I often have patients come to my office telling me that they’ve been recommended to us for Invisalign, but that their dentist also offers Invisalign (and cheaper). They say it as if Invisalign is like a can of 7UP which is the same no matter where it’s bought. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Let me tell you a couple of things about Invisalign that you MUST know before you get treated anywhere. Aside from the fact that orthodontists ONLY do procedures involving tooth movement and most general dentists do not make this a large part of their practices, orthodontists’ training allows them to better understand how teeth move and how to handle the side effects that can occur. Invisalign has several steps, which at each point can go awry if not addressed properly.
- The Impression. Most orthodontists now use digital impressions, meaning that a mold is no longer taken using a tray with that old fashioned “goop”. Aside from being way quicker and easier, digital impressions have way better accuracy. The overwhelming majority of general dentists do not use a digital scanner and I personally would never go through Invisalign using molds if there’s a better option.
- The Clincheck. Once the digital scan is sent to Invisalign, it’s up to the actual clinician to decide how to move the teeth, in what order, with what types of movements and determine what is biologically possible. I was a general dentist for 20 years and did Invisalign until I realized that my orthodontist was getting better, more consistent outcomes. It was at that point that I turned off my ego and handed all of my cases over to the specialist to be treated. They just did a better job at the Clincheck.
- The Fit. Invisalign trays MUST fit exquisitely well to work properly. Spotting fit problems and taking the time to fix them is critical. As orthodontic specialists, it’s our job to focus on these things and we take hundreds of hours of courses not in bridges, fillings, implants, crowns or cleanings. Nope, we take courses in Invisalign, braces and tooth movement. That’s it, so we can ensure a well fitting tray and make sure you’re set up for success.
- The Refinement. When the initial treatment is done, the outcome needs to meet a standard that makes everyone feel satisfied. Refinements (more trays) are a part of the plan from the beginning and they come at no charge in my office. I work on the outcome until it’s the smile and bite that you’ve always wanted, because, again, that’s all we do.
- Retainers. When its done, we need to make sure that the right type of retainer is used to allow the teeth to come together properly and for long term stability. Who knows more about retainers than an orthodontist?
If you needed surgery, would you have your internist do it for you just because they offered it? I’m not saying that general dentists are mean, naughty people. On the contrary, most are kind gentle practitioners, however, they look at Invisalign as some simple type of procedure that they can just scan, send in and deliver, whereas orthodontists look at it as a procedure with lots of steps that must be properly handled.
I often see cases treated by general dentists that have ended in catastrophe and now rely on me to put the pieces back together. While these cases started off seeming easy enough for a general dentist, one misstep took them in the wrong direction and that’s why when you’re looking to straighten your teeth, you deserve a specialist.
I’m always here for you if you have any questions about how to get a straighter smile. Just email me at doc@KriegerOrthodontics.com or call the office at 972-899-1465 to schedule a complementary consultation for you or your child.
Wishing you the best,
Glenn Krieger, DDS, MS, FAGD