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Invisalign Doesn't Always Work. Now I Need Metal Braces at 48.

At 46 years old I was bequeathed some money and...

At 46 years old I was bequeathed some money and decided to spend some on getting my teeth improved (something I'd always wanted but couldn't previously afford). Invisalign was offered to me as an alternative to what I'd asked for.

After the initial consultation, impressions, x-rays, etc., my provider (not an orthodontist, but a dentist) said that Invisalign thought the case was too complex but that he had talked them round. I suppose this should have made me cautious. Invisalign seems like a brilliant system, and they tell you it's invisible once in. And compared to traditional braces, of course, it is.

I started in April '09 and I was delighted with it both from a comfort and visibility point of view up until I went for a check up about 2 months in and was told I needed a mid-course correction (another £300). Then, they weren't so invisible because I had 10 (yes, TEN) buttons on my teeth, four of them on the front two teeth top and bottom. Trust me, it's pretty visible now.

One year on, and six months into that mid-course correction (which took a LONG time to finalise and kept me in a 'holding' position for months) I've now been told that we have to abandon Invisalign and go for traditional braces. Great. Metal braces at 48. And I can't NOT do that, as my teeth look worse now than they did when I started, with gaps where the teeth have been filed down, and where a tooth has been extracted.

If your teeth need significant rotations as mine did, DON'T, DON'T, DON'T go for Invisalign. It's been a huge waste of money and TIME for me, and I very much regret starting it.

7 Comments

You guys should know that most dentists and orthodontists do not want you to know about inside braces or lingual braces, which is a very rare technique from Asia and Europe and is more advanced and difficult to learn than Invisalign. Invisalign is taught in hit and run weekend courses and then general dentists think they know it all. If you were not presented all your options, then you have reasonable cause to sue the practitioner who either knowingly withheld all your options of referring you, or is undertrained and therefore incompetent. My wife had braces three times before it was fixed properly, and the third time was with inside braces.
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Looking at what I wrote originally, above, and the posts from 'starting over' and other posts on this site, an important theme seems to emerge which is GO TO AN ORTHODONTIST not a dentist. I've just been to see an orthodontist now, hoping that with him I could continue with Invisalign and achieve the result I want. He said that if I had gone to him originally, he would never have suggested Invisalign as a course of treatment because it is unsuccessful at making the kind of corrections my teeth need (rotations). I have at least been offered complete payment of all subsequent orthodontist fees by the cosmetic dentist I went to originally, so I can't complain there. It's frustrating, though, to have lost a year. And I'm anxious about wearing traditional braces. I do, however, have complete confidence in the orthodontist who's going to be carrying out the work, and excited again (as I was at the beginning of the Invisalign treatment) at the thought of finally having straight teeth somewhere down the road! I think it's apalling that Invisalign can be offered in this country (UK) by DENTISTS, when the aligners are capable of making such significant changes (and often for the worse) to a person's teeth. The dentist has no control whatsoever over the outcome; even an orthodontist can only make SUGGESTIONS concerning the production of the aligners. The final cut, and the spurious outcome, is decided in Costa Rica, I believe, where the aligners are actually made. Invisalign with a cosmetic dentist? I advise avoid like the plague.
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My teeth were nicley aligned when I started Invisalign. My concern was purely a bite issue, in that I had an overjet of the front six teeth. This was not very noticeable to others, but I did want those teeth to be pushed slightly back into my mouth. The dentist told me I was an extremely simple case because my teeth didn't have far to move. It turned out that large gaps were filed between all of my front teeth in order for them to move back into my mouth. While the gaps did close, my bite shifted in a very negative way during treatment. My back molars extruded, and became longer than all of the other teeth. As a result, none of my teeth closed when I bit down except the very last molar on each side. The dentist tried to fix it without success. I myself sought a second opinion with an orthodontist. The second treatment was 10 months (longer than the original treatment) and I still can't fully close my top and bottom teeth on the left side of my mouth. I learned that bite issues do require very experienced Invisalign providers. If I had to do it again, I would only consider an orthodontist as they have expertise in moving teeth.
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Not sufficiently experienced in orthodontistry to be aware of how complications might affect the outcome.

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