Do you wear Invisalign, but are moving, thinking about switching dentists, or are in a time crunch for appointments? If your treatment is near its end, you might be wondering if you can skip the dentist altogether. But what should you consider first?
1. The complexity of your case
Each Invisalign case is unique to the patient. The position of your teeth and your alignment goals determine how much dentist supervision is needed. In addition to the aligners, your dentist might need to adjust treatment in various ways:
- Reshape some of your teeth to make room for movement
- Bond buttons to your teeth to increase contact with the aligners for precise movement
- Remove the buttons
- Watch the progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed
2. How much treatment time remains?
As your Invisalign treatment nears the end, supervision by a dentist is minimal. If you’re relocating or thinking about switching to a dentist, there will be a small fee to finish your case. You can call a few Invisalign providers and ask about the cost. Your previous dentist will send your dental records to the new practice.
3. Maintaining alignment
Whether you keep your current dentist, switch to a new one, or try to go it alone because you’re in the final phase—you will need a retainer to keep your teeth aligned. If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth can shift so much that you’ll need to resume orthodontic treatment to realign them.
Below are retainer guidelines. Your dentist’s recommendation might differ.
- First month – Wear the retainer continuously.
- Second and third months – Wear it only at night.
- Fourth month – Wear it every other night.
- Check the progress – You will know that your teeth are shifting if it’s difficult to put the retainers on. If so, wear the retainers nightly. In time, if your teeth are stable, you can wear the retainers less frequently. But be alert to tight retainers, which means your teeth are shifting.
Before deciding how to handle your remaining Invisalign treatment, you can speak with your current dentist. Ask how your treatment is progressing and if your dentist anticipates any issues.
Rekha Reddy, DDS, a female dentist in Dallas, TX, sponsors this post.