I am finishing up my Invisalign treatment. I have two sets of aligners left. I have to move rather quickly to another state and will be quite busy once I arrive. My sister and her young son were just diagnosed with cancer, though they have two different cancers. I was coming to help anyway, but now her husband was in a car accident and he is in a wheelchair and will be for several months. I need to leave immediately. My boss has given me permission to work remotely. The only thing I don’t have worked out is how to do the Invisalign. I will have no time to find a new dentist. Do you have any recommendations?
First, let me express how sorry I am for all that you and your family are enduring at the moment, as well as how grateful I am that you are doing all you can to help them. I am sure it brings them some peace of mind. The first thing I would do is call your dentist and ask him to provide you with your last two sets of your Invisalign aligners. Assuming your case has had nothing unusual and everything is going according to plan, he should not have any problem with that at all.
That is the easy part. the tricky part comes after you are done with your treatment. You will need to wear a retainer, unless you want your teeth to go right back to the way they were before their treatment. The good news is, there is a way to do this without you having to take time out to see a dentist. Your final pair of aligners can double as a retainer if you follow these directions and take good care of them.
Using Invisalign as a Retainer
The first step will be to wear them all the time for a month. Once the month has passed, then start backing off. You can wear them nights only for a month or two. After that, try every other night. Directly after the first time you were without them for two days, I’d like you to do a little test. When you put the aligners back in, if they are a little harder to put on I suggest you go back to wearing them every night for a couple more weeks, then try again.
Once they remain in place, you can wear them every other night for a month then retest to see how that is going. If they are fine, you can go to wearing them once a week. Always repeat the test mentioned above before any change, backing off a little more after each stable pass. Eventually, you won’t need them at all.
I would still keep the aligners even after you are done with them for two reasons. First, you can periodically check to see that no shifting has happened. Second, they are great for doubling as teeth whitening trays. When you do get to a new dentist, he can provide you with whitening gel. This will allow you to keep your teeth youthful and bright at a fraction of the cost.
Best of everything to you and your family.
This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.