I am about to finish my Invisalign treatment and I have LOVED it. My friends only noticed I was wearing the aligners when I took them out of my mouth for eating. They always thought it was awesome and always asked me tons of questions. Plus, they’re super comfortable. My dentist tells me I’m going to have to wear a retainer for a bit and I will admit I’m dreading the idea. I’m not too keen on metal after my exquisite Invisalign experience. I had the idea that I could just keep wearing my final set of aligners in place of a retainer. Would that work? Can I ask my mom to cancel the retainer appointment?
It’s fantastic that you’ve enjoyed your Invisalign treatment so much. You’re not the only one who feels that way, either. Invisalign has a higher than normal patient satisfaction rate, which means they’re definitely doing something right.
I also love how proactive you’re being about your care. You know what you like and are trying to arrange care which fits those parameters. The great thing about that is dentistry has many more options than it used to in the past.
While the idea of using your final set of aligners for your retainer sounds good on the surface, there are some issues that will creep up on you. First, the aligners were designed for two-week usage. Extended usage will wear them out. Plus, the inside is likely to get a tad bit on the grungy side and you’ll be longing for a fresh set.
The good news is while a metal retainer is certainly an option, it’s not your only option. You may want to keep your appointment with the orthodontist in order to go over some of the options I’ll present below. That way you can decide what’s best for you.
1. Lingual Retainers. While these are metal, they are placed on the backs of your teeth where your tongue touches. While they’re not truly invisible, your friends won’t be able to see them unless you make an effort to show it to them.
2. Wrap Around Clear Plastic Aligners. These are similar to Invisalign. They wrap all the way around your teeth the way your aligners did. You can ask to look at them and get an idea of whether you’ll like them as much as you did your orthodontic treatment.
3. Full Mouth Aligners. These are also clear plastic but they also cover the top of your mouth. Some companies even allow you to customize them. You can have them made in various colors, or have your favorite activity or sports team printed onto them.
Modern dentistry is filled with advancements and options. Always ask what ALL your options are. While technically dentists are ethically obligated to point out all your treatment options, we all have our favorites and some dentists are better than others at sharing the procedures they’re not as keen on.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Ryan Noah.