Only Works for a Short Time - Coeur D Alene, ID

My teeth were so 'off' that I kept biting my...

My teeth were so 'off' that I kept biting my inside lips and I also couldn't close my mouth while relaxed because a tooth jutted out. I was embarrassed and in pain. I decided to get invisalign and accomplished getting straight teeth. A year after getting straight teeth, the last plastic trays (that are meant to be used at night) started breaking apart and eventually were no longer wearable. I called my dentist for a new pair and they told me that they dont keep the records - nor does the company, InVisalign. I would have to make an appointment so they could take imprints again. I had moved out-of-state and really didn't have the money to pay a new dentist for imprints. My teeth have now shifted back. I thought Invisalign would keep records of imprints and I also thought that my teeth would stay in place better.

3 Comments

I'm so sorry to hear that your teeth have shifted back. :( Unfortunately retainers after your first set usually aren't included in the cost of treatment, and wearing those retainers is the only way to guarantee the teeth stay in place. I can imagine how disappointing this must have been for you after having gone through the entire treatment. :-/

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Megan, doesn't a health care provider have an obligation to explain this to a patient? Sure, we're told we will require retainers, but we assume that if we need retainers our provider will have a record of what we need, or that the retainers would be far more durable. Maven_designs' story makes me fear for what is ahead of me once my own treatment is done.

I'm not really sure what actual obligations they have to explain things. Most choose to thoroughly explain treatments so that the patient has realistic expectations and doesn't get to a point in treatment where something unexpected comes up (like this) and gets upset. In the long run that is a much easier way to run a practice, and makes for much better relationships between the patients and the provider.

As for having records saved to make retainers, that isn't customary in orthodontics. I can totally understand how it would just seem logical and easy to do, but what often times happens is that patients don't come back to get a set of replacement retainers until their teeth have already started to shift some, so making a retainer off of an old model won't fit them. If the movement is extremely minimal the retainer could act as an active device & move the teeth back, but there are so many variables with that, and its pretty rare that the patient returns in time for that to happen. Then you run into how in the world would all of those models be stored. Inevitably the more that needs to be stored, the more cost for the treatment. So, though I can definitely understand why you are bummed about your situation, in the big picture its the most efficient way to do things.

If you are concerned about what is ahead, I would encourage you to discuss that with your dentist or orthodontist. Some people receive "permanent" retainers, which are a little wire glued to the back of their teeth. For some people this is a great choice, but like everything else it has its pros and cons (ie pro - you won't lose it, con - you have to try to floss around it). The best advice I can give you is wear your retainers exactly as you are told. If they wear out or you lose them, get back in ASAP to get replacements. Don't wait until things start to shift, because then your only option to correct it is to go back into treatment, even if its just a brief Express case.

Hope that helps some.

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I chose this rating because I think after spending $5000 and taking 18 months of adjustments to my teeth, the aftercare should be more thought-out and convenient for the customer.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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