Get Invisalign Through An Orthodontist, Not A Dentist

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*Treatment results may vary

I had braces as a kid, but as I got through...

I had braces as a kid, but as I got through adulthood, my teeth naturally shifted. My invisalign was in 2 phases: the first had 21 aligners. After that round was done, several teeth still needed shifting. So the dentist took another impression, and I got another 16 aligners. End result: Most of my teeth have straightened. However, 2 are still not in the correct position; both need further extrusion as well as alignment. Neither tooth made much progress at all during the second phase.

My original dentist has left the profession, so others have taken over her practice. All they can do is to offer more aligners. I found myself skeptical as to whether a third phase would actually work, given that essentially nothing happened during the second phase.

I finally decided to have an orthodontist look at my teeth. And to be sure there wasn’t any price-gouging going on, I actually went to three to get an opinion. Invisalign sets up a treatment plan based on how they EXPECT your teeth to move. However, teeth have an annoying habit of not following instructions and don’t always move as expected. All 3 orthodontists said that if you get the treatment through them, they can supervise it and can make little adjustments as you go along. Dentists can’t do that.

That certainly makes sense; I guess I was a fool to believe that a dental professional would never be allowed to provide a service they’re not really qualified to do.

The other problem is that my aligners have managed to irritate my gums and have caused some to recede (this was confirmed via 2 periodontists). So now I have a new dental problem to correct. Yay.

I’m going to be out a total of around $10k to finish the orthodontic work that invisalign failed to do, and to repair the gums that invisalign damaged. Thanks, invisalign!

So after my treatment, here’s my situation:
- I’m out $5,000 (so far).
- My teeth are not fully straightened.
- I will need to get traditional braces now, to finish the job that invisalign could not do. Yeah, that’ll be cheap.
- I have periodontal damage as a direct result of using the aligners, and will have to pay for surgery to correct it.

Let’s compare how things would be, had I taken that $5,000 I spent on invisalign, and instead just flushed it down the toilet:
- I’d be out $5,000.
- My teeth would be slightly more crooked than they are now.
- I’d still have to get braces, the cost of which would be essentially identical to what it’ll be now.
- I’d still have the healthy gums which I had prior to invisalign.
- I’d be able to keep the money that a periodontist will be getting shortly.

Yes, that’s right: the second scenario is actually BETTER.

I think invisalign might work for some people. But do yourself a favor: GO TO AN ORTHODONTIST. Do *NOT* get it through your dentist, no matter what they might promise you.

First, rather than suggesting I go to an orthodontist, the dentist tried offered invisalign themselves. It's apparently legal and "ethical" to do so, but it's very clear they shouldn't be doing this. Dentists do not have the sort of specific training that an orthodontist does. The dentist definitely contributed to the problems I had with the invisalign by not properly supervising the process. Being as I went for regular dental checkups anyway, the dentist should have seen the damage that was being done to my gums; the dentist failed to do this. And finally, when it became apparent that my teeth were not straightening as they were intended to, the dentist should have worked something out to get the situation corrected. I had to do that myself.

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