it probably won't matter, but I'd see an orthodontist. The price will be the same either way and you'll get a lot more expertise for the money.
It never occurred to me to see a general dentist. I wanted my teeth straightened, so to me that obviously meant going to an orthodontist. I set out seeking traditional braces, but either way, I didn't know general dentists could place Invisalign. Some of them do really great work but I simply had no clue. I do prefer an orthodontist (especially with lots of experience) over a general dentist (especially with less experience), for several reasons, but I think going for a consult with all of them is most important. Ask to see cases they've worked on, particularly those similar to yours. My ortho specializes in Invisalign Teen as well, but I don't think it makes a big difference. Actually, I have Invisalign Teen, like TwoPlusOne did, even though I'm not a teenager. It's working out fine so far. Prices can vary widely, so that's another reason I think you should see all of them.

These are excellent questions, and while I cannot give you advice, I can give you a few answers :).  Firstly, it is extremely common for people to go to an orthodontist for Invisalign, and to go to a dentist for dentistry.  It is likely becoming more common to go to the dentist for Invisalign, though, as more dentists become trained in it.  An orthodontist will be able to gauge your case and give you alternatives to Invisalign if they feel that would be best.  A dentist trained in Invisalign will only be able to offer Invisalign.  

Invisalign Teen is a very slight variation on Invisalign.  Basically, it just adds a colored button on the first molars of each top aligner.  In this way, the doctor can gauge your compliance.  The colored buttons fade the longer you have the trays in your mouth.  You may find that doctors who treat primarily children and teens are less likely to offer information to you, but you may not.  Most of those doctors will just be talking to parents instead, so they're quite used to answering questions.  I was 36 when I got my Invisalign Teen ;).  Some doctors use it exclusively, since compliance is the biggest factor in whether a treatment is successful.

I am not aware that the number of cases for the different designations has changed.  I also don't think that quality of outcomes will ever be taken into account in those designations.

As far as cost, it tends to be a bit cheaper to go with a dentist, but if you check out our Cost Map, you can at least go in forewarned before the doctors give you estimates.  Invisalign is one of the more expensive treatment modalities, but the convenience of being able to care for your teeth without anything in the way tends to make up for it, as you can avoid cavities and other potentially expensive dentistry caused by your orthodontic treatment.  Also, I wouldn't say that prices are that comparable, even in the same area.  I mean, some areas of the country will be more expensive, but you can easily find a difference in price of $2000 in the same geographic area.  In the end, you need to choose a provider you feel comfortable with and confident in, and the best way to find one of those is to do multiple consultations.

Good luck, and I hope you'll keep us updated on your quest via starting a review/story with us!!