So I have just started my clear...
So I have just started my clear aligner treatment with a UK based company called Smilelign, which seems similar to Invisalign but is cheaper for UK patients as the aligners are made in the UK. I haven't come across any other Smilelign reviews so thought I would start my own.
I'm undergoing treatment for a gap in front two upper teeth which I have had all my life and never really liked the look of it in photos, so now at 28years old I decided to get something done about it. My lower teeth are fine so I'm only having aligners for my top teeth. I did go for a consultation nearly 4 years ago but at the time I couldn't really afford it (I can't really now but it's for the 'greater good').
So I had my initial consultation (again) and had x-rays taken (again) to make sure my teeth are all healthy and there aren't any hidden cavities, which there wasn't. Then 3 weeks later I had the moulds taken (an unpleasant but bearable experience), which were sent off the labs to produce my aligners. Another 3 weeks later I had my 1st aligners fitted. Now something I wasn't expecting was my 1st set of aligners are called pre-aligners which according to the Smilelign website are just passive aligners, not designed for any movement and are to get the patient used to life with aligners. However...they felt really tight to begin with, I can feel pressure areas on certain teeth and when remove them and eat my teeth feel quite sore delicate when I chew and bite. So I'm not sure!
I have to wear each set of aligners for 3 weeks and I have a total of 8 to close my gap, so 24 weeks in total! After treatment I will either have a fixed retainer behind my front teeth fitted and use a night time only retainer every other night or have a night time retainer every night if there isn't space behind my teeth for the fixed retainer.
At my fitting appointment I was given printout images of what my teeth will look like and it's better than I imagined! Woop woop! I was also given an aligner box to use when eating, a chewie and a hook to remove them with (which I've never needed to use) and some Nitradine to soak them in for cleaning.
So how do they feel?….
When the dentist first popped them in I thought my mouth had doubled in size. They felt intrusive and as wide as my head! I begin producing excessive amounts of saliva and found myself instantly sucking the saliva and spit bubbles out of my aligners! I also couldn't navigate my tongue around to produce coherent words and thought I'm never gonna do this! The dentist reassured me everything would be fine.
I'm now on day 5, excess saliva has calmed down a touch but the spit bubbles still accumulate in the space where my gap is and I'm managing to talk much better, which is a relief as I work face to face with the public! Which is also the reason why I went for clear aligners. They don't feel as tight anymore and I'm becoming less aware of them in my mouth (by which I mean I'm 97% aware rather than 100%!). I do find the whole eating and cleaning routine a bit inconvenient and I don't snack anymore as it's too much effort, so perhaps dropping a few pounds will be an added bonus!
So I will try and keep this review updated with photos and my progress, although I am really busy with uni and home life.
Please feel to comment below if you have a question.
Photos week 1
Here are some pictures of my 1st week wearing my pre-aligners
I went to the dentist today and got my complete set of aligners for my treatment. 8 in total. They come in clear plastic bags so of course the first thing I did was check out number 8! It looks great!
So aligner one is in and I have to wear each one for 3 weeks, I don't need any attachments adding to my teeth. The aligners fits over my gum line and sits just slightly over the palate behind my teeth. It feels like a really tight hug all round my teeth!
I can feel lots of pressure against my front two teeth right now, but overall it seems ok. I've added a picture to show you what this aligner looks like with it in.
I've had to use my retainer retriever to remove this set as it's really tight. My pre aligner was really loose after 3 weeks and I could remove it just using my tongue.
Any questions feel free to ask
Aligner 1 update
So tomorrow I switch to aligner 2 which I'm excited about! Aligner 1 feels passive now after wearing it for 3 weeks, which is a good sign that I'm ready for the next aligner.
Haven't noticed any differences so far, but my next aligner looks as though my two front teeth will be more in line with one another, currently my left front tooth sticks out slightly (I've attached a photo of this)
My current aligner doesn't appear to have discoloured at all, I've been soaking it daily in retainer brite whilst eating breakfast and then twice a week using the nitradine. I haven't noticed any problems with odours either.
So I'll update this weekend with how aligner 2 is feeling and post some pics!
So I've switched to aligner 2 on thurs evening and I must say the first two days my teeth were really REALLY sore. Removing the aligner felt horrible like my teeth were been ripped out.
However today (Sunday) feels much better, teeth aren't as sensitive. One thing I have noticed is chewing food feels so different like my bite is slightly off, it's almost like my back teeth don't touch as much as they used to before treatment.
Anyway I've added a photo of aligner 2 and will update in a couple of weeks at the end of aligner 2.
I'm off on holiday tomorrow so I will see how practical smilelign is on holiday!
15 Jun 2014
3 months post
Oops sorry haven't updated this for a few weeks, been quite busy!
So I've had aligner 4 on for a week and 3 days and it's been fine. I did ring the dentist as there is a space between one of my front teeth and the bottom of the aligner but they said that wasn't a problem treatment wise. I was just concerned that maybe that tooth wasn't moving as it should be. The rest of the aligner fits well and is feeling loose already, however gotta wait another week and a half to get the full 3 weeks wear. I've attached a photo, hopefully you can see some difference. I did start to feel as tho not much was changing so tried my pre aligners on and it doesn't even near fit, so progress has been made!
Pre treatment vs aligner 4
15 Jun 2014
3 months post
Wow I'm shocked actually! Goes to show how we don't notice subtle changes!
26 Jun 2014
3 months post
I am not a happy bunny. Firstly I popped in aligner 5 and it fits everywhere, except my two front teeth....it's like my teeth are shorter than the aligner. I had this with aligner 4, but just on one tooth and the dentist said it wouldn't be a problem. So I rang them up tonight in a panic as next week I fly to Oz and don't want my treatment delayed for the 3 weeks I'm away!
Anyway the dentist rang the lab then rang me back, and said I wasn't supposed to be on aligner 5 yet and I've been shaving time off between aligner switches. This is not true! I told them I have been wearing each one for 3 weeks and always switch on a Thurs, but she still didn't believe me!!!! I'm very very annoyed.
So anyway, the technician wasn't at the lab so she will ring me tomorrow, she said I will possibly need moulds taking to assess the position of my teeth and then switch to previous aligners. Which doesn't make any sense to me as previous ones are not gonna fit! I tried to explain that the rest of this aligner fits on all my other teeth except the two front ones (see attached pic).
I'm a bit bummed out, especially about the accusation!
Aligner 5 update
I had impressions redone last week after the incident of aligner 5 not fitting properly and received an exciting phone call today! So I'm not quite sure what's happened but some of the aligners are slightly distorted in relation to my actual teeth so I am having the remainder of my aligners remade based on my new impressions and the great news is I actually need less aligners. I can't remember if she said I have 3 more or 4, but either way it's less time til finished!!! So that's exciting, and I pick up the new next one in time for going away, but the remainder may not be ready til I'm back, which works out well anyway as I'll be away for 3 weeks.
The nurse also said that my previous aligners were more active than originally thought which means my teeth have moved quickly, hence the reduced treatment time!
Anyway I will update on thurs regarding the new aligner!
I must say as well that Smilelign have been really helpful and quick to resolve my situation. Can't sing their praises enough!!!
I am soooooo happy!!!! Picked up my new aligners today that have been made at super speed thanks to the amazing Smilelign technician!!!! And they look amazing. My dentist popped then in to make sure they fit and they do perfectly!!! You can barely see them in!!! I've attached photos. They feel so much thinner too and I can't emphasise the relief of then fitting so perfectly. Thank you so much Smilelign for the amazing job you've done. I couldn't be happier right now xx
Aligner 2B - the gap has gone :)
29 Jul 2014
4 months post
So I switched to aligner 2B on weds just gone and there has been no discomfort at all with this one.
I'm so excited to be one aligner away from been finished!
This aligner has become loose very quickly to the point it can be removed just using my tongue! Hopefully it won't just slip out!
I've attached a photo showing this aligner in and out.
I'm so glad I went ahead with this treatment, I just can't believe how well it has worked!
End of treatment...almost!!
10 Sep 2014
6 months post
Well I'm almost finished my treatment! Yay.
I finished on my final aligner last weds, but still wearing it full time until my fixed retainer is ready.
So today I had the impressions taken for the fixed retainer which will be ready in 1-2 weeks and then another set of impressions will be made once the fixed retainer is fitted for my night time retainer.
I've also been asked if my pictures can be used in a lecture or conference this weekend, which I was fine about.
I've also had my right front tooth filed slightly at the bottom to even it's shape up slightly with it's next door neighbour! I will post some pics later of the finished product!
But I'm very happy and would highly recommend this treatment and my dentist to anyone who is unsure of the results.
View from underneath before and after
10 Sep 2014
6 months post
Sorry not the best before photo for comparison, but still think it does the job well
22 Sep 2014
6 months post
So I had my fixed retainer fitted today. It all seemed to go well without any problems. It feels strange not wearing my aligner, as I've been programmed to wear it religiously for the last 6 months!
I also had another set of impressions taken to get my night time retainer which I won't need to wear every night & I'm actually getting 2 night retainers.
I also had impressions taken for my bottom teeth to get a whitening tray made which was a nice surprise, as I'm getting free whitening treatment! So I will post progress of my whitening treatment. I have an appointment on thurs morning to get my whitening kit and retainers, I think my official smilelign retainer will be ready next week :)