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Don't Give Up! - Palm Springs, CA

Aligners total: 12 (set) Treatment time: 9...

Aligners total: 12 (set)
Treatment time: 9 months
Problem: Bottom teeth overlapping in front. Slight overbite.
Total cost: $4,500
Location: So Cal


I am an amost-50 year old female. I have a slight overbite and some bottom front teeth that are crowded and starting to overlap each other, (Think GOAT TEETH!) despite having had "full metal jackets" wrapped around my teeth for a total of 7 years when I was much younger. (It was just an overbite!) My first orthodontist, when I was 13, was apparently fighting my "tongue thrust". His paycheck ended when he called me and my mother in for a meeting saying he wanted to cut a "pie-shaped wedge" out of my tongue. Uh, no.....My next orthodontist was my savior and had me in and out of braces within 2 years with my braces coming off just in time for senior portraits. I must have been absent when my savior-orthodontist strongly cautioned me about wearing my retainers, which, I didn't! Fast forward 30 years: Now that the kids are raised and on their own, I decided to splurge for Invisalign. I chose Invisalign because of the various reviews I read and because I didn't want to be seen in the business world with a mouth full of metal and previous' days meals. I carefully selected an experienced orthodontist (based on reviews) and made the appointment. After xrays, the impressions that were taken had to be precise, but frankly, it was a tolerable situation. In total, the impressions were deemed good enough to be sent to Invisalign and took a total of 10 minutes. Despite the mold/impression texture being a bit too slimy, the taste was again, tolerable. The assistant said to expect the trays to come back in a month. To my surprise, they came back a week early. I made the appointment for a Saturday morning at 7 am. (To those that don't know me, I musta been excited because there is no appointment or even college class that I have EVER scheduled for 7 AM on a Saturday!). I was shown the first tray, explained how to care for them and how to wear them after the "buttons" were strategically placed on a few of my top and bottom teeth. (Total of 4 buttons: 3 on top towards the front and one on bottom, on the front). These buttons really can't be seen as they are "tooth colored". And unless someone is literally "in your grill", undetectable to most everyone. Now, the cement of the buttons was extremely bitter, to say the least. The ortho used a device to stretch my mouth open wide to keep things dry so the cement buttons would set properly. He used what I think was an ultraviolet heat light in the shape of a wand to expedite the drying process, which in total for all four buttons, was about 7 minutes, -ish. After explaining the care of the aligners and the proper removal and placement (You kinda use the buttons to snap the trays in place although they are more for providing push-pressure on specific teeth.), I was all set to go. I have 12 sets of aligners and this is set #1. My next appointment will be in a month.

HOWEVER, the first day was somewhat uncomfortable and took getting used to. Not just the slight pressure and sensitivity, but my tongue seemed to be constantly asking me "Where do you want me to go?" and "What the hell is in my mouth?" Since I started wearing Invisalign Saturday morning, by Saturday night, not even my first 24-hours, I began to question my Invisalign decision. I decided to get a decent nights sleep that first night and took two Alleve. This helped as I only recall waking up once to remove and replace the trays, especially the bottom one which seemed to have a rough edge where the back of the tray rests at the base of my gum line. Sunday was a bit better but not much. By the time I woke up on Monday morning, things were feeling a lot more comfortable. I only had slight trouble with my speech for two days. By Monday, the speech was almost 100% and the pain was minimal. Today, five days after the first tray, I am doing much better. I have taken to carrying around a toothbrush and toothpaste in my purse. And when the situation has a bathroom that is less than pleasant, I have started carrying Colgate's Wisps that have toothbrush and toothpaste, all in one, and water is not needed.

After reading several reviews on this website, I called the ortho's office today to ask if I will be needing rubberbands or any other type of attachments. Luckily, the answer came back "no". Now, I know things can change and teeth move as they want BUT it is good to know that I will not have to repeat the head/neck gear crisis I experienced as a teenager. (And lemme tell you, nothing can kill a high school social life like a HEAD GEAR!)

Five days into wearing my first set of Invisalign and I am happy, so far with my decision.

Come for the results. Not the care.

Month 2 and second set of trays. So far, so good. (BTW, I really don't like the atmosphere of Gentle Dental. Too "second world-ish". And let's face it, Invisalign isn't cheap. You would think since you purchased the Cadillac of orthodontic solutions you would get the same treatment in the offices that provide Invisalign. Not the case here. Oh well.) The results, so far, have been good and I am on track according to my orthodontist although I am only on tray 2 of 12-ish. Keep in mind that I am trying to get my bottom goat teeth to realign properly. I have been wearing tray 2 for a few days. Not nearly as much pain and soreness as the first set but then again, I took a dose of Advil before I went to the ortho. I can feel some pressure overall on both upper and lower teeth, but again, very tolerable. The first set of trays had a roughness on the lower tray that was hitting behind my front teeth. I smoothed it out with a super-fine, new nail file and it seemed to do the job. This pair, however, has no rough parts and are sitting fine in my mouth. I had originally thought that I was going to get a new set of trays every two weeks but apparently, my alignment problem is not that severe to merit more than one tray every four weeks. I also ordered "Retainer Brite" on Amazon to soak in the morning and at night for 15 minutes to avoid "bezackly" breath. It does the job. On a side note, I am very comfortable in the competency of my orthodontist. It's his front office staff that is lacking intelligence. Longer story on that later in my treatment and update review.
Gentle Dental

Dr. Hawkins is great! Knowledgeable, friendly and doesn't rush through your appointments when you have questions. (And they manage to keep appointments on time.) The staff is incredibly personable, too.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 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
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (3)

I find it interesting that most people that have had treatment when they were younger and get treatment later in life tend to do it because of their bottom teeth. Wonder of those get strained more and are more likely to move (?) Sorry but I had to laugh at the "pie shape" cut in the tongue! Sounds about like when my original ortho told me he HAD to extact 4 teeth on top and 4 on bottom at minimum. I was 11ish and thankfully my parents said no. Now I'm 24 with bad alignment problems, but at least with invisalign I get to keep all of my teeth! great review, keep us updated!
  • Reply
Charlene, thanks for your comments. Yeah, when he mentioned cutting a "pie-shaped" piece outta my tongue, I almost got up and went to see if I walked into a bakery instead of an orthodontist! And I thought an empty tube of Clearasil was my biggest worry at that age. And frankly, what motivated me at almost-50 to use Invisalign was seeing my mother's teeth recently....UP CLOSE. Yikes! And with respect to teeth getting pulled, I remember that a good solid door and a piece of string was a lot cheaper than modern day teeth removal!
  • Reply

Wow, you have been through it with ortho!! I feel bad for anyone who had to have the full metal band braces, all those spacers, ouch!

Its awesome to hear you are happy with your Invisalign so far. Hopefully that continues to be the case - looking forward to hearing. :)

  • Reply