Category Archives: Invisalign

Can a Dental Flipper Make Teeth Look Straight?

I have crooked teeth but feel I am too old for braces. I’ve heard about a dental flipper that can snap onto your teeth and make them look straight. Will this really work?

Theresa

Dear Theresa,

A dental flipper

A dental flipper

I think whoever told you this had a dental flipper confused with the snap-on smile. A dental flipper is used to replace a missing tooth. It does not fit over a tooth. In case someone reading this is looking into tooth replacement options, a flipper is considered a temporary replacement. It’s inexpensive and people use it to give themselves a “tooth” while they save up for a permanent replacement, such as a dental implant.

Having a Straight Smile Without Braces

Snap-on Smile is something that will snap over your teeth in order to make them look better. They will not look stunning, like they would with porcelain veneers but they will look okay. They are more suitable for something like a photoshoot or one-night class reunion. They are made of acrylic and would need to be replaced every few years.

An image of Invisalign aligners

These days we have better options than ye olde fashioned traditional braces. Now, there is Invisalign. Instead of metal wires and brackets, it uses clear aligners. These are invisible, even at a conversational distance. These are more comfortable than braces and work in significantly less time.

You can go with the snap-on smile and it will give you a decent temporary solution. My suggestion, however, would be to plan long term and get Invisalign. It has an additional hidden benefit of enabling you to whiten your teeth at the same time as you straighten them. The aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. It is like getting a mini smile makeover at a fraction of the cost.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.
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Options for a Tooth Gap

I have an 8mm gap in my front teeth. My dentist is suggesting I get Lumineers to fix that but I’m a bit nervous about that. I see the Lumineers have mixed reviews. Are there other options for me that do not include 3 years in metal braces?

Cameron

Dear Cameron,

An image of Invisalign aligners

Whatever you do, please do not allow your dentist to do Lumineers on your teeth. For one, 8mm is enough space for a whole other tooth. This is a very complicated case for any brand of porcelain veneers and you are correct that Lumineers is touch and go at best. This is due to two factors.

1. They are highly advertised to inexperienced cosmetic dentists. You would need one of the top 1% of cosmetic dentists for your particular case.
2. The company that owns Lumineers insists dentists use their lab, which is not known for having excellent results.

My suggestion would be for you to get Invisalign. This can straighten your teeth and close that gap in half the time of traditional braces. Not only that, they can do it invisibly. There are no metal wires and brackets. Instead, Invisalign uses clear aligners. These are much more comfortable and, because they are removable, it is simple for you to brush and floss your teeth.

They have an additional hidden benefit of allowing you to whiten your teeth at the same time. This is because the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. It is like getting a mini smile makeover at a fraction of the cost.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Invisalign and Retainers

I am on my last pair of aligners and need to move out of state. It is rather sudden, but my mother had a stroke and will need a lot of care. I can work from anywhere so I’m going to move there to be closer to her. I don’t know if I will need to find a new Invisalign dentist or if any dentist can give me the retainer I need. I was told it is important to wear a retainer for a while. How do I handle that?

Amanda

Dear Amanda,

An image of Invisalign aligners

I am sorry to hear about your mother. It is wonderful how you are stepping up to take care of her. You will not have to find another Invisalign dentist to finish out your treatment. You are already on your last pair of aligners so you won’t need any further aligners.

Your dentist is correct that you will need a retainer. It is important in order to get your teeth used to their proper alignment. Without that, they will begin to shift again. The good news is, your final pair of aligners can double as a retainer for you. This will take one burden off of your shoulders while you care for your mother. Follow these directions carefully and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Using Invisalign as a Retainer

  • Step One: Wear them as you have been for your treatment for about a month, only taking them out to eat as well as brush or floss.
  • Step Two: Wear them only at night for a month
  • Step Three: Wear them every other night for a couple of months, doing a shift check after the first few days.
  • Shift Check: If when you try to place your aligners in, they seem a tad more difficult than before, it means your teeth have shifted and you need to go back one step.
  • Step Four: Back off a tad more by wearing them once every three or four days for a month or two, being careful to do shift checks.
  • Step Five: Wear them once a week for a month.
  • Final Step: Leave them out completely.

One word of caution here. Make sure you keep your aligners around and periodically give your teeth a check.

Cosmetic Double Duty with Invisalign

There is another benefit to having your Invisalign aligners around. They can double as teeth whitening trays. This will allow you to whiten your teeth while keeping them straight. All your dentist will have to provide you with is the professional strength gel, which will save you a lot of money.

Best of luck to you and your mother.
This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Should I whiten and straighten before porcelain veneers?

I am thinking about getting porcelain veneers since I don’t love my front teeth, especially my top ones.  I have looked a little and know it’s expensive to get porcelain veneers, so if I’m going to get them, I want them to look the best they can.  Should I do teeth whitening and invisalign before I get veneers so my teeth will be perfect when I’m done?

Thanks,
KC, San Diego

Dear KC,

Someone's "perfect" smileYou mentioned you wanted perfect teeth. “Perfect” for you may mean something different than another patient. “Perfect” may be dazzling white and perfectly straight teeth.  Maybe “perfect”  is whiter, straighter, natural-looking teeth that are better than what they are now. No matter what your definition of perfect is, it is important to consider your answers before spending the money on porcelain veneers, whitening, or invisalign.

Should I whiten before getting porcelain veneers?

If you are unhappy with the general color of your teeth before veneers, whitening is a step that needs to happen before you start the porcelain veneers. Veneers themselves do not whiten. Good cosmetic dentists will match the color of your porcelain veneers to your regular teeth so they look more natural. If you want the new veneers to be matched to whiter teeth, complete this step before you start the porcelain veneers.

Should I straighten my teeth before porcelain veneers?

It is not necessary to straighten  crooked teeth before you start. That’s one of the beauties of porcelain veneers. They can make your teeth look straight. Invisalign isn’t necessary.  It won’t affect the placement of the veneers and will save you a lot of money, especially if your teeth aren’t too crooked. If you are generally not happy that several of your teeth, top or bottom, are crooked and you are only planning to get a couple of veneers, it may be something to consider.

The best path for you to take to get the smile you want is to discuss your “perfect” teeth with a cosmetic dentist. Ask for his or her opinion about your treatment plan. Discuss your options so you are comfortable and happy with what the outcome will be before you start anything.

This post is sponsored by Vista Dorada Dental in Gilbert, AZ.

 

 

Protruded teeth

I have teeth that protrude and wondered what my options are for fixing them?

Amanda B.- Cincinnati

Amanda,

When it comes to dealing with protruding teeth, you have three general options:

  • Traditional Braces: These are the same wire and metal brackets that people think of when braces come to mind. They take about 2-3 years. I would go to an orthodontist for this type of treatment. If your teeth are very protruded, you might need surgical orthodontics.
  • Invisalign: These use clear aligners to straighten your teeth. They’ll work in about half the time as traditional braces, but won’t work if your teeth are protruded too far.
  • Porcelain Veneers: These won’t straighten your teeth, but will make them appear straight. Again, it would depend on how protruded they are as to whether this would be a good option.

I suggest you see a cosmetic dentist to see which of these options best suits your situation.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Teeth maintenance with invisalign

I am thinking about getting Invisalign and wondered if you could tell me what kind of maintenance is required. How often will they have to be worked on? How do I clean them? Is it hard to eat?

Franny- Indiana

Franny,

Invisalign is very low maintenance. You’ll need to switch out your aligners every two weeks, but you wouldn’t necessarily need to see your dentist that often. To clean them, you would just rinse them out. They pop in and out quite easily. You would just take them out to eat, so there are no dietary restrictions, nor do you have to worry about any food getting caught like in traditional braces. Then, just brush your teeth after eating and pop the aligners back in. It is remarkably simple and pain free. I feel they are a great advancement in orthodontics.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Invisalign

I keep seeing these TV ads for invisalign and wondered if they are the real deal. Do they really straighten your teeth like braces and are they really invisible? I’ve wanted to get my crooked teeth fixed for a while, but I put it off for so long that I’d feel kind of dumb wearing braces at my age. I kind of got excited when I saw the commercial, but wanted to make sure it wasn’t bogus first.

Robert N.- Benton, AR

Robert,

You can be assured that Invisalign is quite legitimate. In fact, they are more effective than traditional braces and can straighten your teeth in half the time. No one will be able to tell you are wearing them at a conversational distance. We’ve even had patients tell us that their family never even knew they were wearing them.

You may also be interested in Teeth Whitening, and have a kind of smile makeover. This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Fixing a large gap

I have a gap between my two front teeth that his about 10 mm. I’ve already been told I am not a candidate for Snap-on Smile, so my next route is to get Lumineers. I know I should probably get braces, but I’m 42 and would just feel silly wearing them. Am I going to have the same candidate problem with Lumieers that I did with snap-on smile?

Jerry R.- Utah

Jerry,

You didn’t say why you were not a candidate for Snap-on Smile, so I don’t know how to comment on whether you’d have the same problem with the Lumineers. However, I do want to recommend you NOT get Lumineers to solve this problem. 10 mm is a huge gap. That is big enough to put another tooth in. I think you’d be unhappy with the results of the Lumineers.

I know you said you didn’t want to wear braces, but have you considered Invisalign? They truly are invisible so none of your friends would know you were wearing them. As an added bonus they straighten your teeth a lot faster than traditional braces do. This could close your gap, without you having to try to manipulate covering the space of an extra tooth.

Hope I’ve helped.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Frequency of visits during Invisalign

I am interested in Invisalign but I live in a rural area. I was wondering how often I have to go into the dentist for Invisalign treatment? Do I really have to go in every couple weeks for a fitting or can they send me the new aligners in the mail?

– Catherine in Wyoming

Catherine,

It is quite typical that a dentist would need to check your progress every four weeks with Invisalign. The patient receives two sets of clear Invisalign aligners to be worn, one on top and the other on the bottom. The first set is to be worn for two weeks and then the next set is to be worn for another two weeks. Then at four weeks, the dentist will likely want to check on you to monitor your progress. That said, if you live in a rural area, your dentist may be willing to work with you on the number of visits. It really all depends on the complexity of your case.

Technically speaking, all of the aligners are created when you begin treatment. So it is possible to take all of the sets home with you and come back in for an evaluation when you have been through all the steps. Although, monitoring is ideal because sometimes adjustments need to be made during treatment. Some patients actually require some shaving between the teeth at different intervals of treatment.

Hopefully that answers your question.

This post is sponsored by Gilbert dentist Vista Dorada Dental.

Other links: affordable dentistry, gentle dentist

I want to fix my cooked tooth

I really want to straighten my teeth, particularly one of my front teeth. I have received conflicting recommendations about what would be the best way to solve my problem and I am just not sure who to trust. My right front tooth is pushed way behind the other ones which means it is very crooked. Do you know if Invisalign is an option for me versus the conventional wire and bracket braces? Or maybe I should have this tooth pulled. Will that give me more options?

– Sal from Texas

Sal,

Invisalign is a safe and effective way to straighten your teeth in about half the time as traditional braces. Typically if you are an adult and your teeth are crooked, then you are a candidate. Porcelain veneers are another option that can be used to give the appearance of straight white teeth too.

Pulling your tooth would be an absolute last resort. This is because your teeth would always look different because you would have an uneven number of teeth in front. There are many things that can be done today to make your teeth appear straight but it is important that the symmetry isn’t thrown off because you are missing a tooth. Your smile just wouldn’t look right with five teeth instead of six showing. So even if a dentist is recommending this tooth be removed, you may want to seek another opinion.

It is difficult to make specific recommendations without having seen your case. If you find a cosmetic dentist that does Invisalign, that that would be a good dentist to consult with about what is the best treatment for you.

Best of luck to you.

This post is sponsored by Gilbert dentist Vista Dorada Dental.

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