Tag Archives: Invisalign defects

Exposing the Great InvisaLIE: Vivera Retainers Last Only a Few Months and Your Dentist Wants To Keep It a Secret!

Ever wonder why your teeth shift when you’re wearing your retainers 20 plus hours a day? Or why it is that when you change to your second or third set, the new retainer is surprisingly tight? Weren’t these all supposed to be made to the same spec?

The reason for this is crystal clear: Your Vivera retainers have worn out and are no longer retaining properly. Your dentist or orthodontist knows all about these limitations. They’ve read the studies. They’ve heard these complaints from other patients. And they’ve received personalized training from Invisalign on what this product can do. So why do they claim these retainers can last for years? (When yours lasted only for a few months!)

Welcome to the Great InvisaLIE

For how I was a victim see my story below.1 But first, here are the facts supported by Invisalign’s own press releases!

Yes, Invisalign aligners can straighten your teeth. But don’t count on their Vivera retainers to keep them that way. Whether you maintain these retainers perfectly, or just like the average person, your teeth could start shifting in less than 3 months!

Why The Lie?
Last year, Invisalign made $3.9 billion in annual sales.1 And their 256 thousand doctor customers have made billions more selling Invisalign to almost 17 million patients.1 2 So it’s all about the money.

The big draw to both Invisalign aligners and retainers, is that you can fix your teeth fairly quickly and not need braces or visible retainers to keep them that way. Indeed, the Invisalign website boasts that “Invisalign aligners are customized for each patient and are virtually invisible, making them a desirable option when compared to other teeth straightening methods such as braces.”1

This near invisibility is a key Invisalign selling point. And it resonates with the patients who were never told that after aligners, they must still wear their Vivera retainers, full time, both day and night, for 3-9 months!1 2 So the lifespan of Vivera retainers is crucial. If it’s too short to keep your teeth straight, why bother with Invisalign? And if it costs extra but requires huge, clunky non-clear retainers, then you’ve paid a fortune for invisible treatment that is no longer invisible.

Your doctor knows exactly what’s at stake. Invisalign is their bread and butter.1 So if you complain that your Vivera retainers aren’t working, they’ll claim your case is unique and offer you other money draining options, such as fixed retainers. Or they may say it’s your own fault because you didn’t maintain your retainer to some exacting impossible standard.

But don’t you believe them! Their claims of how long these retainers last are outrageously exaggerated. Just compare these to what Invisalign says about their own product. With such a vast disconnect, someone here has got to be lying!

Claims on Vivera Lifespan Range from 10 Years to 3 Months!
Just how do Invisalign providers determine how long Vivera retainers last? Is it by voodoo? Is it astrology? Or do they predict these things by Tarot cards? Just check out the divergent claims below! Where exactly do they get their data from?

  • 10 years but can be less1 2
  • 4 years with proper care1
  • 2 years but sometimes sooner1 2
  • Several years if cared for1
  • 3 years for a set of 41
  • 5 years with proper care1
  • 3 months to 2+ years1
  • 3-9 months with proper care1
  • 3 months if worn full time, 9 months if at night1
    (most accurate but the least common response)

The Actual Claims Made by Invisalign
Invisalign never states an exact time when their Vivera retainers stop retaining. But if you can do 4th grade math, you’ll find that they do refer to their retainer lifespan. (It’s buried in their ancient press releases.)

Turns our that Invisalign retainers last about 2.6 months (assuming your retainers don’t crack or break before then).

Retainer Durability v. Strength (Strength Is Key!)
The Invisalign website says “BUILT TO LAST LONGER Vivera retainer material is also at least 30% stronger and twice as durable as other leading clear retainer materials.1 In footnote 3, at the bottom of the page, they explain that Durability means “The ability to withstand cracking and breakage of the retainer.1

Strength is verified by retention force, the ability of the retainer to provide sufficient corrective mechanical loads to retain teeth in their defined positions.1

So durability is how long these retainers stay intact if you drop them or expose them to stress. While strength, is how long these retainers will keep your teeth from shifting.

So strength is key here. But what does this mean in terms of Vivera retainer shelf life? We still need to know just how long these retainers last. But fear not! This mystery is revealed in an Invisalign Jan 8, 2008 press release.1 Here, in paragraph 4, we learn that Vivera retainers are made to last for about 2.6 months! After that, Invisalign is unwilling to publicly attest to their strength in keeping your teeth aligned.

The Smoking Gun
Back in 2008, the Invisalign parent company, Align Technology, Inc., boasted that “Align’s lab tests show that Vivera’s proprietary thermoplastic material is more than 30 percent stronger than the clear retainers used by their competitors” and that “strength is a key quality for retaining teeth in their final position.” At this point, Align tells us that the leading retainers being referred to “begin to deform after as little as two months of simulated daytime wear, impacting their ability to maintain teeth in their final retained position.”1

Conclusion about Vivera Retainer Lifespan
In a perfect world where your Vivera retainers remain whole and strength is the only factor, such will retain teeth in their defined positions for 30% longer than those leading retainers that last for 2 months. This means the expected lifespan of Vivera retainers is 2.6 months! But to be fair, let’s agree that more than 30% strength=3 months. 

And what do you know! Invisalign agrees with this. In the same paragraph of the Jan 8, 2008 press release, just after boasting about their retainer strength, they then roll out an exciting new Vivera retainer subscription plan: a plan which offers a new retainer every three months!1

But thanks to the Way Back Machine, it gets better than that! In a long defunct website specifically for Vivera Retainers, they admit these retainers last for only 3 months and that if you wear them longer than that “your teeth may not be in “working retention.” So “this is why we’re delivering Vivera retainers every three months.” 1

This is the smoking gun. Here, Invisalign confirms that these retainers don’t last much longer than that.

With Invisalign, Patients Are Promised a Square Circle
From the outset, these patients are never told the true cost and commitment of using Invisalign. They don’t even know the right questions to ask, and the doctor providers seem to take full advantage of that.

On Reddit, Invisalign patients will often complain they must wear their Vivera retainers day and night (and well beyond the 3 month limit these were tested for).1 Some, were quite surprised because they were never told that this extended full-time wear was common and to be expected.1 This omission is also part of the Great InvisaLIE.

So patients are promised a square circle. In order to keep their teeth straight, they must now keep wearing worn out retainers which can no longer keep their teeth straight!

But you may ask, what happens next when their teeth inevitably start to shift? Well, at that point, the helpful doctor can suggests costly alternatives such as lingual braces, or more robust retainers. It’s a fantastic win-win for the orthodontist; but an abysmal lose-lose for the patient.

Does Invisalign Protect the False Claims of Their Providers by Almost Never Referring to How Long These Retainers Last?
Of interest, is that Invisalign has long since discontinued their 3 month retainer replacement program. If they offer something similar, it never hints about a short retainer lifespan.

They’ve even discontinued their Viveraretainers.com website-the one where they reveal directly that Vivera retainers last for 3 months, hence the replacement plan.1 See below how in 2011, Invisalign glibly edges away from their statements made in 2008. Keep in mind it’s the same retainer replacement program!

In 2008, they said “This is why we’re delivering Vivera retainers every three months – keeping your patients in working retention.”1 But in 2011, they try to obfuscate the three month lifespan through misdirection. Instead, it’s a bundle of 4 which is shipped over time. Where in 2008, the purpose was to keep patients’ teeth in working retention, a fancy term for keeping their teeth straight, now, the purpose is to accommodate each patients unique retention needs.” Very slick: But misleading as these retainers degrade after 3 months regardless.

But tricks aside, is Invisalign still keeping their retainer lifespan on the quiet?

Amidst all their current promotions, almost none tell you how long these retainers last. For example: a Google search for the word “Vivera” returns hundreds of hits from the Align Tech website.1 But when you search for terms on retainer lifespan you find only three!1 These references are all buried in their old company press releases from 2007, 2008 and 2018.

In the first two from 2007 and 2008, both say that “strength is a key quality for retaining teeth in their final position.” But not so in the later 2018 press release, which focused on retainer duration. Here, strength is downplayed and this exact phrase has been removed.1 Of interest, is that I could find no modern references to retainer lifespan after 2018. Why is this?

Does Invisalign’s Webpage Assist Providers with False Advertising by Deliberately Diverting Attention Away from Retainer Lifespan?
Invisalign’s current webpage looks much like their Jan 2008 Press release. It too talks about strength and durability. It too boasts that Vivera retainers last 30% more than leading retainers. But unlike their early press releases, they no longer refer to the two month lifespan of their competitors. Nor do they explain what 30% more means in terms of months or years. Instead, they slyly divert attention elsewhere to the brand names of their competition, all the while, skirting the real issue of just how long these retainers actually last.1

So why would Invisalign do this? What good is it to intentionally keep patients in the dark? Could it be they know their provider doctors are lying about Vivera retainer lifespan? Could it be that an ignorant public would be less apt to sue Invisalign’s customers for false advertising? If true, this sounds a lot like aiding and abetting.

Indeed, Invisalign has the best of both worlds. They make billions off their provider dentists and orthodontists. And if any of these providers lie about their product, Invisalign can always claim they had no part in it-they never knew of it, or if they did know, it’s still not their fault.

But is that really the case? Their clever gimmicks aside, could they be at fault anyway? Could it be that Invisalign is so enmeshed in training, marketing, and distributing that they are legally complicit as well?

Shouldn’t We Believe Invisalign When They Tell Their Providers “Invis Is by Your Side” “Align has you covered” and is “Supporting Your Practice at Every Stage?”
The message here is clear. Sell more Invisalign and you’ll do just fine! We’ll help you in every way, including how to market to consumers. And so Invisalign paves the way for their providers to keep on lying. They either approve of their false advertising, or imply they will eagerly look the other way.

Indeed, on their provider resource page, they even pitch to their doctor customers that “Clear aligners gross revenue per visit is 46.8% higher than braces.1 (An obvious incentive for dentists to offer patients even more Invisalign.)

Elsewhere, they boast that “We’ve invested $150M in marketing programs designed to drive patients to your office.1 And in large print up top, they assure providers that:

But it doesn’t stop there. In the screenshot below, Invisalign promises them “From expanding your practice to creating efficiencies that further patient care, Align has you covered. Our patient concierge team, direct-to-consumer marketing programs, and in-office marketing materials help you set the stage for success.” Invisalign then offers to support their practice “at every stage through Practice Mentoring & Training” and through numerous marketing programs.

When It Comes to Training & Marketing, Their Eye Is on the Sparrow: Invisalign Leaves Nothing to Chance, which Means They Know Exactly What Their Providers Claim about Retainer Lifespan
Invisalign is like the helicopter mom who sorts their child’s laundry, cleans their bedroom and writes all their book reports. Nothing escapes her notice. Everything is tightly controlled. Nothing happens without at least her tacit consent. So when the police come to find the child’s bedroom cluttered with stolen merchandise, can momma really claim she never knew? If not legally complicit, she certainly is morally so!

Likewise, as shown in their own public documents, Invisalign zealously protects their image. And they control virtually every aspect of their product marketing. This extends well beyond training and marketing to their provider doctors. They even induce US consumers to hype up their own product demand.1 This includes their Invisalign patient referral program, a program which rewards existing patients with a $100 gift certificate if they can convince their friends and family to get treated with Invisalign!1

To show you just how hands on they are with their training and marketing plans, take a look at this public recap of their Q3 2021 financial results. Here Invisalign admits:

  • Their share of the retainer market is significantly underpenetrated;
  • They have a robust retainer strategy with a separate marketing team;
  • This marketing team is devoted to driving adoption and increasing Vivera market share in the US;
  • This includes engaging doctors through clinical education and sales initiatives, engaging consumers through social media, and by making
  • Demand creation programs that direct consumers to their provider doctors who sell Invisalign.1 2

So Invisalign has a special marketing team devoted to selling Vivera retainers. Further, this team directly engages both doctors and consumers. For doctors, it provides clinical hands on training and sales initiatives.

For consumers, it creates a patient to patient referral program and engages them through social media. In short, Invisalign does whatever it can to penetrate the US market to sell more Vivera retainers. You’d figure this means checking out not just their competitors but also the claims from their own provider doctors.

At the very least, their marketing team would want to harmonize any provider ads that were off script or contradictory. But this seems exactly the reverse of what they’re doing! Instead of policing their providers to tell the truth, Invisalign allows them to keep on lying. They then submerge the truth in just three documents, which sink beneath a flurry of their new ads and more recent press releases.1 So finding the truth is like looking for the needle in a haystack. Except the needle is extra tiny, and someone keeps adding more haystacks!

When It Comes To Exposing the Lies of Their Competitors, Invisalign Actively Combs Reddit, YouTube and Other Websites To Remove Promotions that are Incorrect or Misleading
Court documents show that Invisalign is selectively passive about which lies they are willing to contest. They seem just fine with lies that promote their sales. But are fiercely against lies that aid their competition.

In their lawsuit against SmileDirectClub, Invisalign shows how eagerly they scour the Internet for lies that threaten their own revenue stream.1 And yet they become aloof and nonchalant when these lies come from their own doctor providers. Lies that dupe millions into falling for the Great InvisaLIE.

When It Comes To Exposing Lies on Their Website and Social Media Page, Invisalign Says They’re Legally Obligated To Remove or Correct ALL Promotions that are Incorrect or Misleading

Check out their rules of social media engagement made for their Singapore market. Here they note that:

Invisalign is a Class II medical device that is strictly regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration, which requires that all promotion of Invisalign (including those on our Facebook page) be truthful, non-misleading, and fairly balanced. Furthermore, like other device manufacturers, Align is obligated to provide clarification or remove any posts from our Facebook pages that we deem inconsistent with Invisalign’s intended use or are otherwise incorrect or misleading.1

Here, they must have put up this disclaimer because they wanted to remove claims they thought were false or misleading. Indeed, if ALL promotion of Invisalign, (a Class II medical device) must be truthful and non misleading, why would Invisalign apply this standard selectively?

It seems they have one standard when it comes to removing misleading comments on their Facebook page or a page of their competitor’s, but an entirely different standard for removing misleading statements that their own providers use to sell more Invisalign. Could it be they think this duty applies only to their aligners, but not to their retainers-a Class I medical device? 1 If so, the spate of recent lawsuits would suggest otherwise.1

But it gets better.

Invisalign Now Partners with Their Providers To Home Deliver Retainers To The Patient’s Doorstep. The Product Manufacturer Has Also Become the Product Marketer and Product Distributor -with Near Absolute Control over Their Product.
Yes! Through their newly developed Direct Ship To Patient feature, Invisalign actively ships Vivera to patients directly!

In this recent press release from Align Technology, they tout that

With the direct ship to patient feature, doctors can arrange to have subsequent retainers sent to their patients directly, reducing the need for doctors to store the retainers in their office or for patients to make a trip to their doctor’s office simply to pick up their replacement retainers. …”All shipping costs, logistics, and facilitation of tracking information are managed directly in the Align VRS platform.1

And their program seems to be a success. In their publicly posted 10Q filing they announced that:

For the three months ended March 31, 2023, non-case net revenues increased by $12.0 million as compared to the same period in 2022 mainly due to increased volumes from the Doctor Subscription program and retention products across all regions primarily driven by Vivera retainers.

The Bottom Line: Invisalign Markets, Micromanages, and Monitors Their Medical Products Which They Ship Directly to the Consumer’s Doorstep: They Profit from the Great InvisaLIE, Pretend to Ignore It and then Keep Consumers in the Dark So No One Can Expose It.

As the manufacturer, marketer and distributor of Vivera retainers, Invisalign is now involved in every phase of product deployment. And they are too involved to not be legally liable for the false claims of their provider doctors, which they monitor and supervise through their numerous training and marketing programs.

Indeed, shouldn’t we believe Invisalign who tells their doctors “Invis Is by Your Side” “Align has you covered” and we’re “Supporting Your Practice at Every Stage?”

And they’ve proven this every step of the way! Invisalign injects their Class I and Class II medical products into the stream of commerce. First, by actively pitching these products to their 256 thousand doctors. Then, by training these doctors exactly how to sell such to their patients.

Second, in order to create a higher demand for their aligners and retainers, Invisalign then reaches out to consumers directly through their social media page and through their consumer to consumer referral programs. This is followed by direct shipments of Vivera retainers to the patient’s doorstep.

Finally, Invisalign conceals the true lifespan of Vivera retainers, so their providers can keep lying on how long these retainers last. Their current webpage ignores this information and attempts to divert the consumer from asking about such. And the only references to an actual time limit are found in just three old press releases which will soon be forgotten. Indeed, any promotions that even hint at a short retainer lifespan have been discontinued or cleverly reworded.

To add to this hypocrisy, Invisalign then selectively combs social media to stamp out the lies of their competitors. All the while, blithely ignoring the false marketing done by their own doctors. (Doctors closely monitored by Invisalign in virtually every respect.) Indeed, how can Invisalign disregard all those lying advertisements!1 Their silence here is deafening.

A Call to Action for Align Technology, Inc. (The Owner of Invisalign!)
Stop being passive. Do the right thing and rein in your providers! You know consumers are being deceived. You know your dentists and orthodontists are lying. And you know you profit from it! A simple word from you and it all stops! You are clearly in the best position to take action. Now tell us what you plan to do about it!

What Victims Can Do.

1. Help Clean Up The Internet! 
Report all false or misleading medical device ads on Vivera retainers to the Federal Trade Commission. For serious adverse reactions and events, safety related product quality problems, and product use errors, also report such to the US Food & Drug Administration. Be sure to send a copy of your complaint to your dentist’s or orthodontist’s state medical licensing board with the name of the person or website with the misleading ad.

2. Demand that Align Technology (who owns Invisalign) police their 256 thousand Dr. customers so they will now tell the truth about how long Vivera retainers really last.

For Align Technology, this means:

A. Require your doctor customers to pull all their false online ads that imply Vivera retainers last for years instead of months. Any claim they last for years is misleading and deceptive. Consumers want to know their retainer will work for years, not just stay nice and shiny without cracks. Saying they “last for years” implies the retainers will continue to retain their teeth in their final position for years. This is inherently misleading and unsupported by your test studies.   

B. Require your doctor customers to publish on their websites only the claims on Vivera retainer lifespan found in the Jan 8, 2008 Align press release. And to provide hardcopy brochures of such to any consumer seriously considering Invisalign. This means to say outright that the lifespan of Vivera retainers (which is how well they keep teeth in their final positions) is more than 30% longer than the leading retainers which in tests start to degrade within 2 months.

C. Require your doctor customers to publish on their websites and in hardcopy brochures the average expected time that patients will need to wear their Vivera retainers both day and night. This includes the number of hours per day and for how many months. Many of your doctors conveniently omit these statements to lull patients into buying Invisalign. Patients are told simply that once done with their aligners, they will need to wear their retainers at night. This is deceptive. These patients must be fully informed before they purchase Invisalign aligners. It is inherently deceptive and misleading to not disclose this information until much later when the patient complains their teeth are shifting or that each night their retainer fits tighter and tighter.

D. To protect against future false or misleading ads on your Class I and Class II medical products, assign a compliance team to routinely search the web for misstatements made by your providers and demand that these be corrected or removed. Warn them in your training and marketing programs that gross infractions could result in being barred from selling Invisalign.

E. Send These Demands To The Key Align Technology Contacts Below:

  • Simon Beard, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Americas, EMEA
    Email: sbeard@aligntech.com
  • Madelyn Valente, Director of Corporate Communications
    Email: mvalente@aligntech.com,
    cc: Shirley Stacy, sstacy@aligntech.com
  • Melinda Walker, Director of Global Marketing @ Align Technology
    Email: mwalker@aligntech.com
  • Management Team (Names but no phone numbers, emails may be first initial last name like the ones above)
  • Press Contacts Email: corporateinfo@aligntech.com

Final Word for Victims of the Great InvisaLie
So think again if you thought your teeth would stay straight with Vivera retainers. Get a more robust, thicker retainer before it’s too late! And here’s a final word for those considering Invisalign: Don’t believe the hype! The doctors want you to think the experience is relatively quick, easy and won’t involve extra expenses, such as getting new, costly retainers, or having to buy even more Vivera retainers. But often this is not the case.

Read below about the definitions and drawbacks to both the Invisalign aligners and Vivera retainers. This is followed by my personal account of how I discovered the Great InvisaLIE. Finally, see the list of questions to ask your dentist or orthodontist so you know the full scope of what you’re committing to!

For Blogs on Other Subjects See

Part II For Those Who Are Considering Invisalign Clear Aligners

Below are definitions and descriptions including comments from my own experience. And below this is my own story (How I fell victim to the Great InvisaLIE.)

What Are Invisalign Aligners?
Invisalign offers dentists and orthodontists a method to straighten teeth with clear removable aligners instead of with traditional wires and brackets. These aligners or “trays” are detachable plastic like mouthpieces that fit directly over each tooth. They must be removed when eating, and worn 20-22 hours a day. Studies show that Invisalign can straighten teeth within 12–18 months. 

The costs for Invisalign can vary dramatically depending on the dentist and the complexity of the treatment. I paid $4.4K but others paid as much as $9K. Patients receive anywhere from 10 to 39 of these Invisalign aligner trays, each of which should be worn 1-3 weeks before being replaced with the next one.

Invisalign aligners are quite fragile and require lots of care. Also, it’s not uncommon for your dentist to later add more trays to your correction plan, such as when your teeth are not aligning properly. This can drastically change the time you will be stuck wearing Invisalign. In my case, I initially had 15 trays but ended up wearing 29.

To make these Invisalign trays move your teeth faster, “attachments” or “buttons” are often glued to the teeth that need to be “rotated” or moved more than other teeth. Patients can expect as many as 22 or more of these attachments and maybe even 2 on one tooth. These “buttons” are colored like your teeth and made of a glass-like substance that can sometimes fall off while you’re eating, drinking, chewing or swallowing. If the buttons don’t fall off, such will be removed when you get your retainers.

What Are Invisalign Retainers?
Invisalign “Vivera” retainers are simply meant to keep your teeth in place. Like the aligners, these are composed of a similar clear material but supposedly much more sturdy. You will be instructed to wear them forever at night, once you have finished with your aligners. There is often contradictory advice on whether you can clean them with toothpaste, denture solution or clear mouthwash. Normally, you’ll receive 1-4 of these retainers and they’re supposed to last “a long time.” Many dentists actually claim they last for years. But I have evidence these retainers last just a few months and then stop retaining.

The medical community is extremely vague on the lifespan of Vivera retainers. There is also competing, and contradictory advice on how to care for them. It’s not even clear how long you should wear one before switching to the next one. Nor is there good guidance on how many hours each day you should wear them aside from at night. Your doctor may choose not to disclose that after aligners, many patients still must wear their Vivera retainers, full time, both day and night, for up to 3 to 6 months or even longer!1

So What’s the Scoop on Invisalign?
Invisalign is great for getting your teeth straight for that one time promotional headshot-the one where the dentist uses your smile to promote even more sales of Invisalign! But don’t count on your teeth staying that straight. At least not with the Vivera retainers! If you’re going to be smart about this, jump straight from the aligners to a hard, more robust retainer that will actually work. (The kind that most people get when they’re finished with braces. Some of these retainers are surprisingly clear.)

Indeed, if you stick to the Vivera retainers, your dentist, who already got your money, can now suggest exciting new ways to thin out your wallet. If the Invisalign retainers let you down, well how about more robust mouth guards?  Or maybe you can buy special lingual braces that are permanent fixtures. These stay hidden in your mouth, sometimes forever, but on the side of your teeth where no one can see them but you and your significant other.

Of course, if you knew in advance that you’d need permanent fixtures from the get go, why would you even bother with Invisalign? So for the dentist or orthodontist, it’s a fun filled spree of how to get even more of your money. But pity the poor patient snookered into thinking that Invisalign could actually help them!

My Story (Mostly Written Two Days Before I Found the Smoking Guns Above!)
I was on Invisalign from June 2021 though December 2022 and I paid about $4400 for my treatment. I was quite OK with how Invisalign initially straightened my teeth. Sure, I was surprised at the 22 plastic like buttons they attached, the fact that they kept falling off and that I must have swallowed quite a few. And that while initially told I only needed 15 aligner trays, I wound up with 29 instead.

But in the end, my teeth were straight enough so that I left semi-satisfied. I was willing to endure the unexpected 18 month process, and I could see the difference especially in how straight my bottom teeth had become.

My Experience with Invisalign Retainers
At the end of my treatment, I was then given 4 Invisalign Vivera retainers. I was a bit put off because these retainers seemed quite loose. The dentist never told me anything but that I should wear them at night, and if they were tight, to begin wearing them a full 12 hours a day and then ease off to 8 hours. Puzzling was that I never heard anything about the complexities of wearing these retainers until after I completed all my aligners.

But sure enough, within a few days the retainers went from loose to very tight, and so I switched to 12 hours a day for one month. I then called the dentist as they kept on being tight, which no one ever told me would happen. At that point, I was then instructed to wear them for at least 12 hours a day for the next 4 months! I did so and within another month or two, the retainers started to fit again without being tight.

But later as I looked in the mirror, I noticed both my top and bottom teeth seemed to be shifting. My top front teeth began to look buck again, and a similar thing was happening with the bottom. Was my retainer no longer retaining?

To test this, I decided to switch to my second retainer, which was supposed to be identical to the first one. But to my horror, this retainer was extremely tight, even though it was made to the exact specifications as the first one.

I wore this 2nd retainer for at least a month or two  and then switched to the 3rd retainer, which now was also tight on me! By then, I realized these retainers weren’t doing their job. My teeth were moving anyway in spite of such. After a few months on retainer #3, I got to my 4th retainer, and it too was tight! But I knew this would happen simply because it was obvious now my teeth were shifting. I was losing all that I paid for!

Finally, in January 2024, after wearing each retainer an average of just 3 months, I sought out my dentist for another set of 4. However by this time, he had moved to another location even though there was still a dental office at his old address. When I called his new office, I was told that I would have to come in for new dental impressions. In other words, in spite of telling them I was regularly wearing my retainers and just needed new ones of the same mold, they insisted instead they must take new measurements of my teeth.

At first, I thought they were just being extra greedy. After all, they could charge double the price and such would include the new molding. But when I called the former place where he used to work, they said the exact same thing! Worse, they told me it was because they didn’t expect the new retainers would fit me anymore! This was baffling. If the Invisalign retainers actually retain, why would two separate dentist want to measure my teeth for movement?

Eventually, I convinced the new dentist to simply give me the 4 retainers as I didn’t want my teeth to become even more crooked. The specs for such were still in their system and probably could be made with a 3D printer and a few dollars in raw materials. But grudgingly, I forked over the $450 for a new set of 4, which was still better than paying twice that for new moldings, which would only preserve my teeth in their new crooked position. All this time, I continued to wear my last retainer for at least 15 or more hours a day.

On February 21, 2024 , I picked up my second set of the four retainers as the dental assistant hovered around me expecting that they wouldn’t fit! Turns out she was almost right! My top retainer was very tight. My bottom one I practically had to force onto my lower teeth! The specs on these retainers hadn’t changed a bit. But my teeth had! And this was all within just a year, where I had worn my prior retainers for months, day and night.

So why did two separate dentists think these retainers wouldn’t retain? Could it be that the dental community knows all about this defect but refuses to warn the general public?

Testing If The Retainers Failed for Lack of Proper Care on My Part
To be fair, for my first set of original retainers back in 2023, I got lazy and used Efferdent to clean them. This is something that some dental websites said was perfectly fine. But others recommended against it. So you might think that perhaps I am to blame here.

However, I was determined to do better this round. I wanted to know for sure if these retainers truly retain. So for two weeks, I wore my 2nd set (retainer #1) and made sure to clean it with only a toothbrush, cold water and clear liquid soft soap, something recommended on various medical websites. During this time, I wore these full time, and was relieved as I saw my teeth move mostly back into place. However, I grimly wondered if the retainer was still weakening like the last ones did.

To test this, after wearing this new retainer from 2/21 through 3/5. I jumped straight to my new retainer #2. And guess what? It was a lot tighter than retainer #1, even though #1 was kept in perfect condition and had been worn for just two weeks!

This is the big InvisaLIE! The medical community must know these retainers don’t retain! So why is no one talking about it? You’d figure there’d be a lot more of this on the Internet. The answer, no doubt, is that there’s just too much money in this. Most of the online information comes directly from the very dentists and orthodontist who sell Invisalign! So why tell on themselves? It’s like the farmer asking the hungry fox how many chickens are left in the hen house. The fox will say whatever number the farmer wants to hear. But you can never trust a fox!

So ask around to your friends who’ve had Invisalign and are now at least a year into their retainers. Are they happy?  Did their teeth shift? Have they had to make new moldings even when they wore their retainers? To keep their teeth straight, did they wind up buying a mouth guard or a more robust non Invisalign retainer? Or did they finally give up because they found Invisalign was such a colossal letdown?

Questions To Ask Your Dentist or Orthodontist Before Committing To Invisalign (Both the Aligners and Vivera Retainers)
If your doctor doesn’t have statistics, they should at least be able to provide ballpark estimates. After all, they’re seeing Invisalign patients all the time. And these things are bound to come up. If they still don’t know, ask if they can point you to unbiased medical journals that can answer these questions. Best you find out now before you cut the check!

Questions on the Aligners

  • How many trays does the average patient need? (Yes, I know everyone is different, but have them give you a range.)
  • How long is a typical plan with someone who has my degree of correction? (They will often give you a free scan so they should know this.) If I choose Invisalign when is the expected date I will be done with my aligners and ready for retainers?
  • How often are initial estimates revised to add on more trays? (10%, 30% 50%? 75%) (Note I was initially told it would be 15 trays but I wound up with 29, which means everything took much longer than expected.)
  • How much time should I wear these before moving to the next aligner? Some dentists and orthodontists are more conservative than others, so one may say two weeks while another says three.

Questions on the Vivera Retainers

  • Do most patients have to wear the retainer more than at night? For how many months and for how many hours a day? Do you get a lot of calls from patients who were wearing it for 8 hours at night but the retainer became too tight so they had to wear it in the daytime as well?
  • How long should each of these retainers last, and when should I be concerned that they may not be retaining correctly? Is it true from Invisalign’s Jan 8, 2008 press release that these last only three months?
  • Any idea why Invisalign used to offer a program that would replace these retainers just every three months? Do they still have that program? If I keep using Vivera retainers, how much will it cost me per year to keep these teeth straight?
  • Do any patients complain that the retainers don’t retain? For example, the retainers seem too loose or their teeth shift?
  • What are the best ways to maintain Vivera retainers?
  • How often do you have to take additional impressions of their teeth after a patient has worn their retainers? (assuming they never lost them or stopped using them.)
  • How often do patients ask for a second set of retainers when they haven’t lost them. What reasons do they give?
  • How often do patients need or request for other ways of keeping their teeth straight after wearing Invisalign retainers?
  • Do you ever recommend a fixed retainer or some other way of keeping teeth straight after that person has already been though Invisalign retainers? Why? How often?
  • What percentage of patients do you recommend wear a fixed retainer on the inside of their teeth? Why do you recommend such?
  • Is there any reliable research on these subjects that you can point me to?

    Key Newsworthy Stats About Align Technology and the Clear Retainer Market
    In 2023, Align Technology, the parent company of Invisalign grossed an annual revenue of $3.862B, a 3.42% increase from 2022.1 2They are also #1 in the market with 80-85% market share globally.1 The global clear aligners market size was valued at USD 5.13 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 30.7% from 2024 to 2030.1 By 2030 sales are anticipated to exceed $28.6 Billion.1

    Other Fun Facts About Invisalign
  • Better Business Bureau Complaints Re Invisalign
  • Complaints on Reddit that Vivera retainers last for only two or three months! (site monitored by dentists, orthodontists and maybe Invisalign lawyers)
  • Lawsuits with Invisalign
  • Gross Revenue of Invisalign Parent Company (Align Technology)
  • Search Align Technology Website for Literature on Invisalign Retainers
  • Invisalign Annual Reports & SEC Filings
  • Wiki Facts about Align Technology
  • Dentists and Orthodontists Disagree on How Long Vivera Retainers Last (3 months to 10 years)

    For Blogs on Other Subjects See
  • Sleuth For The Truth (Free Background Checks)
  • Christian-SOS (Just Jesus!)