Invisalign at 47, Never Had Braces Before. So Far, So Good. - Park Ridge, IL

Hello everyone. I am a 47 year old married mom of...

Hello everyone. I am a 47 year old married mom of 4. I decided to get Invisalign because I have always wanted straighter teeth than what I have. We had extra money in our flexible spending account at the end of 2013 so instead of losing it, I put it to good use and committed to Invisalign. My teeth are ok but the bottom ones are really getting crowded as I am getting older. I did not have my wisdom teeth removed until I was in my early 30's and I think that added to the crowding.
I know that some dentists do this procedure but my own dentist does not so I went to the orthodontist that my teen girls went to for braces. And now that I have researched more into this process, I believe orthodontist may have an edge over regular dentists. This orthodontist is a perfectionist. He wants the absolute best result for his patients.
So going in for the first visit to do the molds to send to Invisalign, I had an idea what to expect because of this website. It is a bit tedious to have those molds done. I have tmj problems so it was uncomfortable. I wish I had taken a few ibuprofen before hand so that my jaw wasn't so sore afterward.
My first trays came in and I put them in on January 29. I noticed that the trays are marked and numbered on the back teeth. This is good to make them more visible in the white bathroom sink :). I will have a total of 18 trays. I am now on tray 3. I get attachments on March 12 for tray 4.
I have some slight discomfort but it is not too bad. I do find it harder to eat crunchy, thicker foods like tortilla chips and pretzels because my teeth are sore. I work full time but I am in a car most of the day, 12 hour shifts so getting to a bathroom to brush my teeth is a challenge. It has stopped me from indiscriminate snacking so that is a plus! I have sometimes been unable to brush after eating so I always have a big bottle of water with me. I swish out my mouth really good and sometimes use those disposable tooth brushes (Colgate Wisps). I have even found these at the the dollar stores so check around.
I grind my teeth at night so these trays have helped me from grinding my teeth down. I lost my night guard a while back so I am glad this is doing double duty.
I hear different things about cleaning the trays. I take them off and soak them in Listerine pre-brush rinse(it is clear so it won't stain the trays) and peroxide to disinfect them.
As for talking, I don't really lisp much except when my mouth gets dry or I have to talk a lot.
I already feel like my teeth have moved a bit. My teeth are less jammed together and flossing is easier. I love seeing the progress!

Pics at week 3.

Attachments!

This visit did not take very long. My appointment was at 12:50 and I was out of there by 1:30. Getting them applied was not painful but my teeth are sensitive so it was uncomfortable. I should have brushed with a sensitivity toothpaste beforehand and taken some ibuprofen. The assistant applied the attachments to 2 teeth on top (left central incisor and left lateral incisor) and 4 teeth on the bottom (both left and right lateral incisors and canines) My top central incisor, front left tooth, has 2 "buttons". So once the assistant applied a cured them, the ortho came in and maybe ground them down a bit. Not sure what he did but it sounded like drilling which I hate. Again, my teeth are sensitive so it was a bit bothersome to endure. The assistant had me put them in and take them out to see if I could do it. I did it but it was not easy.
When I took them off to eat the first time, I was surprised to find that the surface is rough. I imagined them to be smooth for some reason. So, predictably, they scratched the hell out of the inside of my mouth when I ate. I returned to RealSelf to read up more on other's experience and saw that some people sanded them down with a nail file so I did that. Still gritty textured but a bit better.
I am not thrilled with how they look but no one noticed them, even when I asked a few people.
There is a lot more soreness now. Not horrible but more than before these attachments were placed. So that means the teeth are moving, right? :)

Taking the trays off is slightly more challenging. Starting in the back always works. It feels like sometimes I will pull the attachments off. I was told to just call the office and they would put a new one on. No big deal. I still feel, that although this is harder than before the attachments were put on, that this is so much better than just leaving my teeth as they were or going with traditional braces. Nothing good comes easy!

Doing good, I can see results!

So I am 2 days into tray 8/18. I can see that my bottom teeth have really fallen into line. I still struggle with putting my trays back in after eating or drinking. LIke TwoPlusOne said, it is a slippery slope and getting lax can affect results.

I had a mishap on Easter. I was on the last few days of liner 6. I got up for work (I start at 6am so I was up around 4-ish… not thinking clearly due to the hour and also recovering from a 24 hour flu the day before. I took the liners out to drink an energy drink…I had taken a sip with them in and it is a colored drink so I put them in my glass of water…forgot to put them back in before I hit the treadmill and could not find them anywhere! I searched the garbage, the sink, the disposal, cabinets..nowhere! My next appointment was that Tuesday to get the next set of 3 so I just put in liner 5 for Sunday and Monday. The office was not open to even call to ask but when I went in on Tuesday I got a bit of an attitude. "why did you do that?" type of thing. Geez. What was I supposed to do ?
Anyway, the ortho filed in between a few teeth which did not really hurt too badly but my teeth are sensitive so it was not pleasant. Usually the staff and ortho are upbeat and friendly but I got a weird vibe that day so I just wanted to get out of there…didn't ask about the Acceledent because everyone was in a bad mood :( Not sure I am ready to pay for it at this point either.

Tray 8/18

8/18

Pics at tray 8.
Dr. DiFranco

Dr. DiFranco is a perfectionist so that is always a good thing. His staff is great. It is a very busy office but very organized and well run. Everyone there is very friendly. It is kind of hard to get appointments because the office is very busy so schedule as soon as possible to get the best appointment.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 10 others found this helpful

Comments (33)

Sort by

Great progress so far!
  • Reply
Hi ... Just researching reviews as I just got tray 1/13 yesterday ! My DDS put my attachments on from the start... Wondering if this is odd. My tongue isn't a fan of the trays as it's cutting it slightly in the lower anteriors, do I am eager to get a "rattail saw" to help fix my problem. Also the OxyClean is an interesting suggestion as well ... Is it safe to possibly ingest? I was wondering about eatting and drinking ... My trays are hard to get out gracefully..., worried I may not want to eat out again!! Lol I guess not such a bad thing in the quest to lose a few pounds is always there!!!! Anyway... I will keep looking on this site for great info and possibly my own blog??!
  • Reply
Wow, only 13 trays so you don't have as much straightening to do as the rest of us! :) Maybe that is why you got attachments right away. I remember my mouth and tongue getting so sore. It is funny how it adjusts. I get no soreness now. As for cleaning the liners, I have mostly used peroxide…sometimes Oxyclean if I have time…I rinse really well. As for getting the liners out, always start in the back. I sometimes just start pulling them out from the front and they don't come out. Yes, start your own blog and post pics.
  • Reply
Hi Kristin, yes about 13.... I really don't have a huge amount of moving to do .... But boy today is sore!!! My upper front tooth and a little on my lowers. Ibuprofen to the rescue!! Thx for the tips ... I look forward to chatting with you and the others thru my treatment :))
  • Reply
Yep, Ibuprofen is good for the soreness. And when I first got the attachments, the inside of my mouth was raw! It is painful to eat. I am so glad that went away. The body is an amazing adaptor to stresses we inflict on it! So post some pics, I want to see what teeth that only need 13 liners look like :)
  • Reply
Ur bottom teeth r lookin' good! It's weird that ur dental office treated u so odd. I mean I prob would have put in my previous tray too given the same situation. If anything, they should've told u what u could've done instead if reverting back wasn't ideal. Don't be scared to ask about acceledent next time ur there if u r still interested. Don't let them make u feel bad either. Ttyl :)
  • Reply
Thanks. Yeah, it was weird…they did not tell me what to do if it happens again (God forbid) but I felt tension when I was there and just wanted to get out asap. How much did you pay for your device?
  • Reply
I got it for a little over $900. My doc said it was pretty much the "at cost" price since I introduced it into his office. So Id say that I got a great price since most I've read have paid anywhere from $1100-$1700.
  • Reply
Ok, thanks. I will see what my price is. :)
  • Reply
You can also check out our AcceleDent forum--I'm pretty sure a few prices are listed there, but also some people using it are listed there so you can check out their reviews.  It is extremely popular in Australia, and I know at least one person (I think it's Henry Z but I can't find it now) got a used one from Australia on eBay for about half the price.  Then you can either get the mouthpiece sterilized or buy a new mouthpiece, if your doctor's office is willing to work with you on that.
  • Reply
BTW, for the future, if you should lose or destroy a tray (or someone reading this has done it,) what you should do seems to be somewhat connected to how long you've had the tray in for, as well as the severity of your case.  So in the very beginning of a tray, doctors seem to say go back a tray.  At the end of the time, they seem to say move forward, but wear the next tray longer.  Always contact the doctor right away.  Also, the first tray lost is often free to replace, but after that, it's not (except possibly in Invisalign Teen.)  Here are some links from our Q&A (doctors' forum) about it.  The answers run the gamut, and there are other questions they've answered as well that run the gamut.  

Tray 7 Lost on Day 7
Tray 1 Lost on Day 2
Tray Lost on Day 7
  • Reply
Another month down!  Did you get to talk to your doctor about attachments and the like?  And are you seeing any results yet? :)  You should be right around 8 or 9?  Lots of people start seeing results by then!
  • Reply
Are you about to change into your sixth tray now?  How are things going? :)
  • Reply
Hi TwoPlusOne, yes, just changed to 6. Things are ok. This tray has made some of my teeth sore..which is good! I am just a bit worried about how the attachments get removed and how the teeth will be after. I only have 6 but they are in front. I hope the surface looks good and there is no sensitivity.
  • Reply
I can't say whether it is the case for everyone, but I gained no sensitivity at all from the removal and there are no traces left at all.  It was also painless :).
  • Reply
I love that you're doing something for yourself! I'm a bit the opposite, I'm 26 so I figure when kids come along there is no way I'd be able to justify the money on my teeth. So I'm doing it before lol! Good luck with your teeth!
  • Reply
Thanks, Nadilelliana, yeah, I wish I would have done this years ago but then again, this wasn't available years ago :)
  • Reply
I'm also 47. I didn't need braces as a kid, but years of clenching and grinding have caused my front teeth to move. I'm on day two of tray one. Yup, just started yesterday. The attachments on my teeth feel weird; I'm hoping I get used to them. And my whole mouth felt so dry during the night I kept getting up for a drink of water (will put a water bottle by my bed tonight).
  • Reply
Yep!  It means the teeth are moving :).  But even knowing that doesn't always make you feel better, when you're in pain ;).  You don't have that many attachments on the very front, at least.  I can't see them, at least!  Small favors :)
  • Reply
It's so interesting reading of others experiences that I've decided to comment myself (I usually only read). I am a 46 year old mother of 3 boys who's parents also couldn't afford braces for me when I was younger. My dentist is the one providing the invisalign for me and so far so good. I had my attachments put on (17 total) with my first trays. I also had 1 tooth on the bottom removed because of crowding issues (and yes, it was right in front). My total number of trays will be 40 and I'll be starting tray 20 this weekend so I'm about halfway through. My dentist has me change my trays every 10 days now (I use to do every 14 days) so my progress is speeding up! I am very diligent about wearing them as much as possible, usually 22 hours during the week and 20 hours on the weekend when I have a few glasses of wine. As for rough edges on my trays...I went to the local hardware store and purchased a rat tail file (looks like a straight rat tail) and EVERY tray gets filed to smooth the edges a bit. It works awesome. As for the lisp, I work customer service on the phones and have found that I speak a little slower now and try hard to articulate my words better. The letter S is the hard one for me. If I can figure out how to do it I'll try to post a few pictures of my progress :)
  • Reply
Hi healy0303. I was the same way, (only read but not commented) but a moderator encouraged me to and she was right. I think everyone has something to add to the experience of Invisalign. Wow, good for you for doing something for yourself. And having a front tooth removed, ouch! And the attachments added from the get go. 40 is a lot of trays but it sounds ilk you are well on your way to being done sooner than later. I would love to see some pics if you have them. Thanks again!
  • Reply
@healy0303: We've discussed making ways for users to post pictures everywhere, but so far, you can only post pictures if you start a forum or if you have your own review.  Which is a main reason I encourage people to start reviews.  I started my own Invisalign review one month before the end of my refinement series, and boy do I wish I had a record of my progress before then.  But eh, you do what you can :D.  Most people in the dental topics don't seem to find the forums, for whatever reason, so I prefer reviews.  If you need help figuring out how to post, hit me up!  I can give you links to everything. :)
  • Reply
Thanks for posting a pic! :D
  • Reply
:) Thanks, TwoPlusOne for letting me know about the bruxism issue. I will run it by the ortho at my next appointment. I don't grind while awake, I think I only do while sleeping. I will see what he says.
  • Reply
I actually have been very proficient at teeth brushing in the car! Not while I am driving, of course!!!! It sounds a bit awkward but really works better for me than using a public restroom!!!! I also travel a lot and spend many hours in my car also, so I understand your concern.
  • Reply