Decided to straighten my teeth with Invisalign after a visit to Arizona School of Health Sciences, Orthodontics program. My wife attends the same school, different program, and I could get a discount-- so I bit the bullet. The cost without the discount would have been $4500. I also got an additional discount for paying cash in full up front so anyone considering the treatment should any ask about that. I highly recommend finding a university to get your treatment done. Several Orthodontists reviewed and helped with my case, including the student assigned to me. I felt they were all very thorough and confident they could help my case. My visits probably took longer then a private practice as there is some teaching but I didn't mind that. I learned a lot about what the treatment was doing and felt that was a bonus.
The Treatment: I have mild over crowding on the top front and moderate over crowding on the bottom front teeth. I was prescribed a 6 month treatment for the top, and a year treatment for the bottom, with additional six months of predicted 'refinement' at the end of the year. The refinement includes re-impressioning my teeth for a set of new trays to make any final adjustment. So 18 months total.
I have 6 'attachments' now (3 bottom, 3 top) and will have two more added later as teeth rotate. They are newer type attachment that are the same material as the original invisilgin attachments (glass like white filing material), but are irregularly shaped rather then the original round button shape. The irregular shapes are less noticeable the button shaped attachments when looking in the mirror with the retainer off (less shadows/contrast created).
Everyday I eat they become less noticeable and have not irritated the inside of my mouth like the orthodontist said they may. They feel like pieces of chunky peanut butter stuck on my teeth. I feel the retainer pushing on my teeth but there has been no pain. Just slight tenderness if I push the teeth being adjusted to the side. No pain whatsoever when eating. Although I do enjoy removing the retainer a few times a day to eat. That I feel is a big advantage to traditional braces. When the retainer is in I notice it less every day. The first few days I had an oral fixation on it and examined the edges of the retainer constantly with my tongue-- DO NOT DO THIS-- just leave it alone.... The tip of my tongue has become very scratched and sore.
I am getting use to scheduling my meals and the only major drawback is I enjoy drinking a few beers a night-- so now instead slowly enjoying them I drink them much more quickly so that I do not go more then a half hour without the retainer in. They said i need to average 20 hours a day with it in. The closer to 24 hours a day the better so i try to get as close as reasonably possible to that. Lastly, my speech has not really been affected. They said I may have a lisp for a bit-- but I think I speak pressing my tongue to the back of palate rather then the front so I think my speech is less affected. Overall so far, I can't imagine it being any easier and recommend the treatment.