Worth Every Penny - Las Vegas, NV

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. :(

Refinements

On refinement 8 of 11. My canine has move outward quite a bit, so there are less crazy shadows playing across my teeth. Also, my central incisors are much more lined up (not just from a front view like they were before). Almost there!

Finished!

The attachments/buttons have been removed again, and I have received my retainer. Supposedly, we were going to fix not just the teeth that moved, but also the crowns to fit more in line with my normal teeth. After 11 refinements, I can only notice that my central incisors are back in line. Also, I received an actual Invisalign retainer this time. I'm still not 100% happy with my crowns, but if I had to go back, I would definitely choose Invisalign again.

"Finished" Photo

I'm finished with Invisalign... not the dentist. In the picture, you can see that the right upper lateral incisor crown is slightly larger and overlapping the canine. The canine could've possibly been moved outward more as well, but before the crowns, everything looked really well balanced. Since this practitioner cemented my crowns without even getting my opinion first, I'm not willing to risk another appointment with him. Unfortunately, getting any work done means getting another retainer.

Trying to fix the crowns could easily be a $2k ordeal (assuming I get a great cosmetic dentist this time). I'm not ready to walk that path yet, and I feel this is something I didn't really read much about before Invisalign— I feel chained to this retainer. Changing anything about my teeth instills the dread of obtaining a new retainer, and then suffering through the painful tight experience of not having worn a retainer in those weeks of waiting (not to mention the cost as well!).

Regardless, my new teeth are a huge improvement over my original alignment, and I'm still learning to let go and smile in public.
Dr. Wagner

The dentist was quiet and polite, but left out many of the details. He would often forget what tray I was on, despite having a computer and assistant. The billing dept miscalculated my payments and undercharged me, so I was hit with a rather large bill at the end.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 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
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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