It’s Time for Invisalign, Round 2

It's Time for Invisalign, Round Two

Karen Del Vecchio avatar

by Karen Del Vecchio |

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a summer break | Main graphic for column titled

A few months ago, when I finally returned to the dentist after being fully vaccinated for COVID-19, we talked about redoing my Invisalign.

Although I had braces as a teenager, my teeth began to shift again as I got older. While it wasn’t too bad yet, my dentist told me at a regular cleaning a few years ago that if I didn’t do something about it sooner rather than later, it would eventually become much more complicated to fix.

As a result, I did Invisalign in 2019 and got everything straightened out pretty easily.

All was going well until I badly broke my right ring finger in a freak accident last fall. This required urgent surgery, and I didn’t wear my retainers at night for about four or five days while I was recovering. While this would likely be wholly irrelevant for the average person, my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome allowed my teeth to shift enough during that time that I could no longer get my retainers back in.

Because this was last October, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I couldn’t return to the dentist, as he was understandably only taking emergency appointments. I was stuck.

When I finally saw him in March and explained what had happened, my dentist was stunned. He’d never in his career seen someone’s teeth move that quickly, and given the fact that he’s retiring this year, that’s pretty impressive! So, technicians took a new scan of my mouth to have a new set of Invisalign aligners made, and the staff said they’d call me when they came in.

Not long ago, I realized that I’d never heard about my new aligners, so I gave the office a call. Some kind of technical glitch had prevented the new scan from being sent to the company. After profuse apologies and a call to Invisalign, the staff straightened everything out and my new aligners were set to arrive last week. I was highly skeptical that they’d still fit at this point but figured I’d give it a try. Thankfully, all of this is included in the original cost!

To my immense surprise, when I went into the office about a week ago to receive them, I was amazed to find that they actually fit. Although I’m frustrated to have to go through the process all over again, I’m thankful that there’s a relatively easy fix for what’s going on. This time when we’re finished, my dentist will put in a permanent retainer so this won’t happen again!

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Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.

Comments

Elisabeth Johnsen avatar

Elisabeth Johnsen

How has your experience with EDS+permanent retainer been? My dentist has suggested Invisalign for my lower jaw due to crowding, but my gums are extremely fragile so I'm worried about having to use a retainer.

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Karen Del Vecchio avatar

Karen Del Vecchio

Hi, Elisabeth! I'm sorry I'm just getting back with you. I've had good luck with my permanent retainer so far! Also, Invisalign retainers are actually just like the product that you use to realign your teeth, so I personally didn't have any problem with it (but I did have trouble with traditional metal/plastic orthodontic retainers from when I was a teenager after my braces were removed). I hope you and your dentist can find a solution that works for you!

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Aimz avatar

Aimz

After reading your posts about your experience with braces/Invisalign I can relate and wanted to share my experience too. I had braces and my teeth moved extremely fast and I didn't have to wear them for as long as they first thought. When my treatment was finished they made me plastic retainers which I wore constantly for a few months and then was told to only wear them at night but wearing them at night wasn't enough, my teeth would shift during the day if I didn't wear it almost 24/7, so I ended up getting a permanent wire retainer which we believed would fix the issue - the problem is it did not! Despite my teeth being retained by the wire, my teeth were pushing against it trying so hard to move back that some significant shifting still occured, the plastic retainer stopped fitting and the wire actually snapped on one side due to the pressure, and huge shifting occured within days. This happened during the pandemic, and couldn't be fixed by the time they saw me unless I had braces again.

This might not be the case for everyone but sometimes even the wire permenant retainer doesn't work. I am in the process of letting my teeth move back to where they want to be, because they're not going to give up and it's only putting pressure on them if they are constantly fighting the retainers.

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