If you’ve been following along with us all month as we discuss the history and technology behind Invisalign, you might be wondering if this product is right for you. Deciding to begin an orthodontic treatment can be daunting yet life changing at the same time. If you are on the fence or unsure of what to ask Dr. Marchbanks at your next appointment, we’ve included a few conversation starters and questions that should help set the stage for a treatment option. Don’t let the fear of the conversation hold you back from a gaining the straight smile you have always wanted!
I’ve never had any orthodontic work done—can I jump straight into Invisalign, or do I need expanders, retainers or teeth pulled first?
This is a great question for Dr. Marchbanks who can evaluate your mouth and look for issues that could be too complex for Invisalign. Many patients ask, for example, if Invisalign corrects overbites or gapped or crowded teeth. Unfortunately, Invisalign is not designed to fix severe jaw problems. Dr. Marchbanks will perform an exam of your mouth and determine if Invisalign can correct the problems you are having or if you need other traditional orthodontic treatment.
Is there an age requirement? Is it possible to be too old or too young?
You are never too old to fix your teeth. Invisalign is generally recommended for older teenagers and adults. Since the treatment is dependent on adherence to wearing the aligners, it may be too much responsibility for small children. This is the perfect treatment, however, for teens who are concerned about the appearance of braces in high school. And adults of any age can benefit from the treatment.
I have TMJ. Am I still a candidate?
Unfortunately, TMJ and Invisalign have been proven incompatible. Since Invisalign can change a patient’s bite, it can worsen TMJ. For patients who suffer from TMJ symptoms like headaches, ear pain, popping in the jaw or chronic fatigue, Align Technologies (the makers of Invisalign) have recommended against the use of their product in the presence of these problems. Additional studies have shown that while Invisalign doesn’t cause TMJ, the aligners can bring about issues that your orthodontist was unaware of prior to starting Invisalign treatment. If you are suffering from TMJ, Dr. Marchbanks can help you get relief prior to moving on to any orthodontic treatments.
I’ve had gum disease in the past—is that ok?
Prior to beginning any orthodontic treatment it’s important that your teeth and gums are in good health. Ignoring underlying issues could cause additional problems in the future. Prior to getting Invisalign, it’s important to have a thorough teeth cleaning and receive a tooth and gum health sign-off from Dr. Marchbanks.
I had braces as a teenager, but now my teeth have shifted. Will Invisalign help me?
Upwards of 33% of Americans had braces as a teenager. Unfortunately, many of these now-adults have suffered from tooth movement, whether from less-than-diligent wearing of retainers or from other factors. Many times, Invisalign will be able to help because overcrowding and jaw issues have already been addressed in these patients’ original treatment. Just remember: adherence is key. If you don’t want your teeth to shift again, it’s important to wear the aligners exactly as directed.
If you have any additional questions for Dr. Marchbanks, make an appointment today! It takes an Invisalign-certified expert to determine who’s eligible, so don’t delay another day!
Also published on Medium.