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Invisalign Reality Check: What to Really Expect

I had real braces as a kid, but of course...

I had real braces as a kid, but of course didn't wear my retainers and my bottom teeth had become crooked -- with one tooth receding and the others crowding in. My dentist suggested that invisalign would solve the problem. After a comprehensive overview of what to expect, I made the investment. It was supposed to take 6 months. I am now almost 2 years into it, and I don't anticipate being even close to the projected outcome.

Here are some warnings I wish someone had given me:

- If you have a job where you have to eat throughout the day (such as regular coffee/lunch/dinner meetings and/or cocktail parties or events), Invisalign may not be for you. I could not keep them in my mouth just based on my work requirements alone.

- If you actually have a social life and enjoy drinking wine or really, anything other than water or eating dinner as your "evening activity" Invisalign may not be for you.

- If you think they are really going to be "invisible" then Invisalign may not be for you. They make you hold your mouth funny even if you can't actually "see" the aligners. I could ALWAYS tell in photos when I had them in just because my mouth looked awkward.

- If you have to speak to other people or publicly for a living, Invisalign may not be for you. The aligners definitely alter your speech no matter how used to them you might get.

- If you are uncomfortable with shaving the enamel off your teeth (I am still researching the long term effects of this) Invisalign may not be right for you.

- If you expect perfection for the MAJOR investment you are making, Invisalign may not be right for you. I have been incredibly underwhelmed with the results -- especially after all this time.

It's easy to get excited about the perfect computer generated models of what your teeth will look like. Don't kid yourself. If you want perfect teeth, go with traditional braces. Definitely more reliable and cheaper. This just wasn't worth the money or the hassle.

Obviously, you're displeased. But I've watched a co-worker in traditional metal braces try and function and let me tell you eating (especially starches) is not a pretty thing. Almost 3 months into my seven months, I've had no issues; this has been a non-event. I had some spaces in between my lower teeth filed to make more room for the straightening. I do drink white wine with my trays in, but I rinse frequently with water and brush and floss consistently throughout the day. If I don't tell people about the trays, they don't know they are in. Of course, I know they're in, but others don't. I had no speech issues from day one and operate in a professional corporate environment. This is a snapshot in time and if you follow the directions and wear the trays the modification to life is short-lived and minimal.
Well by reading your comments it would seem you are not following the treatment. You said you can't wear them all the time like you are suppossed to. Try getting a mouth full of metal and see how you feel in public situations.
right! It's not about fooling people, it's about getting the most comfortable treatment and actually committing to it.
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I felt like I was given a really detailed overview of what to expect. I knew there would be buttons on my teeth, that I was likely going to have to shave them down a bit where there was crowding and that the results weren't guaranteed.

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