Intro and Week One - Royal Palm Beach, FL
Invisalign introduction and week one Years of...
Years of hating my smile, terrified of the dentist, needle phobic, tooth loss, embarrassment, FEAR. I finally found a dentist with a no nonsense approach, he didn't make me wait for work to be done, thus not giving me time to chicken out. He explained things (but just enough to not freak me out). He gave me exact prices and stuck to them. Finally after 5 extractions, 2 (god awful) root canals, 2 caps and 2 bridges I have what I suppose are healthy(ish) teeth.
I should also point of that he gave me a Xanax prescription which I no longer need to use for my visits. Go me!
Originally he didn't think I was an invisalign candidate. I guess my seriously crooked front teeth would not come down enough and would end sticking out instead of down. I don't know, maybe the technology changed since I first asked him, but when I went to discuss braces he told me to go for the invisalign. I trust him, so I asked no further questions. Honestly, if I end up with less than perfection in one year of clear aligners versus 2 or more years of regular braces, I'll be okay with that.
Lucky for me the invisalign is affordable at my dentist, $2500 and then my insurance picks up $1000. So my out of pocket is $1000 up front then $100 per month for 5 months.
Impressions and X-rays were no big deal. Exactly what you'd expect, but surprisingly with no gagging. :)
What was surprisingly hard to do were the 'before' photos. I'm putting on display something I've been carefully guarding for years... Decades. Should have brought a Xanax for that alone.
Then the wait began.... I waited.... And waited....
I think it was 9 weeks, which I hear is somewhat long, but it's not like I had a choice.
I'm ready, I have the invisalign care package, little tubes of toothpaste for my purse, travel toothbrushes everywhere, a cute new purse with a pocket especially for this purpose. I'm missing one VERY important item as you'll see 4 paragraphs down.
I get in the chair and he pulls out trays and says I need attachments. Okay, I know what these are. He puts goo in the tray, slides it in my mouth, lights me up like a Christmas tree and voila, attachments.... Buttons.... Whatever.
I have 8 on top, one on each foremost teeth, and although the bottom tray had a place for two buttons (which I'll call them because its easier to type) he didn't do those. I don't know why and didn't ask because I didn't notice them until later.
Now the fun. You know what I mean, the exploration. Your tongue has a mind of its own. Touching, running along the edges, finding the rough spots, getting caught and scraped and yet the silly farker keeps going back for more. (For those of you who don't know what a farker is, it's my way of keeping this rated PG)
My edges are quite sharp, I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I have 2 bridges that required wax around them when the impressions were done to keep the goo from getting under the bridge. So around the outside of those two areas I ended up with cheeks like chopped meat until I finally found dental wax (first two stores I went to the second morning, nearly in tears, were sold out). The wax is a life saver as I can't file the trays down as much as I'd need.
Needless to say I didn't sleep much on night number one.
Now on day two, the chapped lips, dry mouth, biting cheeks and tongue, sore teeth are in full force and I'm wondering WTF was I thinking!!! Is this really worth it!?!? Well, of course it will be. Someday.... In the future. Meh.
My cheeks are healing but still hurt, I'm hungry, I have an awful fear I'll run out of wax (so I bought out every one I found at WalMart), and I'm exhausted, cranky and antisocial from lack of sleep. Hence the reason I hit the Xanax the second night. Now, I'm not condoning drug use, but dang, a girls gotta sleep!
I'm also extremely self conscious, everyone must be looking at my mouth, wondering why I'm lisping and slurring and drooling (okay, probably not drooling but it felt like it). I'm also slurping and sucking spit out of these babies. Which causes more dry mouth and discomfort. I realize if I relax my mouth and stop my wandering tongue there is no pain. But I must be orally fixated because I just CANNOT STOP!
They must also be looking at my mouth for all the above stated reasons, and this is especially vexing because I just hate my teeth and the last thing I need is attention on it.
I love wax. Just sayin'.
I see a friend from work, a cute guy, who I believe is staring at my mouth, and I blurt out that I just got invisalign. He tells me he didn't notice... Oops. And then he asks why. I give him a half a$$ed explanation and he tells me he thought my overbite was cute. =O
Well, isn't that a kicker.
Then I talk to a few other friends and coworkers about it and surprisingly they are all supportive and most actually are a bit envious. They ALL have teeth/smile issues..
Fast forward, I'm now on day five. My tongue still had a mind of its own but I've put up wax roadblocks to all the naughty spots so it's not as raw and irritated as yesterday. I'm sipping lots of water and eating two meals a day, cause we all know what a production it is to eat. But it's cool, cause I'm also fluffy so maybe I'll lose some weight.
Unless something drastic changes, I'll end this now and come back for tray number 2, which I already have and have obsessively compared to tray number 1 for changes (which are minuscule but there).
Wish me luck!
One other good upside is I can no longer bite my nails!
I'm also clenching like crazy, I have to concentrate on relaxing my jaw.
Tray two on Monday. I'm weirdly excited for it. :)
Tray 2, day 4
This one definitely is putting on the pressure. I'm scared to take it out, even for a minute, as it feels like my teeth are trying to make a bid for freedom every time. It's like getting up after a nap and stretching, except it doesn't feel good.
I'm still surprised (pleasantly) at how many people have no clue I'm wearing invisalign, even with my plethora of buttons. And then how many people tell me how they want to do it and show off their own crooked teeth.
I'm still having dry mouth issues and clenching a lot and I bite my tongue and checks constantly but I'm still glad I'm doing it.
Next tray will be after a visit to the dentist, I think he's oinf to do the thing where they shave down between the teeth to make room... That should suck.
Tray 3 day one
He told me I should start seeing major changes at around tray 16, I'm willing to wait.
This new tray snapped in TIGHT! But it's not hurting me from the pressure like tray 2 did. I'll see how it feels in the morning.
It still has the same sharp edges in the same places as the last two sets. I took it home and filed it was down, I think I've got the hang of it because I finally am going without wax. It's like having to give my invisalign a manicure with all the filing and buffing.
I'm noticing that one tooth is hitting the bottom due to the movement so I need to be careful when I bite down when the trays are out.
Doc says he won't be doing the shaving down between teeth for a couple months yet and even that will depend on progress. He gave me the 4th set and sent me on my way.
I'm still having lisping issues, scratched gums and cheeks, occasional dry mouth, and some pain... But I'd do it all again to never have to be embarrassed of my teeth!
I'm supposed to have five more trays on the bottom, but they aren't the ones I really have problems with. I really only have one tooth down there that needs to move and the dentist said I could either move into the 'retainer' portion on the lowers or skip from 10 to 15 and finally move that little puppy into position. Then move into retainering (I made that word up) I chose the stuff that slightly crooked sucker into tray 15.
My open bite was so bad I could put my pinky finger, past the first knuckle, into my mouth with my teeth clenched. During the 9th tray I could no longer do that! See, progress!!!
He's awesome, as is his staff. Extremely helpful, always on time or very close. Always willing to fit me in at last minute. Cost conscious. I give him a three for answering questions because some may want more hand holding than I do. I'd rather be kept in the dark for some things. Especially if it may hurt.