Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

March 21, 2019

A retainer after Invisalign treatment

Dr. Hall,
I’m just finishing my Invisalign treatment and then I moved away. Do I need to find a new Invisalign dentist, or can I just finish with my aligners and let it be at that?
– Supreet from Ontario

The need for supervision by a dentist during Invisalign treatment can vary. Sometimes the sides of the teeth need to be sanded down a little bit to make room. Sometimes there are little “buttons” that need to be bonded to the teeth to help the aligners grip them and rotate them, and then these “buttons” need to be removed at a later point. Sometimes little things can go wrong and they need to be corrected. But sometimes the dentist just needs to watch.

Especially if you are at the end of your treatment, there is probably no supervision needed at all. Still, there should be a minimal fee for a dentist in your new city to take over and finish your case. You can try calling around and asking what the fee would be for that. Your records would be transferred to the new dentist and your previous dentist could communicate if there is anything special that needs to be done to finish you.

Having said that, could you get by without having another dentist involved? Quite honestly, there’s a good chance you could. I would remember, however, that after completing any orthodontic treatment, a retainer may be needed to help stabilize the teeth and prevent relapse. A convenient thing with Invisalign is that you can just use your last set of aligners as retainers. Here’s a guide on how long to wear those aligners:

I would wear them all the time for a month, then start backing off. Wear them at night only for a month or two. Then try every other night and see if that works. Here’s how you tell if that will work. If your teeth move during the two days you have left your retainer out, you’ll be able to tell, because it will be a little harder to put the retainers (aligners) back in. If that happens, go back to wearing the retainers every night. But if your teeth haven’t moved, continue with the every other night for a couple of months longer and try backing off some more. If your teeth are stable, you can back off to wearing the retainers once a week or not wearing them altogether. But keep them around so you can check on whether or not your teeth have moved.

There are some sad stories of orthodontic patients who didn’t wear their retainers and relapsed, spoiling their lovely smile. Don’t let that happen to you.

– Dr. Hall

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

1 Comment »

  1. Good advice! Do what you need to in order to keep your lovely smile.

    Comment by Megan — March 26, 2019 @ 12:12 pm

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