Should I get Invisalign if it is "Optional?"

Discussions about treatment with invisible braces that use clear aligners, such as Invisalign, OrthoClear, the Red White and Blue system, etc.

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Should I get Invisalign if it is "Optional?"

#1 Post by QuestionAsker »

Hello people.

I could use your advice. Here goes.

1) I'm 36, almost 37.

2) Had metal braces when I was a kid for an overbite, between 6th-8th grade, then no problems until I turned 32. At that time, I noticed I was inadvertently biting the corners of my mouth. I consulted my dentist. He said it appeared my overbite has slightly returned but there wasn't anything to do about it because as an adult I wouldn't want to go through braces.

3) The mouth biting stopped and experiencing no problems, I didn't raise the issue again.

4) 4 years later, in June of this year, 2015 my dentist was examining me and on his own informed me that my bite was looking like it was getting to the bite where I might want to consult an orthodontist.

5) So I did. The orthodontist said a) my overbite has slightly returned. b) there is some slight spacing on the sides of my teeth and c) there is what he called crowding - i.e. one of my front bottom teeth is pushed back more than the others. Fun fact - this was due to a mistake made by the orthodontist I had when I was a kid. It wasn't the best looking but it never really caused me a problem and isn't that noticeable so I never worried about it.

6) The orthodontist (the one I saw this year) told me that my problems were all minor and that for me, Invisalign would be "optional." He further went on to say that if I wanted to go through with it, it would bring me some improvements. However, should I decided that at this age I don't want to bother with it, he would not be worried about the health of my mouth/teeth. I questioned him further, asking well do you think if I let it go now, will I end up with serious problems in the future i.e. will I end up as a bucktooth beaver or something and he said no. I could take it or leave it, either way I'd be fine.

7) He gave me the option of having my teeth photographed for the insurance and I did that. Luckily, due to a recent job, I have great dental insurance. I was informed I'd only have to pay $1,200 which though a lot, is not much compared to some of the other figures I've heard people having to pay.

8) I decided to go for it. I was of the mindset that "this is like medicine and if it helps even a little and insurance is going to help you out then you should do it...IN CASE it becomes a problem in the future and you end up wishing you'd done it.

9) As the summer went on, I did more research. I read horror stories. People who have gotten invisalign and lost teeth. Cracked teeth. Ended up with teeth looking worse than they ever did before after spending tens of thousands of dollars on attempts to fix the problem.

10) So I've been panicking for quite some time now. When I look at my teeth in the mirror, I don't see a freak or anything. It would be nice to fix that one pushed back tooth, however, I am reminded that tooth was not that way before I had braces as a kid and ended up that way as a result of orthodontics and thus it dawns on me I can live with that tooth or I can run the risk of developing a problem ten times worse.

11) I'm older. My teeth aren't as strong as they were when I was a kid. There are a couple where I can feel some clicking going on, possible warning sign they are getting loser. My dentist has given me that periodontal pocket test and I've gotten some lousy scores. Admittedly, that was due to a period when I didn't take very good care of my teeth i.e. not brushing regularly etc. The dentist lectured me, scared me straight and I became an adamant brusher/flosser ever since.

But I have read that invisalign has the potential to damage/shorten your tooth roots and doesn't that pocket test mean I'm going into this with short roots already?

Maybe I'm a wuss but the idea of risking tooth loss for something described to me as "optional" makes me worried.

12) This is not me being down on myself. It's just reality. I'm an ugly person. I accept it. I'm used to it. Thus, if I do need orthodontics, I wonder if metal braces would not be better than invisalign. Bottomline - I'm not like a handsome prince worried that his perfect appearance might be flawed by a little metal. At this point, that metal would be one more ugly added to a pile of ugly. Who'd notice?

13) I am badly overweight, to the point of it being a serious health problem. I've struggled with it for years, unable to do anything about it. Thus, part of me wonders if getting invisalign would not be worth it for no other reason than it would become so difficult to eat between meals what with all the brushing required that it would stop me from all the in between meal snacking that gets me into trouble.

I know. That is a dumb reason to get invisalign.

14) I paid $1,200 up front. I postponed my date to get the invisalign put into my mouth because I went on a vacation and figured why not enjoy my vacation and then have it done. Honestly, I was relieved to put it off for awhile too.

15) But now I have to make a decision. My appointment to have it put in is this Friday. I already paid $1200. I assume if I cancel I will lose a big chunk of that which will suck but then again if I don't need it I suppose it's better to lose money than to take on unnecessary risks.

16) But I'm also worried - this orthodontist, from what I can tell, appears to be very competent, knowledgeable and caring. Should it ever be determined that I develop a serious problem that MUST be treated and is NOT optional, he's the man I want doing it. So I fear by canceling on him now, I end up burning a bridge if I find I require his services in the future.

17) I know he said he didn't forsee my teeth becoming a problem so perhaps I should not worry about that.

18) I read you have to wear a retainer for life. I never knew that. The orthodontist I had when I was a kid never told me that. He gave me a retainer and had me come back for awhile. Eventually, my mom told me your teeth look fine and I'm not going to pay that orthodontist anymore he's just milking it so I said what the hell mom knows best and never wore the retainer again. Apparently, I was supposed to.

At any rate, I haven't worn a retainer since 8th grade and don't envy the idea of being committed to one for life.

So to boil this longwinded rant down, my worries are:

1) I'm told its optional so why take on so many potential risks for optional treatment.


2) Though the ortho said he doesn't forsee my teeth developing future issues...since I have a) gotten insurance approval b) already paid c) had molds of my teeth made - should I just go through it now to avoid the chance of say, at 45 my teeth become a mess and I end up wish I'd done it when I was 37?

My appt is this Friday so I just have to make a decision and stick with it. Your input is appreciated. Apologies this is so long.

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Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Should I get Invisalign if it is "Optional?"

#2 Post by teeebeee »

Sweetheart...go for it! For every horror story on the internet there are hundreds of successes that don't get reported. I am so thrilled that, at the age of 50, I am sorting out what has blighted my existence. I realise you are not in that boat but you may get there if you don't deal with it now. We are so judged on our mouths and, as you have good insurance, use it!

I am no oil painting (seriously, never have been and never will be pretty but I'm me!) and I have a life-long weight problem. Now I am sorting my teeth, I really believe that I can and will sort the weight thing next. Doing this has given me faith in myself as nothing else ever has.

good luck

T xx

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Re: Should I get Invisalign if it is "Optional?"

#3 Post by QuestionAsker »

Thank you for your input. I do appreciate it.

Where I'm hung up is I feel like I said yes before I knew what I was getting into. As professional as the orthodontist seemed, he did not mention a) that there'd be a retainer for life or b) that there'd be a monthly visit which my work probably won't be a fan of.

I look in the mirror and my teeth look perfectly fine. My two front teeth are perfectly aligned and straight. Every tooth looks fine. The only out of place tooth is my bottom front one in the middle and it became crooked through, ta da, braces I had when I was a kid. But it isn't so crooked that its made me a freak or something. It's livable.

I don't have discomfort from any of my teeth. Able to eat, use them, no problems.

"If it aint broke don't fix it" comes to mind.

I feel like I jumped the gun without doing my research. Had I read all about this earlier this summer, I would have just replied to him thanks but if you're saying its optional and not necessary at this time, I'll hold off but I'll keep an eye on it and should my teeth begin to show signs of a more serious problem, I'll come to you.

Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:26 am
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Should I get Invisalign if it is "Optional?"

#4 Post by teeebeee »

As I say, please bear in mind that you tend to hear the horror stories online and not the straightforward cases. I've had a couple of tricky bits which, if I focussed on, would be a bit horrific but, thus far, all things considered, it's been fabulous. And, I'm sure the fixed and removable retainers I will be getting will have their challenges but, hotdangit, if they keep them straight, I'll stick with it! :)

Regarding the retainer, as your teeth have moved, albeit a small amount so far, presumably you should have one if you want them to stay that way. Though they are 'for life', they are only overnight after a certain time. I consider this a small price to pay to have 'permanently' straight teeth. I've found out the hard way that mine will move like a shot, given half the chance! :(

However, if you aren't happy or ready, then don't go ahead. Can you, perhaps, put it off for 6 months or a year and revisit?

Good luck with your decision.

T xx

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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:40 am

Re: Should I get Invisalign if it is "Optional?"

#5 Post by lilyflower »

Okay, I'm about your age (35 and I also have Invisalign). I know you're freaking out but honestly, I think you should go for it unless you already have very short roots where ANY orthodontic treatment would be a bad idea.

Yes, Invisalign will help you not want to snack because it's a pain in the ass to have snacks and remove, brush, floss, replace. Also, you may not want to eat at all the first first days due to pain/tightness. (The "Invisalign Diet" is a real thing, trust me.)

You're almost 37, not 87 - many people have been treated successfully at your age and much older. It's not going to be as quick of treatment as an adult because you're not growing but it's definitely not impossible.

I highly doubt you're going to get any kind of money back if you back out now (although review your contract). '

Also, consider that If your case is mild your treatment time will be short (and you'll likely need few, if any attachments) which also lessens the risks.

I didn't have traditional braces as a kid so I'm doing this all the first time round now but I can tell you the experience is pretty painless. Day 2 completely sucked but once you get past the first few days of the first set you're fine. No mouth irritations, nothing noticeable to others - I'd say just try it at this point. If by your first follow up appointment you absolutely hate it or develop some problem you can stop then.
The problems:
Lower crowding, a slightly rotated upper canine and a deep bite

Invisalign G5 started Oct 12, 2015
Attachments: 21
Total number of trays: 28 upper, 38 lower
Estimated treatment time: 18 months
Follow my progress ... =9&t=49130

Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:58 am

Re: Should I get Invisalign if it is "Optional?"

#6 Post by iob »

First, Teeebeee - Your first response is one of the most thoughtful, empathetic ones I've read, and likely more helpful that anything else that the OP will hear.

QuestionAsker - You say that you started freaking out after you started doing more research over the summer? It sounds like you did the best research: you went to get a consultation from an orthodontist. The internet didn't go to dental school, didn't do additional training in orthodontics, and didn't inspect your x-rays, impressions, gums, teeth. Use this forum and the internet for its best use, which IMO is just to prompt questions for you to ask your dentist and ortho - NOT to drive your fundamental decision on whether to go through with treatment.

Take a few breaths, consider the sources of your info, and if you still aren't sure then get a second consultation instead of more Google time. And good luck either way!
Last edited by iob on Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 211
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Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Should I get Invisalign if it is "Optional?"

#7 Post by teeebeee »

iob wrote:First, Teeebeee - Your response is one of the most thoughtful, empathetic ones I've read, and likely more helpful that anything else that has/will be posted.
Blimey...thank you! If I can help one soul along the way, I will. :)

T xx

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