Ask the Dentist: What’s Your Most Memorable Invisalign Case?
From overturning a can’t-be-done diagnosis to treating a 60-year-old, Dr. Pua Hong Ping and Dr. Julius Tong reveal their most memorable Invisalign experiences.
Invisalign, the clear aligner system, is steadily gaining popularity around the world for being able to straighten teeth effectively and discreetly. We decided to quiz Dr. Julius Tong and Dr. Pua Hong Ping, both of whom are accredited and experienced Invisalign Platinum Elite providers with i.Dental, about their most memorable Invisalign case.
Let’s start with Dr. Pua. Tell us about the Invisalign case that left the deepest impression on you.
I once took over a patient from a more senior dentist who was leaving the practice. The patient had come in to fix her underbite and specifically asked for Invisalign as she wasn’t keen on living with wires and brackets. But she had been told by that dentist that her condition was too complex for Invisalign and that she needed braces instead.
When I reviewed her case, I was certain that Invisalign would work. I had successfully treated several similar cases before but it was still an uphill task to change a plan that had been set by a senior practitioner — even though I had more clinical experience with Invisalign than he did.
With my confidence in the Invisalign system and motivated by the patient’s desire for a more discreet and less painful way to straighten her teeth, I stuck to my guns. And I’m glad I did. I was able to go ahead with Invisalign treatment for the patient and, by the end of it, she was absolutely delighted with both the results and the process.
Moral of the story?
More years of dental practice doesn’t necessarily equate to more skills or experience when it comes to Invisalign. The Invisalign system is based on a different and unique mechanism and I’m fortunate to be able to learn directly from one of the earliest practitioners of Invisalign in Singapore — Dr. Cheng Eng Wah.
How about you, Dr. Tong?
My story is a little different from Dr. Pua’s. My most memorable Invisalign case is also my oldest Invisalign patient — a 60-year-old man with anterior (or front) crossbite. Generally, when I see patients with crossbite, I advise them to get it fixed because, when their top and bottom teeth do not meet, it can create uneven pressure on their teeth, leading to premature wear and tear. This particular patient had lived with crossbite all his life and the damage was evident. He even had to get a crown for one tooth because it was beyond repair.
He told me that he had always wanted to straighten his teeth but had been put off by metal braces. It was only after he found out about the Invisalign clear aligner system that he decided to come in for a consultation. It was a good thing that he did, because his case was actually more suitable for Invisalign than braces!
Braces don’t adhere well to certain types of crowns and, since his was an anterior crossbite, braces would have meant that I needed to raise his bite in order to ‘jump’ over the crossbite in front and, trust me, that would have been really uncomfortable for him. With Invisalign, that wasn’t necessary at all. So, while the patient wanted Invisalign for aesthetic reasons, the system turned out to be more beneficial for him from a process and clinical outcome perspective as well. As his dentist, I was really happy to deliver the results that he wanted while making the experience more comfortable and effective for him.
And your personal takeaway from this experience?
I think Invisalign has created more possibilities for providers and patients alike. It’s making it possible for people like this patient to fulfill their lifelong dream of straighter and healthier teeth without compromising on their lifestyle needs. Invisalign makes my patients smile, and that’s all the job satisfaction that I need.