Invisalign - The worst mistake of my life.
- 2 years ago
Please read this first if you are considering braces and in particular Invisalign because I had a really bad experience and the stuff that I am going to talk about is unlikely to be raised by your orthodontist when he/she explains the risks involved in your treatment. Having braces has serious consequences for the whole of your body not just your teeth. The reason for this is that your teeth affect the position of your lower jaw which in turn affects the way you hold your head up which in turn affects your posture which in turn affects your body mechanics such as walking. It may surprise you but believe it or not your teeth can affect other parts of your body such as your ear canals. If you don't believe me just take a look at the Invisalign contract that you will have to sign before commencing treatment. It lists a myriad of medical conditions that Invisalign won't accept liability for but may in "rare" cases be caused by the treatment.Your body is like a highly tuned sports car. If one part of it is out of kilter with the rest then the whole car under performs and in some cases breaks down. Don't believe for one second that the medical world is anywhere close to possessing comprehensive knowledge or understanding about the human body. There are so many conditions out there that are misunderstood and misdiagnosed by practitioners and the following account is one such example. If you take the time to read up about the relationship between the teeth and the lower jaw you will find that the orthodontic community as a whole has virtually no understanding about it despite it's obvious connection. I challenge any professional out there who reads this to prove me wrong. The point that I am trying to make is that if the orthodontic treatment causes you adverse side-effects don't expect your orthodontist to be able to help you because the entire orthodontic community does not have the expertise to do so. In fact don't expect an admission of fault on their part either even if there is no other plausible explanation for your symptoms because orthodontics is first and foremost a profit making enterprise and secondly a health care service. The only thing that you should realistically expect from your orthodontist is straight teeth.My treatment consisted of 30 aligners. When I reached aligner 27 I decided to return to my original state by wearing the aligners in reverse because I had been suffering from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) which was severely disrupting my sleep and destroying the quality of my life. I was also unable to walk properly and suffered from many other physical ailments. Prior to treatment I was a healthy person who went to the gym and played sports on a regular basis. Now I want to make it clear that I had tinnitus before I commenced the treatment (I developed it after being exposed to loud music) but it was so minor that I had literally forgotten about it because the only time that I could hear it was when I covered both of my ears and even then it was relatively quiet. During my treatment the tinnitus at it's worse was so loud that I had to turn on my fan all night at maximum speed to create white noise to drown out the ringing. This state of affairs lasted several months and I don't need to explain to anyone who has experienced tinnitus how distressing this can be. You may be thinking how the hell can braces cause all of these symptoms and how can I be so sure that the braces really were the cause? Well it's really quite simple because as soon as I reversed the treatment all and i mean all of the symptoms I described above simply disappeared. I also changed up and down the aligners numerous times to be sure that the braces were actually the cause and like clockwork the results were exactly the same every single time. I explained this situation to my orthodontist and also to an ENT specialist. Both had the same response. The braces are not the cause, it's impossible for them to be the cause of your symptoms. We don't know what the cause is but it's definitely not the braces. We acknowledge that the symptoms have got better since reversing the treatment but the braces are nevertheless not the cause. We believe that it is merely a coincidence that your symptoms abated when you reversed the treatment. By the way the ENT specialist went the extra mile and said "tinnitus is not a real thing and you are actually creating it in your mind" at which point I respectfully interjected and said "Yes doctor that is true but you do realise that I am not doing it on purpose". He then appeared to be slightly annoyed for reasons that are still unclear to me and said "You will have to learn to live with it because it is an incurable condition and will probably get worse as you get older and beware of all the so called treatments advertised on the internet because they don't work and are a waste of money." Talk about fostering a positive attitude!Now I started to experience severe problems at about aligner 12 and when I brought it to the attention of my orthodontist his support was ineffectual. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't rude or overbearing. In fact he is a pleasant and courteous man but nevertheless he did not provide me with any meaningful assistance except to order my retainers which he actually didn't do himself.See below for further details. In effect his advice boiled down to lets just wait and see what happens and hope that things get better. I followed his advice and the tinnitus got louder and my physical ailments became worse at which point he said "well lets complete the treatment and within 6 months things should hopefully get better but there is no guarantee." I am sure that this is not going to surprise you when I say that by this point I had completely lost faith in him and decided to take matters into my own hands. It was my idea to reverse the treatment and he actually advised against this and to carry on with the treatment despite the fact that as the treatment progressed my symptoms were becoming worse and by aligner 27 I was severely ill.The main advantage of Invisalign is not that it is invisible. The main advantage of it in my opinion is that it is reversible. However be warned that wearing the aligners all the way back to aligner 1 will not restore your teeth to their original positions because aligner 1 moves your teeth albeit by a very small amount but that small amount may have a significant impact on the rest of your body as it did with me. If you want to return your teeth to their original state you will need to get Invisalign to make "aligner 0". Expect them to initially refuse your request as they did with me and they may also say that it is "impossible" to make aligner 0. However it is completely possible because they hold a digital record of the position of your teeth before treatment commenced. This is because your orthodontist would have sent them an accurate mould of your teeth to their laboratories which they store on their computer systems before the aligners are made. The real reason why they are reluctant to make aligner 0 is because they are afraid that it won't fit which will cost them money. In the end I had to appeal to their business nature and ask them to make a Vivera retainer based on my original teeth impressions and I also had to sign a waiver relinquishing my right to reject the retainers should they not fit. The retainers cost £450 and took over 2 months to arrive. Please note that Invisalign will not talk to the end consumer directly via email or telephone. Put simply Invisalign do not provide any support or advice to the end consumer directly in any capacity. You will need to get your practitioner to deal with them on your behalf which may be problematic if you happen to be in a dispute with your orthodontist..I will leave it at that for now but if you have any questions please ask away. I will be adding more posts shortly but I think that's enough for now.