I’m determined to get Invisalign, but the closest dentist to me that provides it is almost 85 miles away. I would like to know if I will need to return to the office every three or four weeks to get new aligners or if some dentists would mail them to me. I guess I can call different offices and ask. But I want to know what to expect. The other issue is that I have dental anxiety. My teeth are shifting, and I know I need to do something about it. I’m concerned about long-distance travel and needing to be sedated for each appointment, which means I’ll need to have someone with me. Thanks. Owen from Missouri
Invisalign technology continues to advance. Now, most dentists schedule checkups every six to eight weeks. Your dentist will give you a few sets of aligners.
Your case’s complexity will determine how often your dentist will ask you to come into the office. If you can’t return to the office frequently, it might affect the length of your treatment.
Invisalign treatment begins with a full-mouth scan and a treatment plan. At that time, you and your dentist will discuss
- How many sets of aligners you’ll receive in intervals
- If your Invisalign trays can be mailed periodically
- How often you’ll need in-person follow-up visits for your dentist
The Invisalign lab makes the full set of aligners when your case starts. Technically, you could take all your aligners home with you. But your case needs regular monitoring. Depending on each set of aligners fits and how your teeth respond to treatment, your dentist might have to trim or adjust the aligners.
Sedation Dentistry and Invisalign
Sedation dentistry can help you enjoy Invisalign treatment. But the level of sedation you need throughout treatment can vary.
- Initial appointment – Your first Invisalign appointment will take the longest. Ask for a telemedicine consultation with an Invisalign dentist to understand what will happen during the first appointment and how long it will last. Talk to the dentist about your anxiety. You might need a moderate level of sedation for the first appointment. And that requires someone to accompany you.
- Follow-up appointments – The appointments are brief. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can keep you calm while the dentist examines the progress of your Invisalign treatment. Nitrous oxide is active while you breathe it in, but when you’re not inhaling it, the effects quickly reverse. And you can drive yourself to and from your appointments. You might want to have someone with you on your first follow-up appointment.
- Relaxing over time – Many sedation dentistry patients relax over time and receive treatment with limited sedation—or no sedation at all. Each experience is unique, but as you adjust to your Invisalign dentist and his or her team, your anxiety level can decrease.
You’ll be able to find a dentist to work with your distance from the office and provide successful treatment with Invisalign and sedation.
David Finley, DDS, of Monroe, LA, sponsors this post.