53 Year Old Female in UK Finally Getting my Teeth Straightened! - United Kingdom

I'm 53 years old and live in the UK. I've always...

I'm 53 years old and live in the UK. I've always hated my teeth which are very crowded and crooked. I've finally plucked up the courage to do something about it and have decided to go ahead with Invisalign.

I first visited my dentist about one month ago to discuss the possibility of having my teeth straightened and she recommended Invisalign. After having my impressions taken I have had to wait until today for my treatment plan to come back from the US and have just seen my dentist to see the pictures.

My dentist wasn't happy with the expected results as my top teeth midline was slightly off to the right on the final outcome so she doing some adjustments to the plan and has suggested an extraction of one of my bottom teeth.

The plan that came back has 49 trays which would mean almost 2 years of treatment not allowing for refinements. I'm perfectly happy to go through this length of treatment if it means I can finally smile without embarrassment but my dentist I'd hoping we can reduce this with the extraction.

I'm waiting for a phone call in a couple of days to see the changes she's made to my plan and hopefully it will only be a couple more weeks before I can start my treatment.

Appointment on Wednesday to see my updated pictures.

Just a quick update. I have an appointment on Wednesday to see the changes my dentist has made to my plan. I have found out today that she starts her maternity leave on Friday, baby due mid July and she 's back at work at the end of September. I'm really hoping this isn't going to delay me starting my treatment as I shall be quite depressed if it does. Fingers crossed that another dentist can take over my case until my dentist is back.

Plan finalised and aligners ordered!

I've had my appointment to see my final plan and my dentist and I are very happy with it so I'm going ahead. My aligners have been ordered and my dentist is going to call me when they arrive and arrange an appointment. She's kindly taking time out of her maternity leave as I'm having an extraction, one of my bottom incisors. My plan now consists of 32 trays which I'm very happy about as the original plan was 49 trays. When I'm ready to start tray 3 I'm having my attachments fitted, there are an awful lot of them, almost every tooth and 2 on some. I know this is going to a long journey and I may encounter difficulties along the way, but I'm determined to see it through so I can smile with confidence for the first time in my life.

Still waiting!

I'm still waiting for an appointment for my extraction and my first trays. Seems like ages since I started this journey and I seem to be going nowhere! I wondered if anyone else has had to wait so long to start. On average how long should it take to manufacture the trays? The longer I wait the more doubts set in, I'm worrying about my extraction and having a gap in my bottom front teeth. I'll update as soon as I have a date to start.

Good news!

Good news, my aligners have arrived and I have an appointment on Thursday for extraction and first tray!! So excited. ????

Extraction done and 1st aligners on!

I've had my extraction and am wearing my first aligners. I'm a little concerned as I'm not feeling any of the tightness described by other invisaligners. Also there seems to be quite a lot of spaces at the tops of my aligners where my teeth don't seem to fit snugly. I've added some photos and hope they show these spaces. My next appointment, for attachments is August 11th.

Day 5 update

I've now been wearing my aligners 5 days. Im not suffering from the gagging reflex anymore and don't really have bad pain. I did wake up this morning with a slight headache so took some painkillers which seem to have done the trick. My mouth is very sore so I have purchased some Anbesol Gel and some Corsodyl mouthwash to try and relieve the soreness.

I'm managing to stick to a good routine, 20 minutes for breakfast, half an hour for lunch and 40 minutes for dinner. Adding my cleaning, flossing routine to this I'm well within my 2 hours without my aligners.

I actually feel relieved when I get them back in because my teeth feel a little unstable without them. I'm sure they're not actually loose or in danger of falling out but I can definitely feel a difference even after such a short time.

No one at work noticed my aligners but I'm sure things will change once I get my attachments. I think I'm probably deliberately avoiding conversations with colleagues because I feel very self conscious about the gap left by my extraction. I shall be glad when this gap is closed and hopefully then I'll feel less self conscious.

I'm going to London for 3 days tomorrow and will be eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner so I'm quite concerned how I'm going to manage with my removing aligners, eating, cleaning teeth and replacing aligners routine.

I now have some Chewies to try and solve the problem I have with gaps between my teeth and my aligners. One thing I'm a little concerned about is that my aligners end on my upper first molar on the right so my second molar isn't being moved at all. Considering my teeth are much more crowded on this side I wonder why that should be. I really can't see that there will be enough room in my mouth to straighten these teeth without moving the second molar back. I'm sure my dentist knows what she's doing but I'm just impatient to start seeing results!

Aligner #2 no problems so far.

I changed to aligner #2 today, I'm wearing my first 3 sets of aligners for 15 days each. This is because my dentist is on her maternity leave until August 11th when I see her again for my attachments.

So far I'm finding the process pretty easy to cope with, I'm managing to wear my aligners for at least 22 hours per day and haven't suffered any major pain. I actually prefer to have my aligners on as my teeth feel unstable without them!

I don't see any difference in my teeth but nonetheless I've posted some pictures as I think it will be interesting to see if others can see any change.

Aligner #3 of 32

I started on Aligner 3 yesterday evening. Nothing much to report but I think the extraction gap is looking ever so slightly smaller.

Attachments update.

Today I was supposed to have my attachments fitted and start on aligner #4. Unfortunately when my dentist tried out the aligners the bottom one wasn't fitting correctly. Therefore, I have to keep aligner #3 in for another week to see if this helps. Needless to say I'm very dissapointed as I can't see how keeping the aligners in for another week us going to help the next one fit any better. I can envisage having to have more impressions taken and wait a few more weeks for new aligners to arrive. I was so depressed at this prospect that I actually cried on my way home.

Crack in aligner

I've got a problem and wondered if anyone else has had the same thing happen. I am on tray 3 and the tray has a crack between my right central incisor and right lateral incisor. Will this effect my treatment? I was supposed to have attachments and tray 4 fitted on Monday but the bottom aligner wasn't fitting correctly. I'm concerned I'll have to wait for replacements which can take weeks due to me being in the UK. Will it be possible to have the attachments put on just my upper teeth and progress to tray 4 before my new lower aligners are received? I don't want to have to go back to tray 2 as it will delay my treatment even further. I've posted a question on here to see if any doctors can help, I don't want to bother my dentist as she's on maternity leave so only doing a few appointments for Invisalign patients.

Attachments on and aligner #4

I had my attachments fitted this morning and got aligners 4-6. The aligners are very ill fitting but my dentist didn't seem too concerned and told me the next set will probably be a better fit. I was very concerned about removing them at lunchtime but they came off without too much of a struggle. However, when I was brushing my teeth after lunch one of the attachments fell off! I called the surgery and was told it won't matter and to wait for my next appointment, (22 September) and the attachment will be put back on. I enquired whether this delay will effect my treatment and was told that it won't. I'm quite concerned about this as I've read some doctor's answers on here and there are conflicting opinions. I've attached a photo of my teeth with aligners on. The attachment which fell off is the one on my upper right canine.

Aligner #5

Since starting aligner #4 and getting attachments I have lost 6 of the attachments. I visited the dentist today and have had them re-attached and have started on aligner #5. Aligner 4 was not fitting correctly and my mouth got very sore over the past couple of weeks. I'm hoping that I won't have the same problem with this latest aligner. I've attached a picture of my teeth with aligner 5 but can't see any major changes apart from my extraction gap has closed a little.
Oasis Dental

Was this review helpful? 3 others found this helpful

Comments (46)

Sort by

If your doctor isn't concerned, I wouldn't be.  Remember that not all the teeth are being worked on at the same time.  They may not really need to use those attachments at this stage in your treatment :).  I'm sorry you lost one, though.  I went through my entire treatment only losing one or two, so I hope this is your only time!  It can be bothersome if it happens a lot!
  • Reply
I ripped my aligner on a couple of occasions during my treatment (after I'd gotten attachments).  My doctor said it'd be fine until the end of the aligner (about a week) at the time.  Whether your doctor is willing to progress unevenly is their call.  There is nothing technically that says you can't put attachments on only one arch at a time (they're always put on one arch at a time) but it may be prohibitively expensive for your doctor's office to do that kind of thing, as it means extra visits.  So they are the best ones to discuss this with.

Did your doctor try on the next-in-sequence bottom aligner before ordering off for new ones?  I've read many instances here on RealSelf of one aligner not fitting, but the next fitting fine.  I don't know whether it's good practice to move patients along in that way, but doctors do it.  I ask because it is possible that you would be able to move forward with both arches even while new aligners are being made.  Still, in the end, it's up to your doctor, so I would contact the office.  I think they will decide whether or not they need to call in your doctor.  I'm assuming your doctor has a staff that she works with and that the entire office is not closed down.  If it is, then I would say it's worth contacting your doctor, especially if you don't get a quick answer here on RealSelf from our Q&A.
  • Reply
Hi, my dentist only tried on aligner 4 and said that as it didn't fit I would have to stay in aligner 3 for another week. She said if it still doesn't fit she will have to order new ones. I guess that will mean impressions being taken again on my bottom teeth and a long wait for the aligners to come back from the USA. At the moment I feel as if I've taken one step forward and two steps back which is quite depressing when I see the progress others have made on here. I was hoping to be finished by November 2015 for my daughter's graduation but I can see this journey being a long one at the rate I'm progressing.
  • Reply
Remember that your teeth will look significantly different by then, even if you're not done with your treatment.  You won't even recognize yourself in a year from now.  Don't lose hope!  And there's still always trying for a used AcceleDent if you get desperate.  But don't get too disheartened yet.  The beginning is always difficult, when you cannot see significant progress.  And that fourth tray may end up fitting.  
  • Reply
When I said crack on tooth I meant on aligner
  • Reply
I had a crack on the bottom tooth at the back for 4 days and I progressed as normal, I just made sure I soaked and cleaned trays properly and careful not to make crack bigger, sorry to hear about delay with attachments I'm sure it will be fine on Monday and actually attachments will speed things anyway! Good luck x
  • Reply
Hi and thank you. I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed for Monday. At the moment I seem to be taking one step forward and two steps back. How are things going for you?
  • Reply
Thank you for updating us, and I'm sorry you were disappointed :(.  Sometimes the teeth don't track well for whatever reason, and if you move to the next aligner before they fit well in the previous, they may have even more trouble moving the teeth this time.  It will also be significantly more painful, but the main thing is that the roots are difficult to move, and so forcing the teeth to move before they're ready may not bring the roots along as they should, and you may not have a stable result.  I think it's more difficult for those of us who, like you, have so many aligners to go through.  At one point I had to stay in one set of aligners for a month and a half, but for me, it wasn't that big of a deal, because I only have 15 +6 refinements.  You look ahead of you and see a long journey.  But after 8 or 9 aligners, I think you'll feel like it's all old-hat and you'll be seeing progress and things will be mostly unnoticeable, except for the progress.  It's much easier to feel positive once you've gotten a few more aligners in--but until then, sticking it out is pure willpower.

And venting here on RealSelf!  We can take it :).
  • Reply
Thanks for your comments. I can see that my dentist only has my best interests in mind and so obviously doesn't want to rush my treatment if I'm not ready for the next stage. It is frustrating and I guess I'm just too impatient, but after finally making the decision and plucking up the courage to do this I can't wait to see the final result. I do feel much better about things today and feel a little silly for getting so emotional about the situation. I think, as you say, once I can see progress I will feel much more positive. Thank you again, it helps to have support from others who have gone through or are going through the same treatment.
  • Reply
I'm glad to hear things are a little better today.  Don't be too hard on yourself.  Seriously--sometimes you have a bad day, or your mood is down, and suddenly going through this seems insurmountable.  Getting bad news on top can be too much sometimes.  On those days, when our personal reserves are empty, outside support is key.  I have certainly benefited in my years here on RealSelf, LOL!
  • Reply
I agree about the extraction gap.  Definitely!  Keep up the good work, and thank for the update :D.
  • Reply
All seems to be going well for you! I will say that after I had the attachments on the trays felt much tighter...but now after more weeks I have completely adjusted again! August 11th isn't too long to wait either. I am noticing small changes in mine (camera angle helps!) and that was after attachments were on too. Try to get the clincheck video (get the dentist to email it to you). I pause mine, quarter and half way through to see what things are expected to look like....it helps me not to worry about little things. It may also show you the gap closing? Also when you go for the attachments they may give you a few more trays and it is great to put them next to tray one to see the changes to be expect! Take care!
  • Reply
Hi there, yes all is going well, I don't have pain and am used to wearing my aligners. I will ask about having my clincheck emailed when I next see my dentist. I must admit that I have compared tray 1 with tray 3 and the gap is significantly smaller. I'm starting tray 3 on Saturday so I imagine it will feel tight and I may have some pain but I know what to expect now. I'm a little concerned about having my attachments because there are so many of them and there are a lot of comments on here about how difficult the trays are to remove with attachments. You seem to be coping well and I can definitely see a change in your teeth!
  • Reply
Luckily I didn't have to have any extraction . Initially , I was told I will have to have two teeth taken out but I wasn't very happy. My dentist requested from Invisalign two visualisations : for predicted changes with tests taken out and not. The difference was very slight . I was so happy that I actually asked if extraction is necessary and didn't go with the first suggested version. I know in some circumstances it is necessary but this time I was lucky
  • Reply
I can't yet, but I'd expect several more aligners before seeing anything.  Have you taken a look at Henry Z's review?  He had a tooth pulled and you can see how quick it started filling in.  Just realize that he started changing trays weekly because of AcceleDent after about 4 months.  I think it was 7 aligners before I could see it was starting to close for him.
  • Reply
Hi and yes I did have a look at Henry Z's review. I'm sure acceledent has speeded up the process for him but it's not an option for me. Here in the UK there only a handful of dental practices that offer Acceledent and none of them close to where I live. I believe it's quite a new concept so not tried and tested enough for British dentists. I'm quite happy to take my time to get the results I desire.
  • Reply
Yeah, I didn't mean you should get it.  Just that you shouldn't go by weeks:).  But his gap started closing before he got the AcceleDent, which he started much later than usual, so even the timing there works :D
  • Reply
Great to hear you got the chewies!  I hope they do the trick :).  As for your teeth feeling loose, they absolutely are.  They're not in danger of falling out, though, just as you said.  But generally, your teeth will be somewhat loose throughout your treatment.  It's one of the reasons some people feel uncomfortable eating very chewy things while they're in treatment.  Another reason is that as your bite shifts, your teeth may not line up well for a while, which makes chewing difficult.

I'd probably feel self-conscious about the gap as well, but I honestly cannot imagine anyone looking at what you're going through and judging you negatively for it.  I mean, you deserve to fix your teeth, and you had to pull one to get it done.  If you're very concerned, though, Invisalign does make pontics and you can ask your doctor about them (it's a white thing that goes in your tray).

It's very common for second molars not to be included in your treatment.  Generally, concerns like that are best addressed by watching your ClinCheck, either on your own or with your doctor to explain what's going on :).

As for your trip to London--have fun, and good luck!  I don't have any wisdom about eating out because I did it maybe once (never thrice in a day) and I just made sure to have my case with me, and I used the restaurant's bathroom to brush.  I know a few others in the community have recently traveled (cruises) and such.  They may have more wisdom.  AreYouKiddingMe did that and she learned a lot. :)
  • Reply
Do you have any chewies?  They will help you seat the aligners all the way onto your teeth.  Also, the discomfort usually doesn't start for several hours.  It'll likely be worse tomorrow :)  Here's a video about Invisalign and it shows how to use chewies as well.

  • Reply
Hi, thank you for posting the videos for me to look at. I don't have any chewies and my dentist didn't mention them. I think I may give the practice a call tomorrow and ask about them.
  • Reply
My chewies came in my pack from invisalign along with 2 cases! But I also bought spares from amazon. When my aligners first went in they were tight then about 15 mins later they felt ok. The time I really noticed was when I took them out and tried to eat during days 1-3. My teeth were really tender then. You get used to wearing them and don't forget we all have different pain thresholds :-) so pleased you've started the journey!!
  • Reply
Thank you! I'm going to call my dentist tomorrow and ask about the chewies. If she says it's ok I'll order some from Amazon. I haven't eaten yet since having my extraction and I guess the anaesthetic may not have worn off yet. Hopefully I won't have too much pain but I have painkillers just in case.
  • Reply
Super-exciting!!!  Tell us how the extraction goes, though :)  Can't wait to see your next update!
  • Reply
Yay!!! Good luck and welcome to the invisalign club :/)
  • Reply
I'm sorry you've had to wait, now that you made this decision. It's common to wait between two and six weeks for trays and sometimes longer in Europe. But most people seem to be in the two to three week range. It was three weeks for me and I'm in the US. :)
  • Reply