My Invisalign Journey, Wales UK - Cardiff, Wales, UK

This is just the start of my journey, have found...

This is just the start of my journey, have found other people's reviews helpful in making the decision whether to proceed with treatment so thought I'd add my own in the hope I can do the same! I am in Cardiff, UK - not see any other reviews for here.

Consultation: contacted locally Invisilign specialist, smooth easy task and appointment made for a weeks time... I struggled to find any reviews for any dentist so had to go with which website I liked the look of (not ideal!!).

Appointment: So the appointment was good, told the prices and how it all works. I had pretty much already decided I was committing at this point so during this appointment I also had impressions taken which will be sent to LA, meanwhile I await (2 weeks I'm told) their return so I can see (3D computerised images) what they will look like at the end and how many trays I will need for my new smile.... Cost for impressions is £200 which will be deducted from the quoted amount (£2500) if I decide to go ahead.

Appointment 2: 2 weeks later and I am in looking at the images. All looks good, I am told I need a total of 30 trays, 10 days per tray. So approx 10 months in total. Not bad I suppose! Have to wait a week and the trays will be ready to start making my teeth beautiful (I hope).

Okay... 4 bloody weeks later and the trays still haven't arrived. I am frustrated and I try calling Invisilign who are most unhelpful and refused to speak to me as the dentist is their client not me...

5 weeks later and they are finally here! They have someone else's name on them (this is the reason for the delay I'm told, a handwriting/typo mix up) so I'm a little anxious about putting my teeth in the hands of someone who can make this mistake... Still, dentist is apologetic and assures me all is down with the trays. I had to have 2 teeth filed 1/4mm which didn't hurt at all but there is a visible gap on one tooth. And the trays are in. Ouch. And I have a slight lisp. By the end of the night I have been to buy a nail file to file the base down as my lower lip is cut to shreds and it effing kills.

Day 2 isn't too bad, very slight change to my speech but no one really notices. I am asked if I a in pain as I don't have my usual smile, but no notice of the braces which really are amazingly clear and not noticeable.

I have to go back to my dentist in 2 weeks, will update and add photos :)

Late update!

Life got busy and I havent updated for 32 days! I am now on tray 3. I re-visited the dentist after 14 days and no real issues. I have quite gotten used to the aligners, and oddly feel that my teeth look better with them in. Has anyone else felt like that?! My teeth feel smaller when they aren't in lol. Tray two I had no issue with at all, when I take them out for the first time after fitting a new set they are tender and I cant chew to easily without pain, but I have found this seems to go after the first day or two. Tray three again cut my lower lip, this is the worst thing about the aligners for me. Oh, and that they never quite feel fresh enough to me. I have ordered some retainer bright after reading about this on others reviews, but tbh I don't really rate it. I am concious that my breath might not be fresh, although my partner says it's fine. It's kind of gross having them in your mouth all day. I'm finding the 22 hours easy peasy, and not one person has asked if I am wearing aligners or seems to have noticed! I have even told some people and they have said 'What? you have them in now??' So I am very happy with that :)
I need to post some pictures, I have taken some but I hate my teeth so am putting off posting them!! I will...... Back to the dentist for set four and beyond on Monday, so I will brave up and do it next week - promise!!

Photos...

The first few are the before. And the last few are the 'so far' - Day 3 of Tray 4. No noticeable difference to me yet. Except my skin looks a different colour lol x

Tray 5, grinding :/

I havent noticed any visible changes still, but I took a good look at tray 4 and 6 together and 6 is noticeably different so that movement is near... And so is pain! On tray 5 now and this one has been giving me headaches. One other major issue, I am grinding my teeth in my sleep. It keeps waking me up and boy do I have jaw ache. Anyone else experience this? Is this going to make a difference to my progress?
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Hi...yes I grind my teeth in the night and the only reason I realised this was due to wearing invisalign...especially when I put in a new tray and teeth are tender, it wakes me due to the discomfort of grinding :-( I have noticed that this has reduced though so maybe it mKe us more conscious of the grinding?
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Many, unfortunately, go through it :(.  I look forward to seeing if anyone can give you pointers.  The one thing I can say is that it will not slow down your progress.  I had great progress and my doctor said that chewing on the trays can actually speed things up.  But the price is high in terms of headaches and jaw aches.  Do continue to try to stop (I am still trying, two years later :-/) but know that at least it's very unlikely to hurt your progress.
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Thanks for your reply. Are you still having your invisalign treatment? Or are you grinding as a habit now? I will continue to try to stop, have even considered stuffing a sock in my mouth! (a clean one obviously ;) ). I guess its all part of the journey... x
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I've finished treatment, but I use the Vivera retainers so I still do it in them.  At least I don't do it at all out of retainers.  Technically, I could get a different kind of retainer and that'd take care of the problem, but I found that the other type I tried allowed my teeth to move a little and I didn't like it.  We also cut off one of my trays (so it didn't cover the molars) and that helped a tiny bit, but it allowed the other teeth to move.  You're never really out of treatment, since you wear retainers for the rest of your life :D.
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Oh :( sorry to hear that's a long term thing for you. I didn't know you had to wear them forever, I was told there was an optional retainer I could buy at the end of the treatment, doesn't sound so optional then?!
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Generally not if you want to keep your results, according to our doctors (and certainly mine.)  Your aligners aren't meant for long-term wear.  The retainers are stronger, thicker, and less prone to stain.  But you can also get bonded retainers, which are wires that are bonded to the back side of your teeth.  You don't have to take them in and out (though they only cover your first 8 teeth in the arch or so) but they get in the way of flossing a little bit.  Still, since they're in all the time, you don't have to worry about them, and you get used to them quickly.  In this country, there is generally a period of full-time retainer wear even after you're finished with your treatment that lasts 6 months but sometimes less.  This is to set your teeth.  Your teeth aren't that bad, but I'd think they're not less severe than mine were to start.  I would definitely not go without retainers.  Even just using a non-Vivera retainer, I saw movement within a month.
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Right okay, good to know. Is there a way I can ask you something privately on this website?
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Private Messaging is accessed via hovering over someone's username if you're on a computer, or I think clicking on it if you're on a phone.  It will say "Send Private Message" and you can click on that.  Via Private Messaging people can also exchange email addresses, if you would like it more private than on the site.  No email addresses are allowed in comments, for everyone's protection :D.

Let me know if it doesn't work for you!
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Thank you for posting pictures!!!  I've looked at all of them, and I see some crowding and some misalignment, but certainly not as severe as some of the pages I sent to you.  I'm wondering what you dislike most about your teeth, that makes you so self-conscious, and whether you think it will be addressed by your treatment :).  Thank you again :)
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Mostly that they stick out so much! I've been called many an imaginative name in my life so looking forward to them being not so visible! When my mouth is 'closed' you can still see my teeth, they rest on my lower lip. As long as the overlap is fixed and the two fronts are less on view I'll be more than happy :) anything else is a bonus!
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Ahhh, okay.  I could not tell that your teeth were visible even with a closed mouth. If you feel excessively brave one day, you could take a picture of that.  Remember, no one here will judge you negatively, and we certainly won't call you names.  That is definitely not a healthy bite to have, and your doing this is a huge positive for your future health.  We are all on your side!

I hope it goes smoothly all the way through!  Thank you for letting us share in this journey. :)
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Hi!  Wondering how things are going for you over there :).  Hopefully smoothly!
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Yes getting there, no noticeable change yet but must be working or the next set wouldn't fit right....... :)
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I felt the same way!  That I looked better with my aligners in, I mean.  It made my teeth look whiter, I felt, and made my jaw a little larger, which made my cheeks look more chiseled, LOL.  Also, it hid the crookedness a little, I thought, and made the gaps invisible.  I no longer feel that way, now that my teeth are fabulous and in the right place.  My cheeks still look more chiseled with the retainers in, but I feel like it makes my jaw too large.  It's possible that the retainers are thicker.

Yeah, those first 8 aligners are rough, without the positive feedback of seeing results.

Some people find that using orthodontic wax over the places that cut is helpful.  It was a lifesaver for me!  And after a while, you don't need it anymore.

What are you using to clean the trays?  Or is it just having something in your mouth that makes it feel un-fresh?
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Oh okay great, I will try the wax. I visited the dentist again this morning. I am literally in and out in two minutes, I told him about my lip being cut and me struggling with getting them in. He doesn't ever suggest anything and when I tell him about the things I have read about online (retainer bright, chewies, acceledent..), he has never heard of any of them. Maybe its all the time that is needed (those 2 minutes). How long do other people visit for? I get given my next few sets and that's it. I am using normal tooth paste and retainer bright to clean them. Any suggestions? Thanks, so glad for this forum
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So for me, I often went in and was out again in ten minutes, and it only took that long because I had to wait a bit.  They did look in my mouth for a second to see how tight the aligners were fitting, and to ask if everything was going all right.  I'd say yeah, sure (since what did I know??) and they'd give me the next three/four aligners.  Once I even had them sent to me because I was 8 hours away and couldn't get home.  So yeah, not a lot of face-time with the ortho.  Most of the time it was just an assistant, except when it was time for more IPR.

For me, I stopped using toothpaste, because my toothpaste has grit in it and it was leaving microscopic grooves in the aligners.  I couldn't see them, but the plaque fastened in them and it was soooo difficult to get out.  So after that, I just started using unscented or peppermint scented soap, either dish soap or hand soap.  I would soak them in a hydrogen peroxide solution whenever I had them out of my mouth.  It worked fine.  Occasionally I used retainer brite or Invisalign Cleaning Crystals because I got a few free samples :).
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Hi, and welcome to our Invisalign community!  I do think you're the first from Cardiff!!!!  We're slowly getting more from the UK but not so many from Wales specifically. :)  So exciting!

Are you working on crowding or gaps or what?  Crowding seems most likely, if you're getting IPR this early.  When you post pictures I can try to point you toward others with similar issues.  But do feel free to meet others on your own.  Everyone is very friendly :D.

I look forward to following your progress :).
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Hi, thank you for the welcome! Yes, one of my front teeth are beginning to overlap the other and I have overbite so my front teeth are very visa lie. What is IPR? Natalie
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Visible not visa lie!
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IPR is short for Interproximal Reduction, and refers to the filing that you mentioned.  

Without a picture, I don't know the severity of what you're working with, so I'll just give you names of a bunch of our community members who have moderate-to-severe crowding.

HenryZ (had to have a tooth pulled, he's nearly done)
Mil ou's crowding is mainly on the bottom and it's pretty moderate, but there is an overlap tooth.
humbleoracle has pretty severe overcrowding in the bottom jaw
knitsew also has an overlapped tooth in her bottom jaw
JLD_Sail also pretty moderate
kellynyc16 is mostly on the bottom
Dante555 has severe overcrowding on the bottom but nearly none on the top
Sunluvva's crowding is pretty severe
and finally, both AreYouKiddingMe and Cazzieboo have very severe overcrowding.
mlb502, one of our RealFriends, started with pretty crowded teeth as well, but she's nearly done after a long time.
jbranchfield and Yangche are our newest community members before you, I think, with significant crowding.
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