And This Is Why You Need A Second Opinion For Invisalign

[I am a member of the Invisalign Moms Advisory Board and am receiving complimentary Invisalign treatment.]

Fiona's crooked smile

Fiona’s beautiful – but crooked – smile

On Monday I got a call from the school nurse. She always starts out “This is the school nurse; it’s not an emergency” which is much appreciated. Fiona had come to her because her gums were so swollen she could hardly eat lunch. (I’d packed her a bagel. That doesn’t work with any kind of mouth injury.)

The earliest dentist appointment I could get for her was Wednesday morning, and by then, of course, her gums were fine. So we went in for a check-up.

Fiona goes to my dentist, the same one who told me that Invisalign would never work for my teeth. It’s working just fine, thank you very much, and seeing what some of her friends are going through with braces, Fiona wants to get Invisalign too.

While he was cleaning Fiona’s teeth, the dentist mentioned to her that braces were probably in her future. I tensed up as she interrupted him and said “No, I want to get Invisalign!” And he launched into the same speech he’d given me, filled with vague claims about how it just doesn’t work, and how traditional braces are best.

I let him finish. And I waited to see what Fiona would say. She stayed quiet, so I chimed in. “I think she wants to get Invisalign because I’ve had them for the past seven months, and she sees how well they’re working for me.”

So of course, he changed his tune just enough to match the new facts presented to him. “It’s not that Invisalign doesn’t work,” he explained, “it’s an issue of compliance – kids don’t wear their Invisalign trays as much as they should; braces they can’t take off.”

And there is some truth to what he’s saying. Before I got my Invisalign trays, my orthodontist took a lot of time to stress to me that if I did not wear them for at least twenty-two hours a day, every day, we would not get the results we were looking for. There’s a lot more responsibility on an Invisalign user than on a braces wearer.

But when faced with the choice of wearing and taking care of braces versus wearing Invisalign, Fiona is adamant that she will be responsible. And Invisalign Teen gives you a way to check for compliance: there’s a dot on each tray that changes color if it’s been worn for a sufficient amount of time. So, her orthodontist and I can monitor her progress, and the threat of braces will be there if she doesn’t follow the rules.

I like my dentist, but he’s obviously made up his mind against Invisalign, for no good reason. This is why it is so important to get a second opinion about it. If your dentist doesn’t have any experience with Invisalign, it’s totally possible that he will steer you towards a product he can make some money with (his office does regular braces). Find someone who has a lot of experience with Invisalign by going to the Invisalign website. My orthodontist is one of the top 1% Invisalign providers in the country! He knows what will work for which mouth, and sometimes that’s braces, or a combination of braces and Invisalign. But if your orthodontist doesn’t have all of the tools at his disposal, how will he help you choose what’s right for you?

I’ve avoided having a check-up with  my dentist since getting my aligners, because I know he’s against them (I could just take them out, but the attachments all over my back teeth are a dead giveaway). Now that I’ve outed myself to him, I guess I should go in for a cleaning. Maybe I can convince him to check out Invisalign again.

I am a member of the Invisalign Moms Advisory Board. I am receiving complimentary Invisalign treatment as part of this program. All opinions are my own and based on my own treatment experience. Full disclosure can be found here:


  1. says

    My dentist actually does Invisalign. He said my case is so bad that he referred me to another Invisalign guy, passing on any money I could have brought in. I appreciate that. I’m on my 36th set. The change has been huge, but I have far to go. Invisalign should use my before/after as a case study, man.

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