My Invisalign Journey! - New York, NY

I decided to post on here because this website has...

I decided to post on here because this website has been a huge help to me in deciding to do Invisalign, so I hope my post(s) will help others too. I've been wanting to get Invisalign for years and finally decided to go for it this past October 2013. I am set to graduate next year and I figured it is the perfect time to do it before I get into the working world and have to deal with talking to people face to face each day. I found a premier provider two blocks away from my home & I thought perfect, he's recommended and he's in walking distance. I went in for my consultation and the office was jam packed with people waiting to be seen. The office itself looked like it was a veterinary office (it was cold, very old/outdated equipment and no decor). The orthodontist sat me down and told me I could choose not to do my top teeth if I wanted to, which would cost about $4,000.. or I could do both and it would cost me $6,000. Not doing the top was not an option for me because I do have minor, though very visible issues that need to be fixed. I was surprised that he would even suggest this. The price along with the atmosphere of the office completely turned me off and I just couldn't motivate myself to find another dentist, up until December. I was recommended one which was about 15 mins from my home by car, so I decided to go in for a consultation. The office was warm and inviting, the staff was so helpful, and the dentist herself seemed very knowledgable and a perfectionist - I was sold! What a difference from my last one, I'm glad I decided not to give up. She gave me all of the information upfront and told me that my treatment time would likely be a year. When I went in for my clincheck it turns out that I need 24 trays, so just under a year. However, she did tell me that I would likely need refinements afterward. She also mentioned to me after everything was done, she would put a bonded retainer on my lower teeth. For the top teeth I would need to wear the Invisalign retainer 6 months daily - as I would the trays. After daily wear, I would switch to 2 years of nightly wear, and after the 2 years I would do about 3-4 nights a week. Initially it seemed scary, but I'm hoping the refinements won't be needed, so as to shorten my treatment time, we will see.

I'm on day 5 of my first tray of Invisalign, and I can definitely say it has been a rough few days. I got them put on (with attachments) on Saturday 2/1, and for the first few hours everything was fine, no soreness, no pain, just a slight lisp - boy was I wrong. A few hours in I began getting a throbbing pain and soreness. My aligners were cutting the sides of my mouth. It was nearly impossible to take them off and when I finally could, chewing food was so hard due to the attachments on my teeth that I ended up biting the side of my mouth that was already sore causing it to bleed. By Sunday I was ready to give up on my Invisalign journey because I was fearing that it would be like this throughout the whole treatment period. I was taking advil/ibuprofen a few times a day to ease the pain. It is now day 5 and the pain is just starting to subside. The aligners feel as I assume they should - just a slight pressure to let me know its working. One of my attachments already fell off, but I asked the dentist what to do if that were to happen and she said she could attach them on my next visit which is in a month to pick up my next set of aligners (right now I have 1 & 2).

I do have a few questions, and perhaps someone can help me. I have a friend who is also doing Invisalign and nearing the end of her treatment. Her orthodontist said she would only have to wear her retainer 6 months and that's it. That seems strange? I figured with any treatment involving braces, regardless of the severity of the case a retainer would have to be worn for years.

Also, what causes someone to need refinements? Is it mostly due to patient non-compliance (not wearing 22 hours a day), or is this inevitable for some people?

Sorry my post is so long, I'll post photos and update time to time to show you how my treatment is going!

My Invisalign Journey!

So I've just switched to tray 2. I wasn't supposed to until tomorrow morning, but a lot of posts suggest switching to new trays the night before, to avoid discomfort and to give a full 8 hours of not taking the aligners off. Is this ok to do? Part of me feels almost guilty for switching earlier, so I just want to know for the future. When I had my tray 1 put in it was in the morning, so technically I'm only 11/12 hours early.

Huge difference in fit! I almost forgot the feeling of just getting the aligners put in. After a painful few days with Tray 1, everything went well after that. Taking them on/off was a breeze and they even started to get "loose".

Tray Four!

It's been a little over a month since I updated. I guess because I haven't been seeing much of a difference, I didn't feel like there was anything worth sharing. I did end up losing tray 2 (put it in a napkin-big mistake) and wore tray 1 for the rest of the day. I picked up tray 3 the following day which was pretty tight the first two days and then it was easy from there on out. I'm now exactly a week into tray 4. I haven't seen any difference yet. It is somewhat discouraging because I did expect to see a slight difference. I received trays 5 & 6 as well, and they look pretty much identical to tray 4. My next appointment is in May to pick up tray 7 & to start my IPR so my bottom tooth can move forward.

Two attachments on my bottom teeth fell off. My dentist tried putting them back on, but they wouldn't stick to the teeth. Since they were on teeth that were already straight, she said it's not a big deal and she will just re-attach them when I do my refinements. This is another thing that has me discouraged. I'm only on tray 4 and ideally, by the time I get to my last tray everything should be straightened out. I do realize that it doesn't work out that way and refinements are usually needed, but is it typical to be able to tell so early on? She also extended trays 4, 5 and 6 a week. So instead of wearing them two weeks each, she added an extra week on so that I can wear whichever tray(s) I feel necessary a few more days. She asked if I was getting 22 hours in, which I usually am, but on days I am in school it sometimes can be 21 because of extra time traveling to the bathroom to brush, etc. Which is why she added on the extra time. I read on here that a lot of people sometimes don't get the full 22 - so I didn't think this would be such a big deal, especially since it doesn't happen often for me. I am much stricter now on myself than before and have been timing everything to make sure I am doing a full 22 hours.

I'll add in some pictures from tray 4. Nothing really to note for tray's 2 & 3, so I'll skip those. Just curious, if you've done Invisalign what tray did you start noticing a difference? I expect my bottom teeth to take longer because of crowding. However, my top teeth have only slight imperfections, so I expected those to be faster but they haven't moved at all.
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