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
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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
Dear Dr. Hall,
I had braces as a child however I never wore my retainer after they were removed due to the lisp they caused when I talked. As an adult, I’m now paying the price as my upper teeth are slightly crooked and my lower teeth have lots of crowding. My general dentist has also said I’ve worn the enamel off most of my teeth due to grinding/clenching. And to make everything worse, I have some yellow discoloration that my dentist has blamed on the large doses of antibiotics I was on as a child (was treated with IV antibiotics for several years on and off).
I also have a mild phobia of dentists and don’t go as often as I should.
The older I get, the more I realize that my smile is affecting my self-confidence and I really want to do something about it. I wouldn’t trust the guy I’m going to now for any cosmetic work, since reading your blog and looking at dozens of before and after shots from other dentist, I’m beginning to understand that you really need a professional who has a passion to get good quality work. A family member of mine has recommended me to his dentist, who did a lot of cosmetic work and gave him a beautiful smile makeover, but cost him upwards of $30,000+. I don’t have this kind of money to spend, and I personally think my family member was overcharged.
My question to you is can you recommend someone in my area that I can trust? I see a lot of advertisements in my area (I live close to NYC) for these “top rated” cosmetic dentists, but it seems like they all overcharge you so they can put another fountain in their office. I appreciate any feedback you can provide and I found your blog very knowledgeable!
Randy from New Jersey
We have a variety of dentists that I recommend on mynewsmile.com as far as the fees that they charge. I don’t know the relative fees of most of the dentists we list – I do know some.
The ones we recommend in Manhattan are all expensive. And any dentist who markets heavily is likely to be expensive.
To get a handsome smile, it sounds like you will need a smile makeover with either porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns. Probably porcelain crowns – since you say you have worn your teeth down from grinding your teeth.
Here’s what I would do. You’re in New Jersey. Call the dentists on our New Jersey page and ask what their fee is for a porcelain crown. Some won’t give you a fee over the phone, but some will. And use that to find a dentist who fits your budget.
All the dentists I recommend have passed my careful screening, so I have confidence in all of their work. But not all of them are expensive. So give that technique a try.
If a dentist is really expensive, it’s not an indication that they do great work. Some mediocre dentists charge high fees. However, if a dentist is really cheap, it is generally a good indication that the work is poor. Some excellent dentists have moderate fees, and some have high fees. But that is the extent that the old maxim “you get what you pay for” works. What you want to find is that excellent dentist in your area whose fees are moderate.
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