Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You have to pay $400 for an Invisalign retainer?

At my appointment about a month or so ago, my orthodontist told me that she would make me a retainer and that it would be less clear and more flexible and than Invisalign. I wasn't very happy about that since I'm already used to the way Invisalign looks and feels. So, I go back yesterday because I lost an attachment and she now tells me that the last trays will be my retainers. She clarified her mistake about the other retainer and that's fine, I didn't want to get used to something new. What upsets me is that my last trays will still have the bumps in it for the attachments. (which will be removed once we are done with these trays and possibly refinements) I wouldn't mind this much if I only had to wear them to bed but she told me that wearing them 3 months full time is best. (luckily it isn't necessary to have them in 22 hours per day like new retainers)

After expressing my concern about having to use a retainer with the attachment bumps, she then tells me that Invisalign offers an "Insurance plan" for $400 which gets you retainers with no bumps every so many months. This is very disappointing to have spent so much money on these and I can't even get a "bump-free" retainer from Invisalign without spending more??

32 comments:

Joop-Invisalign Adventure said...

Hi Sharon,

Your invisalign blog helped make me the decision to go with invisalign. I got my first trays 5 days ago and started a blog of my own. The problem is, i can't find my blog by just searching on google like i can yours. Is there something you have to do to become visible on google searches?

Thx, J

Anonymous said...

Insurance program from invisalign aligners are Vivera (http://www.viveraretainers.com/). Aligner charges the doctor for them. Tis a reasonable new product. Align used to provide a single u/l retainer (50bux each).

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon,

I am not so sure how far you are in the process, but I wanted to pass on that I just finished my invisalign treatment. My dentist made me a new set of retainers made of a different material because research is now showing that the invisalign material will loose its ability to retain after about 4-6 months. People are coming in upset after about 6 months because thier teeth are moving back, even though they have been wearing the invisalign retainers. My dentist is going to make me new retainers every 6 months with the new material until she hears of a better solution. Just though you should know!

Jenna Joop said...

How long do you have to wear the retainers for? I've heard you have to wear them every night forever for the best result although i'm not sure if this is true

Sharon said...

I'm on my last sets 16/16 upper and 15/15 lower. I can see how using the aligners is not going to work. I've been wearing the bottom for 4 weeks and already there is a crack in it. I also think that one of my teeth has shifted. I go back Monday and will find out for sure what we will do.

She tells me that I am going to have to wear the retainer full-time for 3 to 6 months. I was hoping for night time only as I really need a break from worrying about where I'm going to brush my teeth when I am not at home! :)

Anonymous said...

After the treatment you can get your final retainers for about $80 from eBay, I got one and it is just like the ones from invisalign, but you have to research a bit for a good and reputable maker.

Anonymous said...

Get over it! You have worn trays with bumps for your whole treatment, what is another 3 months? Then no one will see them when you wear them at night.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sharon!
My experience has been like yours ... a few "speed bumps" but overall I am very happy with the results.

I stumbled on your blog as I have similar issue with "retainers". I just finished my treatment and the Dr. says I should sign up for the retainer program where I get a new set mailed every month for a year (I believe) for cost of $900 ... so that might make you feel better about the $400?

Included in my treatment was one set of bumpless retainers that I was told would be just like my last tray but without the bumps....

Well they "feel" like another tray i.e. they are really pushing on a couple of my teeth but no matter....

I am having "trouble" getting around the $850 number ... I was not told of this cost up front and was not expecting it.

I was first planning on using the bumpless retainers during the day and the last set of trays with bumps during the nite, but since the fit seems slightly different I'm not sure that is a good plan...

I saw one comment that the retainers are available on eBay but I could not find them....

I really think I could use (and would like to have) one or two extra sets of retainers, but can't see $850 for 12 sets...

I am going to follow-up with my Dr. to find out if I can buy just one or two more sets...

Also, he did not mention retainers made from a different more robust material as some folks mentioned...

any thoughts appreciated... !!!

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure anyone is monitoring this BLOG any more, but I have found one option that seems more reasonable for a retainer program:

http://www.evertain.com

Phylomena said...

Hi, I used to read your blog when I had invisalign. What happened to me was this: When I was done, my dentist told me that he decided he'd rather give me a real retainer, not the Invisalign ones, which he also said most kids get now after braces.

So I ended up with those hard pink retainers with the wire across the teeth, and I knew right away that they would make me gag, and they do. If I put them in at bedtime and then try to talk, I gag. They are not that sturdy and one already broke, but if I ask for the other kind, he'll have to do impressions again and I don't know if I can stand that even one more time. He also did some cosmetic tweaking to my teeth as they still weren't the way I would have liked due to some teeth being shorter. My teeth are better now, but I guess will never look the way I'd hoped.

Anonymous said...

Hello!

I wore invisalign for about a year and half (with 2 adjustments) and it still wasn't as straight as I wanted it to be. My Dr. recommended me to get braces. She said max of 3-6 months. (my teeth weren't that bad to start out with! had minor crowding upper and a slight overbite) Well, what do you know? I'm still wearing braces after almost a year has gone by. I don't trust my ortho anymore! I had to switch ortho since I started braces. Well, invisalign is super comfortable compared to braces. Regret ever getting them. I told my Dr. that I wanted to finish my treatment with invisalign and they told me I had to pay extra ($450+) for their retainers! Not happy at all. 2.5 years has passed, extra time, and $6000 of my own money. =(

SamDaMan said...

Hi Sharon,

I moved to New York a few months ago and found a very capable orthodontists who offers great deals on Invisalign. She's currently offering $1,000 off for new clients. You can check out her websites at:
Invisalign NYC

Anonymous said...

That evertain link looks pretty promising... $99 for a retainer... $160 for two... Thanks!

Hope you're still following said...

Did any of you ever order for Evertain? I ordered from them over a month ago, still haven't received my impression kit! Can't talk to a rep, it's always a prerecorded message asking me to leave a message, and they never call back! Also emailed info and Scott Dalton, with no response! Please help me! I DON'T want my money back, I just want the retainers (since my local orthodontists charge at least $350 for top and bottom! They only charge around $170 for top and bottom!

Anonymous said...

I have called Evertain several times, but always got the recording as well, so have not placed an order .... did you ever get your kit/retainers?

Sharon said...

No, I'm still using the last retainers in the set. I sleep in them almost every night and have been doing that for about a year now. Don't waste your money on retainers.

Nan said...

I lost my bottom retainer. My dentist said it is a promotion 4 retainers for $400 so I did order it.

I did miss understood, I thought I could order 4 retainers 2 for top and 2 for bottom...

Now I need to pay another $400 because I lost the top retainer.
I wasn't happy but don't know what to do.

Anonymous said...

Are you guys really stupid? No one should pay 400-900 dollars for retainers that need to be replaced after a few months. That's just common sense. Get a regular metal retainer made for wear at nighttime! They'll last forever...

Anonymous said...

^
Agreed. Once you only have to use your retainer at night, get something that's going to last forever rather than shelling out money all the time.

Anonymous said...

I have mixed emotions about Invisalign now. My teeth only needed a small amount of straigtening, and I wanted a bite guard for night time, so I went through the process. After 3 years, the Invisalign retainer is VERY smelly, even after all the fizzy tablets, etc. that I've tried. I had a new set made, and they were so uncomfortable, that I can't wear them. I'm not sure I'd go through all of this, if I had to do it over again. The original night retainer was good, but it doesn't seem that they can recreate it. This is just my experience.

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Doylestown Teeth Whitening said...

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Your post is pretty useful for the dental community. Thanks for taking the time and effort.

Anonymous said...

I regret getting Invisalign. I know it's taboo to say this on websites where people are unhealthily attached to the straightness of their teeth, but for others out there considering it let me offer an alternative viewpoint on Invisalign and braces more generally:

Having mild crowding of your teeth isn't unhealthy or abnormal. Most everyone has some "crowding" of their teeth because they don't fit in our mouths perfectly. You're going to be able to maintain them well enough with regular brushing, flossing, and check-ups--having them slightly straighter isn't going to effect your quality of life in terms of health. Now, obviously some people have major bite problems, but for the most part, Invisalign isn't addressing those cases. I'd really think that for most patients, the pros in terms of health would NOT outweigh the risks (moving your teeth through bone, gum recession, keeping plastic in your mouth for years, filing teeth ect.). Maybe it's just me, but none of those things sound particularly healthy to me.

Now, I think most people get Invisalign for aesthetic reasons, which is OK, but if you look at other places around the world (outside America), they aren't all so keen on perfect teeth as being a must-have in being beautiful. I've been to Europe and seen plenty of drop-dead gorgeous Spanish and Italian girls with "bad" teeth. Guess what? No one cares. Likewise, the average fat American would do well to focus on other aspects of his or her appearance and health rather than spending thousands to get their teeth straighter. I mean, I can't think of any time in my life where someone's teeth were a turn-off--poorly maintained, unhealthy teeth can be off-putting--but well-maintained and crooked? Fine with me. In fact, crooked teeth make someone unique. I realized midway through my treatment I didn't want my teeth filed anymore, I didn't want them pushed around anymore, and I didn't want them made into a magazine ad. I simply wanted my own, unique teeth. A little crooked here and there, but at least I could have my mouth back, forever.

As far as the process itself: it's unpleasant. You have to wear two pieces of plastic in your mouth for 22+ hours a day, you can't really close your mouth properly, you might find them irritating and the kicker? You're never really done with them. You wear some type of retainer in your mouth for the rest of your life! No thanks.

Anyways, I could go on and no doubt the fanboys and girls will reply and maybe an orthodontist will come in here and try to shut me down, but hopefully I've made one or two people move away from this silliness. Also, note how many orthodontists are active online, promoting Invisalign and orthodontics more generally. Ask yourself if other doctors promote a product in a similar way, and if so, what you think of these types of people. It's all about the $$$

Anonymous said...

If you are a good consumer you will do your research first --you have to know what you signed up for with invisalign --it's not easy and it's not fun --and it's not for everyone ---do your homework first. I am nearing the end of my treatment and could not be happier!

Anonymous said...

Doing "research" is all well and fine, but I think experience trumps that in this case. It's tough to know what orthodontics are like if you haven't experienced it; it's like someone describing what sex is like, but not experiencing it. Invisalign is like sex, only it sucks.

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Anonymous said...

I also strongly regret getting invisalign. The total cost was $8000 and I did not even get retainers. The doctors and the office were also very unkind and told me to go and see a surgeon or a speech therapist in case my problems with the last aligner continued. I am now suffering from daily headaches and temporal joint disorder. The doctor even wanted a refinement but they want to aggressively rotate a very small tooth. Aside from that they squeezed my upper teeth and I do not know what to do about it. When I wear the retainer, the next day I get a booming headache and clicks, pops in my ears and my eyes bulge out. The doctor claims lingual is the way to go after invisalign. It is really difficult to figure out what to do and there is absolutely no advice from the doctor. My face is all swollen and the retainer sucks. I am now looking for a more comfortable retainer to save my bite. I am a trumpet player.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog, glad to know I am not the only one with retainer issues. I completed my invisalign treatment back in 2005 and have probably spent over $1000.00 replacing worn out retainers. I am sure invaisalign is aware of the issue

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your Blog. It's Interesting the issue that you had. I had a similar experience I finished my invisalign treatment about 6 months ago. My teeth a very straight and I only wear the retainer now. You know that you can get the retainers done only and not have to go the dentist. I ordered mine from SportingSmiles.com and have been really happy with the product.

JoeltotheB said...

Looks like I am not the only one with this issue! After completing my initial treatment I went in for impressions for the night time retainers thinking that was the end of treatment. Two weeks later got a bill for $469. WTF?! I already pre-paid for my invisalign and they never mentioned additional fees or having to buy retainers every so many months. I called and complained and they took the charge off. I thought that was the end of it. I then go in for my 6mo cleaning and they ask me how things are going, any new probs etc to which I mention how my bottom teeth(they were really messed up)seem to be shifting back. They ask me when was the last time I changed my retainer to which I gave them a puzzled luck and said, "Umm never." The dentist left the room and came back with a box of retainers and told me to switch out every 3-4mos. WTF? Looks like I am customer for life?! Thankful FSA's!