Worth Every Penny

My parents couldn't afford braces when I was...

My parents couldn't afford braces when I was young, so I've managed to keep my smiles to myself. You want to think that people mature, but teeth are still a topic of conversation and jest even at age 27.

The reason I chose Invisalign comes down to two factors:
cost--they were actually cheaper than braces.
comfort--I've ride a motorcycle almost everyday. The thought of my cheeks being pressed into metal brackets sounds terrible.

The pressure is bearable (I can actually feel which teeth are being targeted), and thanks to fellow reviewers, I was able to easily remove the trays for mealtime. You really do want to start at the back and work your way forward. There is no sense in bludgeoning your fingernails trying to pry the trays off. You also tend to salivate more than usual on the first day/tray.

It's been 4 weeks now, and I just received my 3rd...

It's been 4 weeks now, and I just received my 3rd tray this morning. These next two sets of trays I'll be wearing for 3 weeks each. I've been combatting the initial switch pain with ibuprofen and soft foods. I've also finally mastered removing my trays with minimum effort by working from right to left. There isn't a visible difference when I remove the tray, but I can floss places I was unable to floss before. I noticed I'm more likely to smile with the trays on because my gap is noticeably smaller. At this point, my front two teeth have to wait for my bite to expand and create room for more of their movement.

No changes worth a picture. The moving teeth are...

No changes worth a picture. The moving teeth are molars making space for the rotation of my front teeth. This has made the trays much less painful to remove initially, but more difficult to chew (due to tenderness).

I'm on tray 8 now. Not too much has change up...

I'm on tray 8 now. Not too much has change up front. All the pressure is on my molars. I'm expected to wear these two for 3 weeks each, but I'm not sure why. I felt rushed. I should have asked.

Not much new. More molar movement (they were...

Not much new. More molar movement (they were pointing inward and are now almost facing straight. Bottom teeth seem about halfway done. I noticed I smile more now, despite visible attachments.

It's hard to believe I'm on tray 14 of 27. Almost...

It's hard to believe I'm on tray 14 of 27. Almost there!

Tray 21 of 27...just a little closer...

Tray 21 of 27...just a little closer...

27/27

So I finally made it to tray 27 of 27! I will post pictures after I finish this final tray. I will say, I got to tray 26...and I left it, in a napkin, on a restaurant table. I reverted back to tray 25...and lost that one, the same way, the next day. I felt like I was on the failure train.

I sheepishly admitted to my failures at my next dental appointment. I tried on #27 out of desperation, and managed to get the trays on. It was significantly more painful than any other tray, with due reason. I do not advocate skipping trays at all. I got lucky that it even fit, and I paid in pain.

That being said, I'm looking forward to the finale with some minor cosmetic adjustments in August. Next adventure....LASIK...maybe.

Not quite there yet...

I had the edges of my teeth re-contoured. I'm also scheduled to get crowns on my two shorter, upper, outer incisors; However, the dentist recommended that I get whitening first, because otherwise the crowns would be made to match my fairly stained teeth. I underwent the Zoom whitening process, which I will never ever do again due to the extreme pain. It worked very well, but I don't think it was worth it. I'll update with a better picture once I finish with my crowns.

Unhappy, but not with Invisalign.

I finally had my crowns made a few weeks ago. I have never been so disappointed. The procedure took 4 hours to get 2 incisor crowns made (the ones right next to my biggest teeth). They look like they flare out from my other teeth. Then on top of this, I have to get new retainers made, which are not covered. It's an additional $500. I haven't had a retainer in for 2+ weeks now, and my teeth look like they are already going back. On top of this mess, one of the crowns got infected. This probably means a root canal, plus another crown, plus a new set of retainers. I simply cannot afford all of this. I regret accepting any cosmetic treatment after my Invisalign with the exception of the recontouring.

New Retainers

It's been a month without my upper retainer now. Due to the new crowns, my upper tray did not fit. Anyways, fast forward to yesterday. The new bottom retainer went in without a problem. The top...well, the dentist made it fit. It was a dull ache when I left. Then lunch came and I tried to get it off...and I couldn't. I did my best to mouthwash throughout the evening, but this morning, I knew I had to get this sucker out and brush my teeth. I succeeded, but not without sharp pain in almost every tooth.

Maybe I got lucky, but during my treatment, I always had tender teeth, but it was always just a few at a time. It's amazing, scary, and painful how much my upper teeth have moved in the last month. I'm hoping this will only be for a day or two (like new trays during treatment), but given how much my teeth have moved, it will probably be longer.

Back for more

For whatever reason, my retainers weren't retaining anything and one of my front teeth started to turn inwards. I now have 11 new trays to go through. (at no cost to me) I'm glad I'm getting this resolved, but I'm not looking forward to new tray pain. :(
Dr. Wagner

Quiet, but knowledgeable and polite.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 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 (37)

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I have read about the Zoom whitening being so painful! I will take everyone's word for it... my teeth are super sensitive as it is! I'm sorry you had to end up getting refinements made after all that other work. I have additional cosmetic work to be done, including a crown on one of my incisors. I wanted him to do it before I started my refinements, but he wanted to wait until the end. I think I will be done after the round of refinements and will still have 2 available if needed after the other cosmetic work is complete. I sure hope I won't need them! Hang in there and let us know how it is going!
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That sounds great! It's much easier to wait on cosmetic dentistry until the end. There is no going back if you have changes made that doesnt fit the trays, and it would just end up costing more money.
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Thank you for sharing. I was poking around because only my wisdom teeth touch anymore & I'm on try #3/15 tomorrow. I feels strange when I chew as my mouth doesn't close completely. I think that I will have them extracted because my trays are molded without them. I plan for contouring at the end of treatment & whitening is included (not zoom). I will decline anything further as a result of this post. Thank you for your openness.
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Wow, horrible:(.  I wish I'd met you before your crowns.  I had to get a crown done recently, post-invisalign, and luckily I brought my retainer with me and my dentist was extremely careful to make sure the molds fit the retainer.  Still, when the crown came in and she attached it, it didn't fit perfectly in my retainer.  So she ended up filing and reshaping and filing some more, for over an hour, to get it to fit in my retainer.  And still she was saying up until that point that she couldn't guarantee that it'd fit in the retainer.  You got the worst-case scenario :(.

I'm very glad to hear, however, that they are trying to make it right with you by giving you a refinement at no extra charge.  I'm sorry you've had to go through this pain, though.  And yet another half-year, almost.  What a pain in the rear.  I hope everything ends up perfect, though.
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The new retainers killed me every time.  I'm so glad I'm done breaking in all four now.  But they were way worse than the aligners, and the pain lasted a week!  Hope all is well!

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Oh I'm so sorry you are having trouble! I haven't had problems like that but I had a veneer put on last Friday and my top tray wasn't fitting very well so they said I could go without the top while waiting for refinements. I too felt like my teeth were moving in that short time and I tried my top tray again and I was able to get it on. But man I am feeling so much pressure! Hope everything works out for you, keep us posted. And your teeth look great by the way!
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Oh my gosh, onto your last tray - that is a HUGE deal!! Yay!!

When you mention you will need "minor cosmetic adjustments" is that like a little re-contouring of the teeth, whitening, etc. or do you mean with more trays, like a refinement series?

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Missed this one. I'm referring to re-contouring of the teeth, whitening, etc. I find out August 7th what all it will entail.
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Oh, that's tomorrow - so close! I'm excited to hear!! :)

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Well, I had the edges of my teeth re-contoured. That alone was like the icing on the cake. I'm also scheduled to get crowns on my two shorter, upper, outer incisors; However, the dentist recommended that I get whitening first, because otherwise the crowns would be made to match my fairly stained teeth. He made it sound routine. No one acted like it was a big deal, so when they asked if I could do it today, I said, "Sure." I should've known better when they handed me a consent form. It stated there might be some slight sensitivity and that any existing fillings might not match. "Slight" is not the word I would use to describe my Zoom treatment. I only made it to the second round before I was begging for mercy. I had not heard about teeth whitening being so excruciating! I would have never fathomed that it's something I should have researched, and as soon as I checked RealSelf, the ~50% Worth It ratio brought my palm to my face. The Zoom treatment worked exceedingly well, but I don't think it is worth the pain. The worse part is that this was all before work! Luckily my lil cubicle is in the corner so that I could cry in peace. Even as I type this, I'm trying not to drool on myself...as I've slathered my teeth, gums, and Invisalign tray with Orajel. I will have to upload a picture later...
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Oooooh, Ephelan. :( Yeah, it can be quite uncomfortable for some people. I tend to have sensitive teeth, so I'm too afraid to even try it. Lots of people love the amount of whitening they get though, so hopefully in the long run it'll end up being worth it to you.

When you feel up to it I would love it if you would write a Zoom review.

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Sure! I also recently went for LASIK on August 3rd (and wrote a review describing the things I wish I had read). The minor dryness was nothing compared to the pain of Zoom. My boyfriend did comment though, "Wow, your teeth are bright!" Thankfully the "zings" are gone today.
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So glad the zingers have subsided!

I'm looking forward to reading your review once it gets published!!

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Ephelan, if I'm counting right I think you probably only have a couple sets of trays left - exciting!! Are things still looking good, and on track?

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Tomorrow morning I go in for tray #25 of 27! So close...There has been a minor hiccup in financing, but it hasn't delayed or stopped my progress. Billing anticipated 3 weeks per tray, so my payment was $165 every visit; However, I've been wearing my trays for 2 weeks. Now that I'm about to finish, I looked at my remaining balance and saw that I would have to pay $425 per visit if I'm to finish paying by end of treatment. I brought this up to billing, but I also told them I couldn't afford to pay that much. We've settled on monthly payments of $250 until the remainder is paid. While I'm relieved that this office is so financially generous in making this possible, I can't wait to have this paid off!
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Oh boy...it killed all of my returns. Wall of text! Sorry :(
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Oh my gosh, I don't blame you! It is such an amazingly good feeling to finish paying off a debt - you'll get there, and you will have gorgeously straight teeth when you do! :)

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Your teeth look amazing! Will you have to get more/less attachments as your treatment progresses?
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I'm unsure. The only time people notice I'm wearing Invisalign is when I smile big enough to expose the attachments....so less would be great!
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If you aren't quite sure why you need to wear these trays for 3 weeks I'd give your dentist's office a call and ask. I'm sure they would be happy to tell you. My guess is they are wanting to give the molars a little more time to move, sense they have 3 roots instead of just 1 it can take longer to move them.

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I will call and ask tomorrow. One extra note...I've noticed that I've gotten so used to my trays, that I'm actually lisping when I take them out to eat. Thankfully I don't leave them out long or talk while I'm eating >.>
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Wow, isn't it amazing how quickly we can adjust to something (like the trays) and it just becomes the new norm for us?!

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Ephelan: First off, I apologize if this post has been answered before. I am extremely new to this board and have just started my Invisalign research. I have been wanting straighter teeth for since HS and I am almost 30 now. That being said, I am not open to braces...at least at this stage of my research. However, my question is this: if Invisalign uses a series of trays to correct the teeth, wouldn't the trays get dirty (gross I know) or foggy and thus become very obvious that you have them on? I keep picture walking around the office with Crest White Strips on and thinking that is not invisable at all! Again, sorry if this has been discussed many times!! I will keep looking at this site!

Very happy for you Ephelan!! Seems like you really know what you are doing, are happy with your progress, and are making great strides in your straightening process! Cheers!
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I was concerned about this as well. To keep the trays clean, it's suggested to drink only water while they are in your mouth. Since you eat with them out, you then have the opportunity to thoroughly clean your mouth and trays separately before reinserting. I significantly reduced my coffee intake because I was so worried that the coffee would get trapped and cause discoloration.
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Wow, the gap is barely there in the picture you just added! Have the trays & everything associated just become routine at this point, or are there still certain things you find to be a hassle?

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