Hoping It's Worth It - Melbourne, AU

I never really had a problem with the straightness...

I never really had a problem with the straightness of my teeth, until the last few years when I started to notice one of my front teeth sticking out in photos. I had 2 of my wisdom teeth out and hoped that this might encourage the offending tooth to move back but nothing happened so here I am trying Invisalign at the age of 31.

I'm on my first tray and into my second week. I wish I had found this site before I went ahead - I don't think it would have changed my mind - but at least I would have been more informed. Initial consultation suggested an 18 month time frame, but then at a subsequent appointment dentist suggested may be 2 years.

My major problem is with the attachments/buttons. I was told I was going to have them but I don't think I really understood what they were or realised how prominent they would make the invisalign. I was pretty disappointed about that.

I have no idea how many I have, if they'll get taken off, how many trays I'm going to have - this site has made me realise how much I don't know. Now I armed with a heap of questions for my next appointment which isn't until November.

For the first 2 days I felt a lot of pressure and my teeth ached when I took the aligners off to eat, and I wondered how I was going to do this for 2 weeks let alone 2 years but now they feel much better and I'm used to them already. I'm still very self conscious about them and tend to smile with my mouth closed now. My family and friends say that they're not that noticable but I think they're just trying to be nice. Lol. I'll post a couple of pics later.

I was told to just rinse my mouth with water after I eat - if I'm out or at work - but I note most of you brush your teeth every time you take them out. I don't know if this is something I should be doing too. I did order some Retainer Brite off the net after noticing it mentioned on some forums. I did have an icident the other night where I had a curry for dinner and it stained my buttons yellow! But it's all good now. :)

I'm due to start my next tray on Monday and from what I've read I'll be making sure I do that at night because I'm not looking forward to that pressure again, and if I can sleep through some of it I'll be happier.

Hoping It's Worth It

So when I got home last night I checked my little Invisalign bag and noticed the aligners are numbered 1/13, 2/13, 3/13 - does this mean my treatment only involves 13 aligners? Or can this be added to further down the track? I'll be super excited if this means I only have to wear these for 6 months - as opposed to the 18 months I was expecting!

Tray 1 - Week 2

What can I say - I think I'm already getting used to them. No pain or rubbing, no more lisp (although it still trips me up sometimes if I'm speaking quickly) and they're actually feeling looser - I hope this is normal.

Tray 3 - Week 1

Can't believe I'm already on my 3rd tray, the time has just flown and I'm so used to it now that I don't even think about it when I'm talking to people. Although the cleaning routine is becoming increasingly cumbersome. My second tray was quite loose on my top right back teeth and I couldn't stop flicking it with my tongue and popping it off, I'm glad this is not the issue with my 3rd tray too. I have my first check up next week where I'll get my next lot of trays. I must say I haven't noticed any progress but I'm hanging out for tray 6 where my video starts showing my front tooth really straighten up. Another thing to mention, I also had a crackling noise in my left ear for a few days during my 2nd tray, I've noticed a few people on here have mentioned the same thing so I wasn't too worried about it. We'll see how my appointment goes next week and go from there.

Tray 3 finished

So today is my last day for Tray 3 and I had my first check up since I started. It all seems to be going well and they were happy with my progress. They've given me my next 5 aligners to take me past Christmas. I can't believe it's been 6 weeks already! I can't see any changes but I know my bottom teeth are shifting because it's getting much easier to floss them. Not looking forward to the next couple of days after I change my tray tonight....
P.S. My lips are very dry from the mintiness of the toothpaste - I can't seem to find a toothpaste that isn't mint flavour. Any suggestions?

Tray 4-6

Well it's been a while, but I'm definitely starting to see the movement and other people have also commented on the difference. I haven't felt as much pressure with the last few trays, which is strange because they seem to be the ones that have made such a difference, but maybe I'm just used to it now. I've noticed that previously all of the pressue has been on my top front teeth but Tray 6 seems to be making my back teeth quite sore which has made it a bit difficult to eat. The whole cleaning after every meal is still quite tedious but my sister thinks my teeth have never been whiter so that's a bonus! I'm at my half way mark now so I can't wait to see the improvement over the final trays. Merry Christmas all! :)

A little comparison

The photo doesn't do it justice as it still looks like it's sticking out a lot but the gap between the two teeth is so much smaller now.

Tray 7

I've just finished Tray 7 which was pretty uneventful, however the first few days of Tray 8 have been quite painful. I don't think I've felt this much pressure with any other tray and 4 days in and my teeth are still sore and sensitive - especially my front teeth. It hurts the most when I try to take my top tray out. I've discovered it's easiest just to rip it off like a bandaid. :) I've had quite a few friends and family comment on my teeth and how much straighter they are already - which is a good feeling. It gives me hope that this hasn't all been a waste of time and money. I have my next check up appointment in a few days so I will check in with further info then.

Check up

So I had my check up yesterday and they are extremely happy with my progress. I was also extremely happy when they advised me that the final 3 trays (of my 13) were for over correcting so apparently I don't even need them! I have 2 trays left (6 weeks including the remaining time of my current tray) and then I go in and have another scan and begin the refinement stage. He'll even take the attachments off until the new plan comes in. Yipee!
I don't want to get my hopes up, but I'm hoping it's smooth sailing from here on out. Hopefully my refinement stage isn't too long and I only need a handful of trays to fix the teeth that haven't obeyed the first plan. Apparently the next 2 trays will be just as painful as the current one as these show the most movement in my front tooth. I can live with that as long as it straightens it! :)

Stage 2 - Refinement

It's been a while since my last post. Last week I went to have more scans done so they can make the trays for my refinements. They took off all of the attachments and I only have to wear my current tray (Tray 10) at night like a retainer. It feels so good. I will go back in 6 weeks to pick up the new trays and have more attachments applied. I'm not sure how many trays will be in the refinement stage but I'm getting excited as I figure I'm at least at the half way point. I'm still not happy with my front tooth, there's been a big improvement but it's still quite twisted. I'll post again once I get my new trays in 6 weeks. :)

Refinement Stage

I just realised I hadn't posted since my last appointment. So for my refinement stage I have 10 trays on top and 7 trays on the bottom, but only 3 attachements (2 on the offending front tooth and 1 on the tooth next to it). I'm quite happy with that.

End of Refinement Stage

So I had a dentist appointment yesterday as I'm at the end of my refinement stage. I had 10 trays on top and 7 trays on the bottom. For the last 3 trays I've only had to wear the bottom tray at night. There's still a couple of teeth (one on top, and one on bottom) that are being stubborn so they've put 'dimples' in my trays where those teeth are and I have to go back in another 4 weeks to see if this has fixed them. I can feel the pressure on these teeth which is great - I hope it straightens them up once and for all. I hope to post some pics in the next couple of days.

Progress Pics

Lavrin & Lawrence Melbourne

I love this place, the minute you walk in the staff are so friendly and make you feel comfortable. The dentists and assistants are all very professional and personable. I'm glad I went with a platinum provider and don't regret paying extra to do so.

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 After care follow-up
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 times
Was this review helpful? 4 others found this helpful

Comments (30)

Sort by

Thanks for posting the pictures!  What a marvelous improvement!  The profile change is vast.  Congratulations!
  • Reply
I'm sorry--I'm confused :).  It sounded like you said you were only wearing one tray now?  Have you gotten a retainer bonded in the meantime?
  • Reply
For the last 6 weeks I've only been wearing my bottom tray at night until I finished the extra 3 trays on top. Since my appointment yesterday - where they put the dimples in both of my final trays - I'm back to wearing both trays for another 4 weeks until my next appointment. No retainer yet. I hope this clarifies.
  • Reply
It seems odd to me that you're not wearing the bottom full-time, since generally you'd have to wear full-time even after your treatment, once you get into retainers.  Unless you're planning on getting a bonded retainer--since those are automatically 24 hours/day, I think they worry less (compliance isn't an issue).  I guess every doctor is different!
  • Reply
I don't know, because obviously I only have my own experience to go on, but even between my initial set and the refinement set I was only wearing both trays at night, as a retainer until my new set arrived.
  • Reply
I guess you would have noticed then if your teeth were moving during the day.  Has your doctor discussed what type of retainers you'll be using and whether they're included in your treatment price?  You're nearing the finish line!
  • Reply
Sounds like you had a pretty "quick" treatment if I'm reading that right. Awesome! They look great :-)
  • Reply
Thanks Charlene, still going. I've just changed to Tray 3 of my 10 refinement trays. Not seeing much progress with these ones to be honest, or feeling much pressure compared to my first set.
  • Reply
So is that 10 initial treatment, then 10 and 7 refinement?  Thanks for the update!!
  • Reply
Wow, you have a lot of improvment done from Tray 1 to 10! That's great how far along you've come. I had a refinement, too. Seems everyone I speak to has at least one refinement. Keep with it! I had to switch to metal braces to finish my progress.
  • Reply
Have you asked your doctor for a new time estimate?  I've seen a few cases here on RealSelf where there were two refinement rounds or even more.  Sometimes the refinements last longer than the initial treatment!  But they are definitely in the minority. :)  I'd just hate for you to be disappointed like some of our members were when they thought they'd be done and they weren't.
  • Reply
That's fine, I don't mind if it takes longer. I was originally advised the whole process would be 18 months, so I'm prepared for that. Anything short of that will be a bonus. As long as the outcome is what I want.
  • Reply
Great!  I found that I was done a little early, but with refinements, it was right on schedule :).
  • Reply
Congratulations!!!  That is a really, really short treatment period!!  But your front teeth have shifted so dramatically.  BTW, did your doctor include anything else in the cost of treatment?  Like whitening or bonding or both?  I've seen a few people on here get deals like that but mine certainly wasn't that good! :)

Anyway, just know, the retainer stage starts off pretty heinous as well--whenever you put in a new retainer--if you get the Viveras.  Do you know whether you'll be getting Viveras or something else?
  • Reply
No, I didn't include any extras in my treatment but I am considering whitening, however I have read some reviews that have turned me off it a little bit. I might just try a home kit first I think. I honestly haven't even thought about the retainers yet, and my dentist hasn't mentioned it either so far. I might have to start doing some research. Thanks for your comment. :)
  • Reply
I found that the whitening gel you can get to put in your Invisalign trays was plenty for me, post-treatment.  And it's not as potentially painful as some of the faster, stronger treatments.  But yeah, always lots more to research ;)
  • Reply
The whitening gel I get from my dentist doesn't make my teeth sensitive at all. The only annoying thing to me is not being able to drink coffee or diet coke for a few days.
  • Reply
The side-on comparison is dramatic.  I'm sorry tray 8 is bothering you :(.  Unfortunately, some are just more painful than others, as they don't all move the same teeth.  But yeah, seeing that progress really does help a lot!
  • Reply
Wow your progess is amazing so far! I can definitely see movement in your front teeth! That is awesome, I am on tray 5 and have yet to see some noticeable differences. Regarding the cleaning, I am the exact same as you. The cleaning can become a bit of a drag but in the end you are forced to develop good oral hygiene. I think it is important to brush after you eat. Sensodyne toothpaste is mean't for sensitive teeth and I really like it. Also, chewies are very important for your treatment. I suggest keep one chewie in your case(s) so that way when your are done eating and popping those babies back in you can reinforce them with the chewies. I am curious about the Retainer Brite so if you could shed a little light on how that works and your thoughts that would be awesome. Can't wait to see your progress! :) Happy Holidays
  • Reply
Hey, thanks for your comment, I've been keeping an eye on your review too. I've been using Sensodyne too because I'm a bit concerned about how much I've been brushing my teeth. Like I said in a previous response I've only tried the chewies once and I just couldn't handle the texture in my mouth, I might give them another go because I have seen some positive comments about them lately. I use the Retainer Brite once a day, just pop the tablet in a glass of water, chuck in my trays and go and have some breakfast while it dissolves. The water goes from blue to clear and then they're done. I still rinse and brush them just so there's no residue left on them. I've heard some good things about it and I haven't had any issues so I'm happy to keep using it. I hope you see some changes soon, it really keeps you motivated. Happy Holidays to you too! :)
  • Reply
I have just started my second lot of Invisalign. I had it about 6years ago, was to vain to get braces. Now that I'm an adult, to vain again. My teeth had shifted in all those years. And have spent 13,000$ + on teeth that are still crooked. Now I wish I got braces in the first place! Anyway I think as I was a teen then for some reason I didn't wear them properly. Now I am super excited and have gone to a top office in bc! My doctor tells me he's a perfectionist. I am on 2/23. And he has already told me I will be wearing retainers at night for the rest of my life... I also have these "chewies" that I didn't get the first time. And they are these soft rubber things that you put in your mouth everyday for 10mins. It just really helps to click the aligners in and make sure they are super tight. It's good to brush after the meal with tooothpaste it prevents cavities. My doc said because your aligners can trap it or something. It does get annoying taking them in and out all the time..just for a small bite to eat. But I drink plenty of water now! I get the attachments out on in jan. I will be 3/23 then. Good luck :)
  • Reply
Hi Hellokat, it's a shame that you've had to go through it all again, but you sound very optimistic about it which is great. I definitely do brush after every meal now, I'm not sure why the dental assistant mentioned that I didn't have to - I guess she was just advising worst case scenario. I must admit I've only tried the chewies once and I just couldn't handle the texture in my mouth, I might give them another go because I have seen some positive comments about them lately. Thanks for taking the time to comment, good luck to you too. :)
  • Reply
which site did you get your retainer brite from? Amazon doesn't ship to aus and can't find another retailer
  • Reply
I think it was www.fishpond.com.au
  • Reply

I have to admit, that after doing the cleaning routine for so long, I got so used to it, I continue to do it most of the time (flossing after eating instead of only before bed).  But I usually only eat one meal so that makes it easier ;).  Glad to hear you're not having trouble talking.  I never got to that point!  I mean, I still have a little trouble, even just after removing my retainers in the morning.  I look forward to your next update, and I hope your trays continue to fit as they should.  I wonder why that one didn't, though.

  • Reply