Post to Forum

What questions should one ask in an Invisalign consultation?

  • TwoPlusOne (Dental Community Manager)
  • 6 months ago

For those of you who have done consultations already and know what questions you are glad you asked (or wished you had!), I'd love your help in creating a sticky resource for newbies who are at the consultation phase.  I can come up with some questions, but I will forget a bunch of important ones, so I'd rather just get help from the get-go!

Here are some I think are important:

General questions:
  1. Am I a good candidate for Invisalign (why/why not)?
  2. How long will my treatment be?
  3. Will I require attachments?  Elastics?  And if so, where?
  4. Will my case require Interproximal Reduction (IPR)?  If I refuse to have this procedure done, what will my results be?
  5. What are possible dangers/side-effects of IPR?
  6. What if I lose an aligner?  Will I have to pay for replacements?
  7. How long can my treatment run without having to pay extra?
  8. How many refinements are included in this fee?
  9. Are mid-course corrections included in this fee?
  10. What type of retainer is included in the fee?
  11. If this retainer doesn't work for me, will I be able to get a different type of retainer included in the price?
  12. If Invisalign is not working for me, how much would it cost to switch to a different treatment modality?
  13. Is post-treatment whitening included?
  14. How much would post-treatment bonding/equilibration/contouring cost, or would I need to go to a different provider for these services?
Questions about speeding treatment:
  1. Do you offer AcceleDent or Propel, or any other types of orthodontic-acceleration?  Why/why not?
  2. How much extra would this cost?
  3. For AcceleDent, do you sell mouth-pieces if I find a used unit online?

Questions about problems:
  1. If I end up with problems between visits, can I contact you?  How?
  2. Are extra visits scheduled because of problems included in the price?
  3. If my bite opens up and my molars stop touching when I close my mouth, how is this normally dealt with?
  4. What if I'm traveling and can't make it back for an appointment.  Will you send me my trays, for example?

Please let me know if any of these questions don't strike you as useful or appropriate, or just aren't well-stated.  Also, please share questions you find important that I've missed.  Thank you!

Comments (6)

At the initial consultation the orthodontist and his assistant told me the prices for different levels of treatment and explained IPR, attachments, retainers, etc. The doctor gave me an estimate of how long it would take, but the specifics weren't discussed until the treatment plan came back. I did have to reschedule a couple of appointments due to work conflicts, but I just kept wearing the same aligners until I came in for new ones (3 sets at a time). I don't think that I would have been comfortable getting the new ones without my orthodontist checking my progress first. Otherwise my treatment time could have been delayed if I needed a mid-course correction. I guess that I just started out with a positive attitude, and honestly didn't even think to ask questions like what happens if my teeth don't move, my bite opens up, I lose my aligners, etc.
  • Reply
Yeah, it's a good point.  I think that my position here makes me think of all the problems, LOL!  All my questions are based on people's stories on here.  But you kind of have to decide what kind of service you want from your doctor and go by that, and hope that you've picked someone who can handle any challenges that pop up.  I have no idea how to suss that out--which was why I decided to just write something and solicit feedback from the community.

So here's a question for you--if you'd had consultations with let's say three doctors, what would you use to decide?  Price?  Personality? The level of experience of the doctor?  Whether you'll be working with the doctor or assistants?  Coin toss? :D
  • Reply
I think that a few of these questions can be answered on the initial visit (ex. "Am I a good candidate for Invisalign?"), but most can't be until the case is submitted to Invisalign and they come back with a treatment plan. The questions about problems I think are all really strange -- I mean, of course the orthodontist is going to tell you to call if you have problems, and why would expect him/her just to mail you trays if you miss your appointment?
  • Reply
Mine did that for me :).  Some people travel a lot, simetimes last minute.  Those people should consider these types of accommodations while other would have no need at all.

That's a good point about the timing issue, that some things would really be for after you've chosen your doctor!  Do you have some good questions for an initial consultation?
  • Reply
At what age one can does Invisalign? Actually, I want to know about what is Invisalign? Invisalign Rockville
  • Reply
Hi :).  So, the minimum age varies--you have to have shed all of your baby teeth, and your adult teeth have to be in.  The second molars have to be at least partially erupted.  So some people age 12 will qualify, but older teens are more likely.  There is no upper limit on age.  We have Invisaligners in their mid-sixties here on RealSelf.
  • Reply