My Invisalign Journey - Melbourne, AU

(Week One): So like many others, I have just begun...

(Week One): So like many others, I have just begun my invisalign journey. I have had them in less than 24 hours and they are fairly painful so I am hoping that the pain subsides in the next day or so. I have 14 attachments that all happen to be at the front of my teeth and now I am feeling like maybe I should have gone for braces since the invisalign is reasonably noticable anyway. I was annoyed that my orthodontist did not inform me beforehand that the attachments would be in front, but anyway - no pain no gain right? I also felt like I was part of a cattle run the way the appointment was conducted but I guess I will see how things run in future appointments and give them the benefit of the doubt. I have a slight lisp, which I am guessing is normal. I am already looking forward to getting them off, the orthodontist has estimated that the process will take between 6-12months so I am hoping it goes fast.

(Week Two): Tray 1/14

It has now been just over a week with my Invisalign. It took me a good 5 days to get used to them being in my mouth. In fact when I do have them out I feel a little lost without them. The pain is now bearable, and I have accepted the fact that I can no longer be a grazer. I have even gotten used to the look of them and no longer feel self conscious about them. I actually don't mind the look since it makes me look younger. I went out to dinner with them for the first time on the weekend which was quite an experience (especially because I was on a first date). My date ordered us an entree to start and I was thinking - I really hope that the time between entree and main isn't too long so I don't have to take my Invisalign in and out for each course. When the waitress placed my wine on the table it was difficult not to take a sip till the entree arrived being nervous and all. I know they say to only drink water with them in so I really didn't want to break the rules, especially this early in the treatment. Luckily the entree AND main came out at the same time and with that I quickly rushed off to the bathroom to take out my aligners (or as I have started calling them, my fangs). Eating dinner was fine, but I found myself scoffing it all down so I could quickly put my aligners back in - so I didn't really get to enjoy or saviour the meal per say. I went to the bathroom and felt a little odd brushing my teeth at a restaurant - so instead I used a dental flosser and a small bottle of mouth wash, unsure if it's the right thing to do but it worked out ok. I had a dinner party the other night with a couple of girlfriends. We made mini pizzas and whilst they were picking at topping when they were making pizzas I had to fight my urge not to. Although when it came to making dessert, I slipped and put a flake of pastry in my mouth. It was only a little so it wasn't a big deal - and even when it came to cleaning my teeth I couldn't find any pastry stuck in my aligners. I'm still on soft foods which is a pain but I'm looking forward to moving onto the second tray in a few days.

(Week Three): Tray 2/14

I am now up to my second tray. I have found that my lips have been really chapped moreso in the last two weeks (unsure if anyone else has had this experience?) I am already looking forward to tray three. I have found at the start of the second tray that it cut right into my gum but it has since subsided. I have found that I hardly notice them in my mouth anymore and even had a throat lolly by accident whilst having them in. But other than that mishap I have been really good with them.

(Week Four): Tray 3/14

I was absolutely ecstatic when one of my colleagues said to me "Your teeth look so much straighter today". I'm getting more comfortable, maybe even too comfortable because I went shopping with a friend yesterday and instead of making my usual trips to the bathroom to take my aligners out, I just took them out on the spot and only went to the bathroom to clean my teeth. I have even been smiling a lot more, because as shiny and gross as they look, the look of them has really grown on me. I'm going to the orthodontist on Monday to collect my new batch of aligners so hopefully the appointment goes well. Bring on Tray 4 :D

Tray 4/14

Almost a third of the way! This tray seems much more painful than the last. I had to have my teeth filed down which was painful, so when they told me I won't have to come back until Christmas I was ecstatic! That should bring me up to tray 7 or 8 - my half way mark!

Tray 5 and 6

Apologies that I haven't kept this up to date (been having internet issues) but I am now up to my 6th tray! (Almost half way :D).

Tray 14

I haven't had much to report since Tray 6 - but now that I am finally off Tray 14...I am out of trays. I was ecstatic to get the glue off my teeth and I am happy with the result - HOWEVER...

I am very disappointed with the customer service I have received and re-enforce my statement of the clinic being like a cattle run!

I was scheduled an appointment 2 weeks after my final tray was complete and at no stage was I informed what to do between finishing the trays and my appointment (I just wore them up until the appointment and at this stage they were starting to feel a little flimsy)

Approx 3 hours prior to my appointment I was informed the orthodontist wouldn't be available but I still needed to come in to get a scan done as they wouldn't be able to get me in for another 9 weeks. At the appointment the glue was taken off my teeth and the scans were done but alas no one could answer my questions other than to wear my now flimsy tray 14 for 12 hours a day.

I was booked in for another appointment to see the orthodontist so my questions could be answered.

Surprise surprise I get a phone call in the morning of the appointment to say - the orthodontist doesn't need to see you she can determine what you need from the scans so I will need to reschedule your appointment till June. Of course I want answers or atleast I want to know when I will get answers. All I got was "We won't know till you next appointment in June". So now I have to wear Tray 14 till then and they don't sit in my mouth properly without the glue, the top aligner slides right off!

And most importantly I am left answerless and I am left without knowing how much more will the treatment cost me? What work needs to be done? Whether I want to continue the treatment? Etc.

If I had any constructive feedback it would be to hire another orthodontist for the clinic - the fact that I have paid $$$$ and get given appointments with a dental assistant that cannot give me any answers nor give any advice on follow ups and work that needs to be done to my teeth (I have a chipped tooth and when I asked about it the only response I was given was "You will have to speak to the orthodontist") leaves me feeling extremely cheated because I have only had 2 five minute chats with the orthodontist since getting invisalign. Even if The dental assistant could give me advice I paid the extra $$$$ for an orthodontist, if I had known this would happen, I would have gone to a regular dentist. I am looking forward to the ordeal being over and it has been a valuable lesson for me to shop around more and go with customer service rather than assuming a hefty price tag means good service. Hopefully I don't need anymore trays and I can get my retainer. I will update in June :) (PROMISE!)

June Update

So. Turns out I have another 14 sets of trays to go which is included as part of the Invisalign package I got. It was the biggest relief as I was under the impression I would only get one extra set of aligners free. I have glue back on my teeth and have to go back in for more glue for my bottom teeth, since I have 14 aligners for my top teeth and only 11 for my bottom teeth. When I was shown the video of how my teeth would change I didn't notice much difference but at the same time I figure I've come this far better continue with it. I'm pretty happy with the way they look now (other than my chipped tooth) yay!
Dr. Laurence

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (16)

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Have you put in a new aligner yet?
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Hi Becky, I'd agree with TwoPlusOne: inquire about in the doctors' Q&A section. If I were you, I'd ditch this ortho, and go get fitted for them elsewhere. June is far, far away, as far as teeth are concerned, to be wearing flimsy aligners with no attachments to hold them in place, for only 12 hours/day. They can do a lot of shifting in that time. Getting retainers elsewhere is less expensive than another round of orthodontic treatment because your teeth have moved.
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Yeah I think I will have a look into getting another orthodontist - hopefully it won't leave me to much out of pocket :S
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I agree! I'd be asking about refunds from your first doctor as well. It has been done before. Especially if you make it known how little your ortho had contact with you.
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Hi, Becky.  I'm concerned that you will experience back-sliding if you are wearing trays meant for attachments and no longer have attachments.  I am also concerned because some dentists say to wear retainers full-time after you receive them, for up to six months!  And they've already said to wear yours half-time.  I'm not saying it's wrong--just that it's a consideration.  I'm not a professional and I don't know what the range of acceptability is.  

Perhaps you'd like to try to distill a short question or two about your current situation and ask it of the doctors here on RealSelf.  This is a link to do that.
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Thanks heaps, I will ask them to see what they think :)
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I can definitely see a difference from when you started. I'll be happy to see your next update!
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It's a little hard to see with the aligners in, but it looks like you've made good progress.  How do you feel the progress has been?  And I notice that I didn't get notified of your previous update!  You said that it hurt when you had the IPR done?  I haven't seen anyone else say that.  How did it hurt?

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It is amazing what it does for your confidence! When I first started wearing them in March I didn't want anyone to know because I figured theyd then be spending more time looking at my teeth change than me - and I was already self conscious! lol But after a while and as more people started complimenting me, I figured what is there to hide? Great progress so far!
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How did you get them so cheap? I live in Melbourne too, I cant find them under $6000, I have only very very slight crowding
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I've got invisalign lite so it's the same but you only get around 15 aligners then it's $185 for any extra ones if needed :)
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Congratulations on getting to your second tray :).  It's great to hear you're progressing and feeling more comfortable with the trays.  Having gone through InvisAlign myself, I can tell you everything you're experiencing is normal!  I still lisp a little bit when my retainers are in; I definitely forgot and drank things other than water with them in once in a while; and I changed my entire eating schedule to accommodate the things!  Continued success in your journey!  Oh, and BTW,  I'm a little confused about your doctor review.  It says 'Melbourne' for the doctor's name, instead of the doctor's location.  Was that just because you didn't want to give the doctor's name?

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Whoops didn't realise till you mentioned it :S The doctors name is Dr. Laurence. I tried editing it but it won't let me for some reason :S
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I'll look into that for you!  But I'm so happy to hear that you're already feeling better about yourself.  I remember feeling that same excitement--that's what carries you through to the end! :D :D :D !!

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If you give me the full name, I can check to see if they're on here and link the name.  I've put in just "Dr. Laurence" for you for now.  Also, I left Melbourne, but I just wanted to confirm that it was, indeed, Melbourne, and not some neighboring locality.

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Congrats on getting started!! Now that another day has gone by I'd love to hear how you are doing as you continue to get used to the trays.

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