Wish I'd Done Braces

This was such a mistake! I've just finished...

This was such a mistake! I've just finished seven months of Invisalign, and my teeth and bite are nowhere near where they are supposed to be according to the computer projection I was shown when I was sold on the job.

I went through this extremely disruptive procedure (forget all that hype about the trays being invisible...they are awful, as are the "buttons") to correct a painful bite problem, which was causing migraines. My bite has improved, but my migraines intensified markedly during the Invisalign treatment. I have had to resort to numerous medications and acupuncture for relief (very expensive, and the medications have made me ill). Just a couple of weeks ago, my dentist's colleague -- and there is a huge mistake I made...I went to an Invisalign dentist instead of an orthodontist -- dropped the news that the seven months I was quoted was not necessarily the full treatment period. In truth, I will be evaluated at the end and a decision will be made as to whether my teeth need to be "refined" with more trays! I will need to have the "buttons" (these are cement attachments that give the trays something to pull on) removed from my teeth, have impressions made and sent off, wait for trays, come back to have more buttons put on, and wear the blasted trays for more weeks, and weeks, and weeks. Then I will have to wear the retainer for six months -- all the time. I haven't smiled in seven months, and it looks like it will be much longer than that before I can.

I was told none of these little details when this dentist sold me the job. I wasn't even told about the "buttons" (there was some comment that I'd probably need to have some "attachments" but that they were "nothing")! Or how the buttons would scratch up my mouth when I ate. Or how my mouth and tongue would swell up, painfully, until I got used to the irritating effect of the trays. It is horrible to wake up in the morning with a dry and sour mouth full of plastic trays.

I do not recommend this treatment to anyone. If you already have Invisalign and have trouble with rough edges on the trays (per another review here), use the softer side of an emory board (nail file) to smooth them. Soak them briefly in a solution of half Listerine and half water twice a week, and then brush them with a small amount of toothpaste to keep them clean. Besides killing germs, the Listerine will color the gunk on the trays that you can't see, and you can brush it off. Drink loads of water -- the trays make your mouth dry and irritated, which will encourage bacteria. And kiss your social life (and romantic life) goodbye until the trays are gone. They give you bad breath, make you speak oddly, discolor your teeth, and make most people clench their mouths to hide their teeth so that they look unpleasant.

Was this review helpful? 79 others found this helpful

Comments (246)

Sort by

I wish Invisalign would align my midline. I saw my clincheck, and it is and will be off by about 1/4". That is way off !!!
  • Reply
I'd talk to your ortho about it. Mine had years of experience. I would guess you could move your midline, might take longer though.
  • Reply
Invisalign can fix bite problems to a degree. My midline was off, I wore elastic bands for almost a year and my midline was straight after..
  • Reply
I thought that Invisalign is unable to fix bite problems.
  • Reply
Invisalign can fix bite problems to a degree. My midline was off, I wore elastic bands for almost a year and my midline was straight after..
  • Reply
Have you ever had real braces? If you thought invisalign was painful, I highly recommend you never ever try real braces. Because I've had both, and invisalign, however irritating it is, is a piece of cake compared to having a mouthful of metal and having to visit the dentist for an hour every week. Metal braces scratch up your cheek and tongue much more badly than invisalign ever can, and unlike invisalign, you can't take them off to eat, so all kinds of disgusting gunk gets settled in the crevices. Not to mention your smile looks god awful.
  • Reply
i have invisalign & tho I experience my mouth being irritated & cut from the attachments & trays.... i overall had a WONDERFUL experience! If you couldnt handle invisalign then you would have Died with real braces. Oh & lets be realistic...... there is no way the trays could have Literally been invisable! lol sounds like you went into this with the wrong idea which is really no fault of your doctors. Most of your real trouble (headaces & painful bite) existed before you even got invisalign. I clench my teeth but thats from anxiety... I smile so much More with my trays on! They make my smile look bigger & better because i have small teeth. Anyways... I can understand that you had a bad experience, but blame that on not asking enough questions or not enough information being presented to you. Invisalign worked Great for me.
  • Reply
I guarantee you this person is a plant. Most likely someone who works for Invisaline, or works for an Invisaline provider to say he/she had a "wonderful" experience, and "I smile so much More with my trays on!" that's just a bunch of bull if I ever heard it. Especially since they are defending the doctor and bashing the person who is only trying to warn others of the experience they had. Either that or they only had very slight correction that needed to be done and had no upper front attachments. Then and only then would they have had anything easy and tolerable and like the looks on their teeth. Because that is also the only way they could accuse the person of the problem with headaches and painful bite as pre-existing. I think the person would know if it were pre-existing. That's like telling a rape victim "It was your fault". Plus this person must have read through the other posts to see that this is a common problem, not something this person fabricated for sympathy. And to accuse the person of not asking enough question??? Really? It is not normal for someone to go into a dental office and ask their dentist whom they trust has their best interest in mind, a lot of questions when they wouldn't even know what to ask. No, it is the dentists responsibility to disclose all relevant information. I would bet my last dollar that her dentist has had many prior complaints of headaches and many other issues. But dentists believe it is not in their best interest to disclose the possible side affects and problems others have had, because they risk losing the sale. And the reason is greed. Money over Truth plain and simple. One more tell tale sign this post was a plant: If they had a "Wonderful" experience, they would not have searched problems with Invisaline in the first place.
  • Reply
Let me just say that I had Invisalign and I've been really happy with my results. Everyone's experience will be different from person to person and Doctor to Doctor. Prior to making my decision I researched Invisalign extensively, which anyone who's considering such an investment should do. I knew about the buttons and possible discomfort prior to even seeing my Doctor. He also told me about them at my first visit. So here is my personal breakdown of the pros and cons; PROS •Less visible than metal braces •Can take them off to eat, brush, floss, and for major events/parties •not much discomfort changing trays because it's such small changes each time •costs about the same as regular braces CONS •you will most likely need buttons and possibly a lot of them •the buttons scratch your gums when you aren't wearing your trays •the buttons are visible depending on which teeth they're on (case by case basis, I had one on the tooth next to my front tooth. My dentist said they try to avoid the front, but in my case it was necessary) •you will need to floss and brush frequently or you can be prone to cavities since your saliva is trapped under the trays •since they are not permanently attached like metal braces, you need willpower to stick with your Doc's instructions and wear them we long as you're supposed to. • this is true with ALL braces including metal - you will have to wear retainers forever or your teeth will shift back... Overall, I'm very happy with my experience and my results. I've never had metal braces to compare but I chose Invisalign for some of the pros listed above. My teeth were bad, I had a huge snaggle tooth that stuck up and sideways and when I see an old picture of it I'm very grateful that my smile and teeth are now beautiful. I hope this helps somebody. Good luck !
  • Reply
I posted before and after pics....it was difficult to find a before pic since I was self conscious and rarely smiled in pictures
  • Reply
I have invisalign and everything you said has not happened to me. I think it's all in who you go to to get the job done; I went to an orthodontist and I experienced non to a little pressure when I change my trays. The buttons should not be scratching at your gums if so the person who put them on did not shave them down or scrap them correctly.
  • Reply
This may be long, but it is an important read for anyone considering Invisalign. Go into it with your eyes wide open. I just typed in Google "truth about Invisalign" , and wish I had done so long ago before ever starting treatment. This is a "truth" that every potential patient should be advised of prior to accepting Invisalign as their treatment plan. I now see that omitting information about the treatment at the onset seems to be the standard, not the exception. At four different dentists I was not given much more information about the treatment other than the probable length of time that would be needed to correct my teeth. Before getting invisalign, as I mentioned, I went to four different Orthos for consult. Not one of them told me anything about attachments, or that there may need to be refinements, prior to paying them for the treatment. Only then, once I made my decision to go with Invisalign and paid upfront for it, then while being fitted with impressions, the dental assistant, not the dentist, casually mentions that they may attach a few tooth colored attachments, and maybe a refinement at the end if needed. (This was very down-played). Being the type of person that wants to have all the information upfront so I know what to expect, I questioned him on the casual mention of attachments. He said he did not know if I would need any, or how many, only Invisalign makes that decision once the impressions are sent in, but they are tooth colored so you don't really notice them. Then I asked about the refinement statement, why would I need a refinement? He said; You could need a refinement if you don't wear your trays as prescribed for 22 & 1/2 hours a day. You can only take them out for 30 minutes to eat and brush your teeth three times a day. So he made it sound like everything works like an exact science if you follow the wear protocol. Not true… this I learned later, a year later. Then when the first set of trays come in, they are clear and flat, and have no attachment indentationss (I never quite understood what attachments were anyway because I was not shown an example). So they explain that the trays will pull my teeth out, then straighten, then push them back in. So now I go back for my six week appointment to get my next set of trays, and now the attachments are put in. Oh my #$%& - now I find out what they are. They are blobs of resin placed on nearly every tooth, not tooth colored in my case, not uniform looking, but different shaped blobs, some sharp, some oblong, some square, some with two on a tooth, and it looks like you just put in the fake Halloween teeth to scare people. Of course I didn't really get to see them until I got home and removed my trays to eat… boy was I in for a surprise. They are very uncomfortable, cut the inside of my lips (yes, even with the trays on), and are extremely unsightly. The trays are so tight that it is very difficult to get them on and off, I would get bad head aches for the first two days, and talk like I have a spoon in my mouth. It was a nightmare. By the time I am set to go in for my next appointment twelve weeks in, I have every intention to have the dentist remove the attachments feeling there is no way I can go another year with them. So I call a couple weeks in advance to make sure they have enough time scheduled with the dentist to do the removal. They ask what's wrong, and I explain all of the above. However, he tells me that without the attachments the teeth do not straighten. Honestly at that point, I was ready to say forget the whole thing, I would rather stay with my crooked teeth. But unfortunately I couldn't even do that because now after 12 weeks, in addition to my crooked teeth, I now had buck teeth. When they say no one can really see the attachments because they are tooth colored, I told him "they are not my tooth color". So next they advise that I should have Zoom done... more money out of my pocket of course. I also advise them I have a conference coming up to attend where there will be cameras and I may have to speak, so there is no way I can keep these attachments on. So they agree to remove the attachments if I get the Zoom, then return after the conference to have them reattached. But I have to agree to leaving these on for an additional four weeks, then they will remove them and do the zoom. So I fork it out thinking I have to do something because this is hideous. Now I am at the appointment sitting and waiting for the Zoom to be set up and the dentist stops in to see me, and he looks at my teeth and says "oh wow the zoom really whitened your teeth". I hadn't even had it done yet. The truth was; the dental assistant who put the attachments on, did not color match and she put yellow ones on. Now you know why I said they look like fake monster teeth, and the dentist can see why I was having such a problem with them. I can't stress enough the importance of making sure they do a color match, not a ditsy dental assistant's guess-work. She had put a much darker color on and then had the nerve to leave them even though she could see they did not match, but was not going to admit her mistake and redo them. So she just put my trays on and sent me home without ever seeing them at the dentist’s office. At least one I had the new attachments with a proper color match, did blend much better. Oh, and the Zoom... not worth the money, the whitening difference was not that great. and the electrical "zingers" hurt, and lasted for two days, not to mention it was expensive. Now fast forward to six weeks before the end of my treatment... or should I say supposed to be the end of my treatment, and two teeth are still crooked, and another is shorter then the others, but worst of all the teeth did not seem to be pushing back in, I still have buck teeth. So the dental assistant tells me I will probably still have to have a refinement of about ten more trays, but I still have six weeks, so it still may correct its self. “Ten more trays!” That is the last thing I wanted to here when I thought I was finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel where I could talk normal, and eat when ever I wanted. And I had wore these damn things diligently so as not to have to have any refinements. Then when the dental assistant shows me the computer simulation of what they should look like after the last tray, I see that they are able to manipulate the viewing on the computer, and I catch a glimpse of the gap left between the teeth. So I ask her to give me a view looking up, and "Bang!" a clear view showing extreme buck teeth, and this is after the final tray. I freaked out, I said “how did that get approved, that is what someone designed as the final outcome?”... perhaps straight teeth, but super buck teeth also? No way would I have ever authorized that had I seen it. So now the dentist shows up because he hears me upset, and advises me that that can all be fixed with refinement trays, he may just have to shave some of my back teeth to allow them all to fit. After reading about other filing and shaving of teeth, and people going on 3 & 4 years of treatment and still not having perfect teeth, this worries me. Is this all worth straight teeth? The jury is still out. I probably would not have gone through it if I had to do it over, but maybe I will feel different when it is all behind me. I know this was a long read, but I felt I needed to write this all out in hopes that it will educate someone prior to having to go through it all with a surprise around every corner. I really wish there would be full disclosure up front so people can know what they are getting into. People prefer truth, then life is made much easier on all involved. However, it seems that they, most of the Invisalign dentists, prefer to leave the gory details until after they have your money and commitment, so that you won't back out. I felt very deceived in this whole process, and am not happy at all with my dentist. He may be a nice guy, but he is no better than any other shiester out there by with-holding information from his patients until it is too late for them to change their minds. I wish I had done an online search prior, but I trusted the dentists, and I trusted the invisalign provider. After all, they show those commercials, so you believe you will get what they show you. Maybe someone, should sue them for false advertisement, or at least force them to put a disclosure statement on each advertisement commercial, and on handout literature. Class action anyone??
  • Reply
I had separated this into paragraphs, but it compacted it all for some reason.
  • Reply
I completely agree that orthodontists do not disclose all parts of the procedure before you have paid and you are basically stuck. I did few google searches before but I realize I should have done much more... The message is get ALL details and costs upfront, trust but verify every single step of the treatment and the final plan BEFORE agreeing on all costs. I agreed on the treatment before I have seen the final plan... Big mistake. Don't do the same! Get at least one second opinion before starting. This is not current procedure as you get the final plan as well as the first big bill !
  • Reply
I admit that attachments on front teeth can be annoying to look at, but no attachments have ever hurt my mouth. I can't even imagine them hurting--my ortho office always smoothes them out. I've had invisalign a year and my teeth have shifted dramatically for the better. I am on my refinements now and don't mind them because I don't have any attachments in the front anymore. I expected refinements because I was only wearing my aligners 16 hours a day (still dramatic improvement). I plan on wearing the refinements 20+ hours. Overall I am very happy with the process. And tmj migraines were eliminated almost immediately.
  • Reply

I think it is good for correcting small problems like I had but no way anything more. Takes too long

  • Reply
Soo Just got my trays a few days ago. I wouldn't say my Ortho "lied" exactly, but there definitely was very little (if any) mention of attachments during our initial talks. I think that the receptionist probably asked if I wanted to see the trays when I was setting up my appointment, but other than that, nada. You would think that for a product that is advertised as practically invisible, they would think to mention that you were going to have 8 VERY visible, unattractive bumps across your top front teeth. I might as well have gotten ceramic braces, because my Invisalign trays as just as noticeable, if not slightly creepier.

Frankly speaking, I think that people with little to no attachments might very well have a great time with this product. But it's a COMPLETELY different experience when you have more than four. Not only are my "invisible" braces very visible, but they're also nearly impossible to take out. My Ortho said to try out this first set of trays and if I really hated the attachments, he'd take them off and continue treatment without them. But also mentioned that the treatment wouldn't be nearly as effective??

I'm not asking for "magic". I'm asking for the product as it was advertised, which seems very reasonable to me. Honestly, if I'm spending over 5-6K for a product that is advertised as "nearly invisible", I'm not going to be very happy with my very visible bumps in a very visible area. And judging by the reviews of people that have had way more than 4 attachments, the product doesn't even seem to work all that well for people that have to get this many. That's definitely something that they do not tell you up front. And who would think to search for that information?? Really? Dear Google: "Will my invisible braces come with a bunch of ugly attachments that I won't be able to remove for the next 8 months, give or take a few years?"

Honestly, if you're considering Invisalign, feel free to get a consult. See if you're a candidate. But if they send your molds in and your trays come back with a bunch of ugly buttons on your top teeth, take your money to the nearest reputable Ortho and get yourself fixed with some good-old-fashioned brackets because 1) They'll look just as bad 2) They'll probably work better, and 3) You're probably gonna be less likely to get cavities.
  • Reply
I feel the same way about my 14 attachments. I was never told about them ahead of time, and I think they look as noticeable as ceramic braces and are creepy. I was pretty shocked to get them, considering my degree of crookedness wasn't severe in the first place.
  • Reply
I hated my breath and was freaked out about cleanliness until I started gargling with Smart Mouth (gargle, I do not use on my trays) and it is amazing, even in the morning my breath is good. You can get it at Target, a little expensive but well worth it.
  • Reply
I had Invisaligns for 1 1/2 years--thinking that I was almost done--when--I discovered that they had made 2 of my front teeth shorter!! Those teeth never had a problem in the first place! My orthodontist switched me to full braces, which I wish I'd done from the beginning, as the plastics set me back a whole year. The Invisaligns also made me lisp, over-salivate, and I was constantly bothered by their being in my mouth. Now, I am mainly bothered by the turbos put behind my front teeth to keep my uppers and lowers from touching. It's impossible to eat normally. I "mouth" my foods, and can't chew meats, crisp veggies and hard fruits. Need to put up with this for several months, but will eventually get a better result with the braces. Apparently, the Invisaligns aren't as successful with fixing one's bite, which would have driven me crazy! A friend who used Invisligns has a bite that is still off, and he is unable to chew lettuce and the like.
  • Reply
Actually, it was the upper teeth. And, it was a very experienced orthodontist,
so I am perplexed. They seem to not want to talk about it, but to move on with the braces which she states she can do more with.
  • Reply
If you are having some troubles with bad breath and you certainly brush, floss your teeth and use mouthwash after every meal, Then maybe you should consider using Orabrush. The reason you have bad breath is because 90 % of the bacteria in your mouth comes from your tongue. You probably brush your tongue with your toothbrush, but that won't work. Orabrush has ultra-soft, pointed bristles reach deep into your tongue and get rid stinky bacteria. You'll be surprised to see what kind of gunk hide inside your mouth! Here's their website and it's totally free shipping! go to orabrush.com for more info!
  • Reply
Dr Kumar, I wear my aligners religiously in fact, my original prescription of 17 aligners on the lower set worked perfectly. I didn't need any refinement for this. The uppers were not moving properly my dentist agreed with me on this.
  • Reply

I am sorry for all of you as I am sure it must be so disappointing however I'm sure u don't want to hear my success but truly 3 months in and I'm so excited as my teeth r changing rapidly. I would recommend my ortho in a heart beat thanks

  • Reply
maybe it was just your dentist not planning properly; I find that the lower teeth can sometimes be stubborn to move. I am sorry that you did not get on with Invisalign.
  • Reply