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Simulation of Results Not Blowing Me Away - Pasadena, CA

I am going to get my first tray on December 11...

I am going to get my first tray on December 11 this year, and will share my experience in detail then.

I have just received the before-to-after-simulation of my teeth and I have to say: I am not impressed. Yeah, in the after picture they're straighter than whatever is going on in my mouth right now, but they're not beautiful to look at. The positioning is so similar in the after shot, it's as though the really rough edges have vanished, but the overall impishness of my teeth remain. Or, more graphically: The teeth I have now are horse teeth. But in the after picture, they are still horse teeth, just with less overlap.

Can I talk to my orthodontist about this? Is there a difference in how the teeth will look after treatment with each provider (like, some are more radically into straight teeth whereas some orthodontists are more "forgiving" with their definition of straight teeth)?
Or is this whole process at the whim of the Invisalign guys who make the trays?

Anyways, I included my actual teeth in the pictures, just for visualization. (I feel like I just shared a really private thing here, putting up pictures of my teeth. Is that really weird?)

And the $3000 dollars I spent are for Invisalign alone, just in case someone was interested in pricing. It's a 24-month case, $3000 for the trays, x-rays and office visits are not included and will probably run me at least another two grand.

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Comments (5)

I can't fix the price in the box above. Guess when they say posts are final, they mean it. I was going to clarify in two weeks: I myself spent $3000 on the trays, the insurance paid for the remaining $2000. That makes it $5000. At $175 per office visit every eight weeks for the duration of 16 months and the charge (whatever they cook up) for the x-rays and the teeth scanning, we are well over the average cost for Invisalign in Los Angeles county. My left central incisor and the tooth right to the left of that look crooked to me. It's not the shape I had an issue with. I want symmetry. In my opinion the position of the left upper central incisor and left upper lateral incisor is unacceptable as a final result. They stick out. Another thing: The first simulation picture titled "my teeth right now" was apparently uploaded as a movie. If you enlarge it, you can see 16 successive shorts of my teeth, from current positioning to the final result. I am assuming my case was meant to be a two-year-case, but will instead be a 16-month-case. Thanks so much for all the answers, you guys were extremely helpful.
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Invisalign (and ANY orthodontic treatment) only changes the position of teeth, but not the SHAPE. If the teeth are too long to you, they can be shortened (to a degree). Perhaps that will make all the difference. Consider porcelain veneers as an alternative. As far as the fee, a few things to consider. Usually the fee includes the entire case, but your fee is SO low that it may be that your doctor is making up the difference with fees for other things normally included. As if the low fee is quoted to get people to use them due to the low fee, but when it is all said and done the fee is the same as everyone else. I don't know. The usual fee around here is $5000 to $7000, so your quote of $3000 plus a "likely" additional $2000 makes it more normal of a fee.
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Your teeth look fairly straight to me with little overcrowding. yes you have very long central incisors, which could be shortened at the end of the treatment. The back teeth look to be in a constricted arch, which may need widening. Patients are usually impressed more when they have much more crowding/spacing.
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Thank you for choosing to share here. Its understandable you would feel this is private even though some people may say "its only teeth". I'm not sure if you are self conscious about your teeth or not, but I'm super self conscious about my skin since I've always dealt with acne and just generally had bad skin, so posting stuff about my skin takes a lot of courage. I'm sure to some people that sounds ridiculous...but its not easy putting the stuff we are self conscious about out there for others to see. So, if that is what is going on for you, I say good job for being brave and posting. If its not, well, I've just gone off on a strange little tangent. ;)

As for your concerns, YES, please talk to your ortho about your concerns with the way things will look afterwards. It is very important that you voice any concerns that you have now, before treatment is started, and that is exactly what these simulations are for. It is far better for you and your orthodontist to discuss this now, rather than get to the end of treatment and have  him/her feel like things are where they should be and you are not satisfied.

Personally, when I look at your simulations I see some really nice changes, especially in the bite relationship of your back teeth. Something to keep in mind is that Invisalign or traditional braces can not change the shape of your teeth, just the position. If the shape of your teeth is what really bothers you, you should let your orthodontist and dentist know so you can explore treatment options for that. (Sometimes they can "shape" the teeth by shaving a little off, porcelain veneers are available as well but make sure you thoroughly research the pros and cons before deciding on them.)

Here is a Q&A that might help with your question about "Or is this whole process at the whim of the Invisalign guys who make the trays?":

Who Makes the Treatment Plan, the Dentist or the Invisalign Company?

I agree with Jayfrom BK that the additional cost for office visits seems uncustomary, but each office does decide what their fees are. Have you found out if your retainers will be included in the cost? Ask if not. There is nothing wrong with them charging "piece by piece" if that is how their office wants to do it, its just important you know all the pieces you have to pay for. Here are some questions about costs that might help you as well:

Questions About Invisalign Extra Costs?

Do I Have to Pay for a Retainer After Invisalign?

Do Invisalign Prices Vary from Dentist to Dentist?

Keep us posted on what you find out and decide to do.


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I would definitely inquire with your orthodontist if you aren't completely happy with what you will be paying for. It is my understanding that after your impressions are sent, invisalign creates the clincheck and the treatment plan. However, it is the dentist's/ortho's job to review that plan and tweak it accordingly based on his expertise. If you aren't happy with it, explain to him what you are hoping to achieve. By the way I am surprised your treatment is for 2 years. In my opinion they don't look bad, and my treatment is for only 11 months. Also if i were you, I'd discuss the pricing of your plan with him. Most "full" invisalign treatments (more than 6 months i believe), include your invisalign trays, ALL follow up visits, and any refinement trays after your initial sets of trays in case you aren't satisfied with the final results. There are plenty of good providers out there who would be willing to provide you a flat rate and a clear understanding of what you'll be getting for a pretty sizable amount of money. Good luck!
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