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Not perfect but definitely worth it

I'm on tray 8 out of 22 on the upper arch and...

I'm on tray 8 out of 22 on the upper arch and 19 on the lower. Changing trays every 10 days. 11 attachments in total. Some teeth have 2 attachments. I have an overbite and some overcrowding on both arches. In the last few years, as I got older (39 now), I felt that my teeth were moving and getting worse. One of my two front teeth was getting longer than the other. I am definitely seeing movement at this stage but I'm not sure if they're actually looking any better. It's a very gradual process. If I get the results that the clinchecks indicate, I will be very happy but sometimes I wonder if it is really going to happen. On the upper arch, I had a molar that was indented and as it moves into line, I feel that it is making my front teeth move a little off centre! Could this be right?? I don't find Invisalign too much hassle other than eating out and having to brush in public places. It has stopped me snacking in work which can't be a bad thing. Nobody realises I have them until I say it. Only one person has ever asked me if I'm wearing Invisalign and that was a dentist on my triathlon team. I don't have to go back to my dentist until tray 12 is finished. I was given the first 12 trays to take home and haven't needed to go back since. 2 more attachments to go on for tray 13. When I go back to the dentist, I will address my concerns about my front teeth seemingly moving off centre. I feel that I am in need of a little reassurance at this stage! I find my dentist excellent and she took a lot of time to discuss it all with me before I started treatment. I had some doubts about the first set of clinchecks that I received and we went through all my concerns in email correspondence. She ordered me a second set of clinchecks which addressed my initial concerns. I've posted a photo from after my first tray and a photo from after my 7th tray. I don't think there's a huge difference and I would welcome comments/opinions.

New photo for tray 12 and I've moved from...

New photo for tray 12 and I've moved from Undecided to Worth It. Really beginning to see improvements now. Half way through my treatment and if the improvements continue at the same rate, I'll be very happy with the end result.

First day of tray 16/22 on the upper arch and...

First day of tray 16/22 on the upper arch and 16/19 on the lower. Really don't see how I'm going to have that great smile with so few trays to go. Still quite a bit of movement required and I'm not sure it will be done in 6 trays/3 trays.

My dentist only allowed for one refinement.

Really keeping my fingers crossed at this stage, and hoping for a 'dash over the finish line'!

I started off 'undecided', changed to 'worth it' mid treatment but I'm afraid I have to go back to 'undecided' for the time being.

At tray 18/22 on the upper and 18/19 on the lower,...

At tray 18/22 on the upper and 18/19 on the lower, I didn't think things were as they should be. My teeth did not really match what my clin checks indicated. I had an appointment with my dentist last Friday and was due to have some IPR. I was apprehensive about proceeding with the IPR and interfering with the integrity of my teeth when I wasn't happy with the position of them. I decided to email my dentist setting out all of my concerns, prior to the appointment. I'm so glad I did. My dentist essentially agreed with most of my concerns and after an almost hour long consultation, we ultimately decided to go back to Invisalign for some corrective treatment. She took more impressions and photos.

My dentist is not sure whether Invisalign will make up aligners to get me where I'm supposed to be, or whether they will provide a whole new set of aligners to finish out the treatment, and just scrap the four existing trays for the top arch. My treatment time will be somewhat extended as a result but I don't mind that so much. I'd rather get it right. I'm glad I spoke up and sent that email. For anyone undergoing treatment, I would advise that you speak up if you have concerns. It's your money and your teeth.

My dentist was very understanding, and did not in any way make me feel like I was just complaining. She took on board every single issue I raised (and there were quite a few!). She even pointed out one or two that I hadn't considered. Overall, she assured me that she would make sure I am happy with the end result when we get there. I need to have one of my lower incisors built up as it is worn down and shorter than it should be. She is going to include the building up of that tooth in the Invisalign cost. She is also including the fixed retainer in the cost. I didn't realise that. I had budgeted for it being extra. My dentist is also arranging for a temprorary retainer to be made up by the practice over the weekend, so that I have a fresh tray to wear while I am waiting for the clin checks and new trays from Invisalign, rather than wearing the existing tray for two weeks extra. That is a nice gesture.

For anyone who is considering Invisalign, please don't be put off by my post. My teeth are so much better than they were when I started but once you start, you become a bit obsessed (or I did anyway) and you notice absolutely every single detail about your teeth. If anything, my post demonstrates the importance of finding the right dentist/ortho. My advice would be to find someone that you feel comfortable with, get on well with, and someone who has patience and is genuinely interested in getting the best results for you.

I'll update when the new clin checks arrive.

New clin checks arrived a few weeks back and this...

New clin checks arrived a few weeks back and this time I had very detailed input. I wasn't entirely happy with the first lot that arrived and I raised about 5 or 6 issues. My dentist went back to Invisalign and I was much happier with the 2nd set of clin checks that arrived. I had got as far as tray 18 of 22. We decided to abandon the last 4 trays and do the refinement instead so I am now on what's called mid treatment refinement. Much to my horror it involves a further 21 trays!! I'm not entirely happy about that but can live with it for good results. The treatment time on the upper arch has therefore doubled from an initial prediction of 7.5 months to just over a year. The teeth are just so stubborn. I'm on tray 2 of the additional 21.

My lower arch is finished. I have permanent fixed retainer on the back of the teeth and am also wearing a retainer tray that my own dentist made. I think I will be getting a retainer from Invisalign when the upper arch is finish. Anyway, my teeth, while in position (and I only have 3 lower incisors) were different heights due to wear and tear (and possibly grinding in my sleep). I had some bonding done and they are now pretty much the same height. I'm quite pleased with them and I'm going to have further bonding done on the canines to give an even better finish. Whatever about Invisalign (I'm still undecided), bonding is fantastic!

Looks like I'm stuck with Invisalign for another while anyway.

On to tray 5 of my 21 refinement trays (tray 23 of...

On to tray 5 of my 21 refinement trays (tray 23 of 39 in total). Have got used to the fact that my treatment time has been doubled and I am seeing improvements so getting excited once again about the end result. Had more IPR on Wednesday. It's fine. You don't feel anything at all. It's more the notion of it that's unpleasant - similar to the sensation of nails scraping down a blackboard (sorry for putting that into your head!)

I have recently recommended Invisalign (and my dentist) to my brother's girlfriend so I guess I am pretty happy with it. I pointed out the cons ie. eating out being awkward, always having to brush your teeth (that's about it for me) but all treatments have downsides.

I do believe that Invisalign works and choosing the right dentist/orthodontist is the key. Be involved in your treatment plan and choose a practitioner who is willing to discuss your needs and goals.

Tray 13/21 refinement. Progress is slow but there...

Tray 13/21 refinement. Progress is slow but there is progress. I had to make an unscheduled appointment to see my dentist today. I noticed that one of my attachments was not sitting properly into the groove of the new aligner that I started yesterday. I was concerned about the consequences of this, so I rang my dentist this morning and she was able to fit me in today. She did a little adjustment to the attachment and all is fitting correctly now. We ended up having a 30 minute discussion about how things are coming along and we reviewed the clin checks etc. She is happy that everything is on course. We discussed doing a little bonding when I'm finished in order to even out some worn teeth and get a nice even finish. My upper canines are also quite pointy so I asked about having them filed to create a better contour. This is possible. I also asked about changing some silver fillings to white filings in the molars (to help reduce the dark corridors). She thought this might help a little. I drank red wine over Christmas (which I have avoided since starting Invisalign) and while I was able to remove the remnants from my teeth, it had stained the attachments. My dentist gave me a thorough polish today (for free) and it removed the stains. I also collected the next four aligners. Further IPR required when they are finished. When I came back to the office with newly polished teeth, a few of my colleagues commented that they can really see how my teeth are moving. I plan of having my teeth whitened when the treatment is finished.

Not much to report. 1 more aligner before some...

Not much to report. 1 more aligner before some more IPR and then 4 more aligners to close gaps and 'triangles'. A little dubious about whether my right lateral incisor is going to slot in properly but I will discuss this with my dentist at the next visit on 25 Feb. If I don't get reassurances about that, I may not proceed with the IPR. I think my dentist only factored in one refinement, which I am currently on. I'm not really sure of my options now if the desired results (or clin check predictions) can't be achieved in 5 aligners. Can I go back to Invisalign for correction without incurring further costs? I'm not so sure. I'd certainly argue that I should be entitled to. I'll remain optimistic that it's going to work out, although I am aware that 5 aligners only achieves minimal movement. I'll just have to wait and see.

Just finished my last tray and was back with my...

Just finished my last tray and was back with my dentist to discuss the refinement treatment. I'm going to have a small amount of expansion on one side to give a better symmetrical look. She removed the attachments, trimmed one of my central incisors to even up the lengths. When the refinement is finished (she estimates 4 or 5 more trays), I willl have further trimming and bonding to give an even finish and close off the triangles between the central incisors and the and laterals. I finally feel as if I'm getting there!

Finished

Finally finished!

Finished

New smile

Check UP

I've a check up next week and will raise a few niggling issues that I have. My retainer has cracked for a start so she'll probably make up a new one for me. I still feel my midline is way off so I want to see what my options are if I'm going to correct that. I may look at six month regular braces.
Dr Audrey Dore-Geraghty

I chose the Molesworth Clinic after researching Invisalign providers in Dublin. I am very happy with my choice. From the minute you walk in the door, everyone you meet in the practice is lovely. Dr Audrey and her husband own the practice, her parents having owned in before them. There is a vibrant energy in the place. In my view, the measure of a business is how they deal with customers/clients when they have concerns or issues and Dr Audrey has dealt with mine in a compassionate, understanding, professional and results driven manner. I can't speak highly enough of Dr Audrey. The practice and all the staff take the 'scary' out of going to the dentist. They all have beautiful teeth too! :-) Highly recommended.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (41)

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Just got to see your afters - what a gorgeous smile you have! Congrats on finishing up!! :)

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Your teeth look a lot better than they had in the beginning , I hope you're really happy! I think they look really good to be honest! I wish I was close to being done like yourself!  Glad to see you're happy with your results.
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Wow! what a beautiful smile! I am so happy for you, congrats on a job well done. I am picking up my refinement trays today, I have 3 more trays and I am right behind ya :) Your teeth are so white too, they look amazing!
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Your teeth look great Hoping! I'm so happy for you!!
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I wore Invisalign braces for 8 months originally. Then had to wear them another 5 months. In addition to the fact that they didn't completely align my teeth during the original treatment, they caused one of my cuspids to get "shorter". The refinement has done nothing to correct that problem, and in fact, now, with three weeks left, I have two additional teeth in front that have become shorter. (I guess they move up into the gum). I'm beside myself, my smile is no more symmetrical now than when I started thanks to this new problem.
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Thank you for your story. The results are visible. I also have a question for you. How they made you teeth the same length? Also with invisalign? I had my braces removed a week ago and noticed that one tooth is a little longer than the other. Since the braces are already removed, can it be fixed with these trays.

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Hi Begemot On the upper arch, I had one of the central incisors filed down to make it the same length as the other. On the bottom arch, I had some bonding put on a worn tooth to build it up to the same height as the ones beside it. It had nothing to do with Invisalign. Just my own dentist tidying things up for me. I know they can't file too much off a tooth but it's worth asking about. Putting some bonding on the shorter tooth to make it longer, might be an option.
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I think your teeth look amazing! I applaud your diligence in making sure you get the results you are entitled to... I enjoyed reading your story thanks!
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Very nice! Your teeth compared to how they looked before have made many great movements! Glad to see everything is going along good.
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Oh wow, I obviously knew red wine would stain teeth but I didn't realize it would accumulate so quickly on the attachments. That is awesome they polished it away for you. :)

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How do you think your refinements are coming along? Can you notice some changes?

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Hi Megan, as I had to get 21 new trays for the 'refinement' treatment, I'm almost viewing it as a whole new treatment. I am noticing changes. I'm on tray 10 of 21. I have to get some more IPR before tray 17 and I think the teeth will slot in better over the course of the last 5 trays. I think I will also get some bonding done to even out some slight wear and tear, and get a nice even finish on the upper arch. I'm really happy with the bonding on the bottom teeth. It made a huge difference to one shorter tooth. I think they will look good but maybe not as perfect as I had orginally hoped for. I'm a bit more realistic now about what Invisalign can achieve. I think I will be happy overall though. I have no issues wearing Invisalign though. It's just part of life now. You get used to the routine.
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Yeah, it is amazing how we can adapt to almost anything. I'm glad to hear the trays aren't causing you any bother.

I have to agree with you on bonding. It can make such a nice change in some cases. So glad yours turned out beautifully! :)

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Well, I don't know about 'beautifully' but bonding made a huge difference. I was very disadvantaged with only having 3 lower incisors. I'd love to build up one canine in order to make it look better but it can't be done because of my bite, and the way the upper arch sits down on the lower. Still, bonding is a great illusion! I didn't realise there were so many other tricks of the trade! I'm going to use them all, including replacing silver fillings with white fillings in the lower molars. That should help with the corridors? I imagine it will anyway. Lose the black hole look at the back.
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Haha, I have silver fillings in the back of my mouth too and I HATE them...but I can't justify replacing them when they are holding up perfectly fine. I kind of secretly hope they will fail so I can get them replaced with tooth colored ones. ;) If you do get yours replaced let me know how it goes - I would definitely like to hear what you thought of it.

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Very useful thank you. My dentist has recommended Invisalign for me. I had a fall and knocked my front teeth backwards on the bottom and the crowns across my front four teeth on the top are leaning in all directions like the gravestones in an abandoned cemetery. I have to get some other work done first (root canal, etc) so it's really interesting to read how you have progressed.

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Thanks for your posts! I'm curious to see how the second set of trays goes. I actually went through a similar treatment to you, with a long first set of aligners that started off good but at some point my teeth stopped moving, and by the end the aligners didn't fit my teeth properly. So I then had a whole new set made, and again they started off fitting well but after a while some teeth were not moving again and the aligners were not fitting well. I was worried I'd get to the end of the second set of aligners and the teeth would still not be straight, and in the end I got impatient and stopped the invisalign and had braces to finish off the job. I just posted a long review with my whole experience. I really hope the second aligners work better for you. Some people do have great results from Invisalign, so you should stay positive. But now that you have more experience with Invisalign, you should really pay attention to make sure it's working so that you don't waste time. Make sure each aligner you wear fits your teeth prefectly without any gaps, and especially make sure all the attachments/buttons can fit in to the holes in the aligner. If you find the aligners start to not fit properly, you should bring up the issue with your doctor right away. I'm not an expert, but based on my experience I think that there's no point carrying on the treatment with aligners that don't fit properly, because the teeth will not be gripped properly and the teeth will not move as they should do. It's better to make new aligners that do fit perfectly rather than wast time with ones that don't. I'm sorry for being very negative, I hope you get better results than I did, I just want to make sure you don't waste time!
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Wow Hoping! I see big changes from your start to now, lookin good! I'm now on tray #17/24, and I think I'll be facing some IPR as well. Fingernails on the chalkboard? Great, can't wait :)
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Huge changes in yours too, Dave. They're looking great! You'll be leaving us soon! 17/24 - you must be excited! Your posts have been great. I'm so glad I stumbled across 'realself' when I was doing my pre Invisalign research. It's great to read about real life experiences instead of advertising blogs. IPR is nothing to worry about. You really don't feel anything at all. It's like filing a nail. It does bring on that sensation of the nails on blackboard ('Irish' for chalkboard) though - (sorry again!) . It did for me anyway - a heeby jeeby sensation. It's definitely not sore or painful in any way. It only takes a few minutes though and it's all for the greater good!! You've endured much worse over the last few months - promise! Brushing your teeth in restaurant bathrooms is much worse :-) Have you put your first photo beside your current photo? It's uplifting! :-)
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Ha ha! Positive Mental Attitude! I thought that was a US expression :-)
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Oh God Megan, I just hope I got it right!!! I thought it made sense to carry out the IPR on that tooth rather than any front teeth. I think if I'd got it wrong, my dentist would have pointed out why it wouldn't be a good idea. It's amazing how much you want to educate yourself when it's your own teeth you're dealing with! Keeping the PMA anyway.
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Yeah, I hope they would have pointed out a reason not to do it there too, if they thought it wasn't appropriate.

Sorry, but what is PMA?

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Hi Megan, I'm not 100% sure whether it's Invisalign or my dentist making the treatment plans but I'm guessing it might well be Invisalign. With all due respect to my dentist, this time round (with the benefit of experience), I feel I might have been the treatment planst myself! I was very very detailed in what I wasn't happy about and exactly what I wanted. I felt that my midline was off as a result of an indented left pre molar being pushed into place, thereby moving my whole top arch over to the right. I suggested some IPR on that pre molar to reduce the movement towards the right. Sure enough, the 2nd lot of refinement clin checks came back with the IPR. I'm remaining optimistic though and I won't let this go until I'm happy. I've paid enough money for it.
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Dang girl, you have done your research if you know where midline should be and which teeth to reduce in order to achieve that! I'm impressed! Good job for being so proactive with your treatment.

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Thanks for letting us know what is going on with your treatment. That is a bummer to have to add on so many more trays! I'm glad you told your dentist your concerns with your treatment. Do you happen to know if your dentist has been making the treatment plans, or if he/she is having Invisalign do it?

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