Category Archives: Invisalign

will a dental flipper make my teeth look straight?

I’m too old for braces, but the way my teeth stick out is really holding me back professionally. Is there a way if I put a dental flipper over my teeth it could make my teeth look straight?

Kimberly

Dear Kimberly,

Invisalign aligner
Invisalign: The adult solutions to braces

I think you are confusing a dental flipper with Snap-on Smile. A dental flipper is a temporary tooth replacement that clasps onto the adjacent teeth. It’s designed to be used while you are waiting on the completion of your permanent tooth replacement.

Snap-on Smile is a false tooth arch made of crystallized acetyl resin. It can snap over your teeth. Because this will add bulk to your teeth and you mentioned your teeth are already sticking out, I don’t think this would be a good solution for you. Your teeth would stick out even farther.

Invisalign: The Adult Orthodontic Solution

I know you said you’re too old for braces. As an adult, I wouldn’t want metal wires and brackets on my teeth either. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

Now we have what is the equivalent of invisible braces, called Invisalign. These use clear aligners instead of wires and brackets. These will straighten your teeth without anyone even knowing. They are invisible, even at a conversational distance.

Invisalign has an added benefit. The aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. Now, not only can you have straight teeth, but you can whiten them simultaneously. This is a two for one mini smile makeover. You’ll have a brand new smile you’ll be proud to share.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Invisalign or porcelain veneers

I wanted to get Lumineers. I have a tooth which is a little crooked. Not enough for full orthodontic treatment. That’s why I was hoping to do Lumineers because I was told they could just go on top of my teeth. My dentist said I could do them, but would need Invisalign first for the crooked tooth. Are both really necessary? That’s more money than I was planning.

Katie

Dear Katie,

Invisalign aligner

Please bear in mind that I haven’t seen your case, but in general you would either do Invisalign or Lumineers, not both. There would be some exceptions in severe orthodontic cases. Based on what you’d mentioned, I don’t think that is your situation.

Let’s go over what you can do with each treatment and you will have an idea of which will most help you meet your smile goals.

Invisalign

These use clear aligners to straighten your teeth. No one will know you are wearing them, even at a conversational distance. That is why some people call them invisible braces.

They are more comfortable than traditional metal wire and bracket braces and usually work in half the time.

The aligners have the additional benefit of being able to double as teeth whitening trays. This allows you to straighten and whiten your teeth simultaneously.

If all you feel your teeth need are a straighter look and whiter color, this method will save you thousands of dollars.

Lumineers

The first thing you should know is that Lumineers are simply one brand of porcelain veneers. Most expert cosmetic dentists prefer other brands. This is mostly because this brand is owned by the DenMat company, which requires dentists to use their labs. This lab is not known for skilled results.

Porcelain veneers, when done by a skilled cosmetic dentist can completely remake your smile. They can change the shape of your teeth, the size of your teeth, and the color of your teeth all at the same time. It is the go-to for celebrities trying to get that perfect Hollywood smile.

While it won’t straighten your teeth, it can make your teeth look straight.

Even without the need to make your crooked tooth look straight, doing a smile makeover is an advanced procedure. Your particular case requires a little more expertise.

If you want to go that route. I’d go to aacd.com and search for an accredited cosmetic dentist in your area. Dentists who’ve reached accreditation are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Fixing long teeth

My two front teeth are insanely long. They also stick out a bit from the rest of my teeth. I feel like a beaver and hate all of my pictures. I’m trying to find a cosmetic solution but can’t find one. Do you think the only solution is for me to have my front teeth removed and have dental implants placed? I’m desperate.

Lucy

Dear Lucy,

Invisalign aligner
Invisalign can straighten teeth without anyone knowing.

Please don’t remove your front teeth!! There are always solutions. I am going to make a suggestion, but want to preface it with the precaution that I haven’t examined you. This is a solution based on my understanding of your description.

Your front teeth can be trimmed by an expert cosmetic dentist using diamond burrs and diamond strips. They can be filed down on the sides to narrow them and on the biting surfaces to make them smaller.

Once they’re a size you’re pleased with, Invisalign can be used to align them properly. An added benefit of Invisalign is the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This lets you get a mini smile makeover.

Depending on how much structure has to be removed, you may need porcelain veneers to cover any exposed dentin.

You Need an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

None of my suggestions matter, though. You need to see an expert cosmetic dentist and let them tell you what is the best solution. They’ll give you a smile you’ll be proud to share.

The best cosmetic dentists in the country are accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

This blog is brought to you Lafayette, LA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

porcelain veneers & invisalign?

I’m hoping you can help me make a decision. I want to whiten my teeth and I have two crooked front teeth. I was thinking I could fix both getting porcelain veneers. I spoke to my dentist about it and he said that would be fine, but he’d like me to straighten the front teeth first. I was hoping not to have to do orthodontics because they’re so unattractive and take forever. Is it really necessary?

Kathryn

Dear Kathryn,

Invisalign aligner
You can now straighten your teeth invisibly

First, please understand that I haven’t seen your teeth and can only go by your description. Unless there is something your dentist hasn’t explained to you, I’m puzzled why you would need both as well.

Generally, a patient will either do porcelain veneers or orthodontics, not both. There could be an exception if you have either a serious bite problem or overly crowded teeth. In those unusual cases, it would be helpful to have orthodontics first. Other than that, you can just have porcelain veneers placed and it will make your front teeth appear to be straight.

If you are in that position, then I have some helpful news for you. You can completely straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. Invisalign uses clear aligners. You can see an image of one of the aligners above. When you are wearing them, they are completely invisible, even at a conversational distance.

The best part is they have the benefit of being able to whiten your teeth simultaneously. The aligners used to straighten your teeth can also double as teeth whitening trays.

Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers

If you have the choice and all you want to do is whiten and straighten your teeth, you would save a lot of money using Invisalign. However, if there are other things about your smile you want to change, such as the shape or length, then porcelain veneers are the way to go.

These are the go-to for a complete smile makeover. One word of caution. They require technical expertise as well as an artistic eye. Not every dentist can do a smile makeover with porcelain veneers. There are countless cosmetic dentistry horror stories to back this up.

If you decide to go that route, you will want a dentist who has been accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

If you go the Invisalign/teeth whitening route, just about any family dentist can do it.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

pain with Invisalign

I know that braces cause pain because all my friends complained about it when I was growing up. I’m old enough to know I don’t want a mouth full of metal while I straighten my teeth. It would just seem unprofessional. However, I want to know what I’m signing up for. Does Invisalign have pain the way traditional braces do?

Laurie

Dear Laurie,

Invisalign aligner

It’s always wise to go into any treatment with a good idea of the pros and cons. The pros of Invisalign are obvious.

  • They work in half the time as traditional braces
  • You can eat and drink whatever you want
  • You can brush and floss much more easily
  • You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing
  • You don’t have to worry about cuts and abrasions from metal wires and brackets.

There is one point in which Invisalign aligners can ache a bit. You switch aligners every two weeks. For the day or two when you first put in your new set of aligners, they will feel snug and ache a bit.

This is because the aligners are sculpted to the next alignment your teeth should be in by the time the two-week time period is up. After those first few days, your teeth will be in that new position and the aligners will feel loose.

Usually, just some over-the-counter pain reliever is enough to keep the pain at bay.

An Unexpected Benefit with Invisalign

One extra treat you can get out of Invisalign is inexpensive teeth whitening. The aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. So, all you will need to purchase from your dentist is the whitening gel that you can place in your aligners for a period of time each day.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Problems with invisalign

I’ve been considering getting Invisalign, but decided to talk to an acquaintance who’d already used them. She said she’d never had worse breath than when she wore them. I decided to do some online research about that issue and it seems some people have had that same problem, but others absolutely love them. Does that mean that particular issue is preventable?

Marcia

Dear Marcia,

A woman placing in her Invisalign aligners

Absolutely that one is preventable. Invisalign is removable. As such, it allows you to eat whatever you want. Then, you simply pop them back in when you are done. However, your dentist will strongly recommend you brush and floss your teeth after each meal before you put them back on.

There is a good reason for that. Every time you eat, you get some food and bacteria on and between your teeth. If you don’t remove that before you place the aligners back on, they’re going to fester there. That will lead to some seriously bad breath. It would also leave a nasty taste in your mouth. Simply brushing before replacing them completely fixes this problem.

Two Other Common Invisalign Issues

So you are completely prepared for Invisalign treatment, I want to tell you about two other common issues.

The first is some minor aches when you switch aligners. With Invisalign, you wear a pair of aligners which you will switch out every two weeks. Each pair gently moves your teeth into another position.

The first couple of days, the aligners will feel a bit snug. That’s because it is new position. By the third day, they should feel like a perfect fit. The remainder of the two week is to allow the bone time to form around the new root position.

Many patients don’t feel any discomfort. However, if you are one who does, most often some mild over the counter pain relievers is enough to make a difference.

The second common issue is excess saliva. For some patients, when they first start Invisalign, their body thinks of it as a foreign substance in their mouth which needs to be digested. It responds by producing excess saliva. Fortunately, this fades quite quickly.

An Unexpected Invisalign Benefit

While everyone expects to have a straighter smile by the end of their Invisalign treatment, did you know you could also have a whiter smile as well? Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays.

All you have to do is ask your dentist for some teeth whitening gel, which doesn’t cost much at all. Then, you simply place the gel in your aligners and you’ll have a mini smile makeover at a fraction of the cost.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Does smile direct work?

I keep seeing advertisements on Facebook for smile direct club. They’re offering a free start on their program and it’s much less expensive than Invisalign. Does it really work?

Sadie

Dear Sadie,

The Smile Direct Club is an company which has been in business since about 2013. They’ll mail you your aligners which you’ll wear for three weeks. With Invisalign, you switch the aligners every two weeks.

Their biggest benefit is the money savings. It does cost less than working through a dentist with Invisalign. It appears to work out fine for many patients. But (you knew there would be a but), there are risks.

Dangers with Smile Direct

  • Gum Disease

While you submit a photo and a dentist reviews it, only certain cases of gum disease are able to be diagnosed this way. Dentists will also do x-rays and probe the tissue.

If you do this treatment and have gum disease it will quickly get worse. As it progresses, your teeth can become loose. Combine that with shifting of tooth movements for your orthodontic treatment and you could end up losing teeth.

  • Complications

While for most patients things will go fine, there are exceptions. Sometimes a tooth his supposed to rotate which doesn’t. This affects the entire treatment process.

Another, more common issue, is when there’s crowding. When that is an issue, some of the sides of the teeth have to be shaved down to make room for the correct alignment.

This is something you’ll have to do at a dental office. However, removing the right amount of enamel is tricky. You’d really want a dentist who’s invested in the case to do the work on it. Without that, It might not go as well as you’d like.

So, could it work? Possibly. In many cases it does. The thing to be aware of is what to do if something doesn’t. At the very least, I’d recommend you get a good check up with a dentist ahead of time and make sure you don’t have any signs of gum disease before proceeding.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Invisalign Myths Debunked

Ever since Invisalign made its debut in the 1990s, they’ve been in high demand. As with most new or popular things, there are always some myths which pop up about them. Before we debunk the myths, let me tell you what Invisalign can do for you.

Invisalign aligner

What’s True About Invisalign

  • Invisalign can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing, in half the time of traditional glasses.
  • Their aligners can double as teeth whitening trays allowing you to do two procedures simultaneously.
  • They have a very high patient satisfaction rate.

Myth #1: Invisalign is Only for Teenagers

While teenagers certainly do enjoy using Invisalign, the procedure was actually developed for adults. They have professional lives and can’t necessarily work with a mouth full of metal. Having an invisible orthodontic option is a huge help.

It’s only after it became so popular that more and more parents requested it for their teenagers and Invisalign Teen was developed.

Myth #2: Braces are More Effective than Invisalign

While it used to be that Invisalign could only handle certain candidates, that has changed. Now it can handle even difficult orthodontic cases.

Myth #3: You Can’t Eat What You Want with Invisalign

Similar to the first myth, this one is completely backward. With traditional braces, you’re limited in what you can eat. Many things get caught in the metal wires and brackets in traditional braces.

Fortunately, Invisalign is different. Because the aligners are removable, you can actually eat absolutely anything you want. The important thing is you brush your teeth after you are done and place the aligners back on immediately after cleaning your teeth.

Myth #4: You Get More Cavities with Invisalign

It’s possible you can get more cavities with Invisalign, but that’s up to you. If you take care of your teeth, you’ll be fine. That means to observe the following:

  • Brush after each meal before putting your aligners back on.
  • Don’t drink sugary or alcoholic drinks with your aligners in. You can still drink them, just make sure you do it when your aligners are off.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Invisalign and Bad Breath

I need some help for my mom. She has always had teeth which embarrassed her. She was so excited to get Invisalign. She is very diligent to keep them in and I know she’s going to have a beautiful smile when it’s done. The only thing is, her breath smells really bad now. I don’t want to tell her and make her feel weird about something she’s wanted for so many years. But, I also don’t want her going around with bad breath. Is there a gentle way to help her or is this just part of Invisalign?

Carrie

Dear Carrie,

Image top: A woman putting on her Invisalign aligners. Image bottom: a woman smiling with Invisalign on her teeth

You are such a sweet daughter. You made me as happy for your mother as you are. You’re right, she’ll love her smile at the end. Invisalign doesn’t automatically mean bad breath. However, there are a few common things which we see in patients that can lead to it.

Keeping Your Breath Fresh with Invisalign

  • Don’t eat or drink with them in

Patients are allowed two hours a day when they can take the aligners out. That’s intended to give them plenty of time to eat their meals without the aligners in. It’s possible your mom is so excited about the procedure she’s not taking a break. If you see her eating with them in, remind her she’s supposed to remove them.

  • Brush and floss your teeth after each meal

Food always gets stuck between our teeth when we eat. Unless you remove that, it will make your aligners pretty pungent. It will also lead to decay pretty quickly. I know you don’t want to talk to her about her breath, but if there’s a way you could gently tell her. Or, if you’re uncomfortable with that, you could just say you’re on your way to brush your teeth after meals together as a reminder to her that she’s supposed to be.

  • Hydrate regularly with water

Not drinking enough water can cause not just dehydration, but some pungent breath as well. The added benefit is she can drink that while her aligners are in. It’s the one thing she can drink while she’s wearing them.

  • Use the cleaning kit that comes with the aligners

Cleaning your teeth isn’t enough. Occasionally, your aligners need a good clean as well. If she can’t find her kit. She can give them a quick clean with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a baking soda and water mixture.

I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Will Invisalign Work if I Have Missing Teeth?

I want to get Invisalign but I have a couple of missing teeth. Is Invisalign still possible?

Dan

Dear Dan,

A woman placing in her Invisalign aligners

Invisalign does fine with missing teeth. It used to be that Invisalign could only take certain types of cases but it’s becoming more and more advanced and can take even cases of crowding at times these days.

The key to a successful Invisalign case, when there are missing teeth involved, is communication with your dentist. Are you looking to replace those teeth? Do you want a permanent replacement, such as dental implants? Or, do you just want to close up the spaces? Those will work different ways during treatment so make sure you and your dentist discuss your goals thoroughly.

Invisalign Versus Other Cosmetic Work

What Invisalign will do is straighten your teeth. If that’s all you want to be done, then that’s the perfect treatment solution. If there are other things about your smile you want to tweak, there are several options.

If another issue you have is the whiteness of your teeth, your Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. That allows you to simultaneously whiten and straighten your teeth.

If you’re looking for a total smile makeover, porcelain veneers are the way to go. These can change absolutely anything about your teeth— the shape, the size, the color, or any combination of those. One word of caution when it comes to smile makeovers.

While just about any dentist can do Invisalign or teeth whitening, to get a beautiful smile with porcelain veneers takes some additional training and skill. In fact, you’ll want an expert cosmetic dentist. Ideally, you should get an AACD accredited dentist.

These are the top cosmetic dentists in the world. Most, if not all of them will have a beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.