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Second Round of Orthodontics with Invisalign
- updated 4 years ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $5,000
- Dr. Mark Rykiss and Associates (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
I'm 31. I started with traditional braces when I...
- 9 Jan 2009
I started with traditional braces when I was 11 and had them for two years, followed by a cemented lower retainer for a number of years until it broke. Gradually, in my late teens/early 20's my teeth began to move back to their original (VERY CROOKED) position and my over-jet was worse. A relative - my dentist, recommended that I consider having orthodontics again and referred me to a friend of his who is one of the top Canadian Invisalign providers. A relative had Invisalign a number of years ago, so I asked her how her treatment was and she was quite frank in saying that it was horrible - she had speech difficulties and severe migrains and stopped treatment less than 1/3 of the way through. I appreciated her honesty and addressed these issues with my Orthodontist - he explained that yes, some people do experience these problems and if that is the case, he will stop the Invisalign treatment and go with traditional self-ligating braces if the patient still wants to continue wtih orthodontics.
I made the decision to go with Invisalign because of my age and because I absolutely hated my traditional braces when I had them. They were VERY painful to have tightened, food was always getting stuck and honestly - I didn't want to have a mouth full of metal in every photo for the next two years of my life.
My teeth are pretty bad. I was a finger sucker for a long time as a child and as a result damaged the shape of my palate, my teeth are quite crooked on the bottom, I have a lot of crowding on top and my back teeth don't meet at all, plus I grind my teeth a lot and have problems with TMJ and jaw popping.
My ortho assured me that Invisalign would correct all of these issues. My plan was to have my teeth straightened and then have Lumineers done (I also have tetracycline damage and some chipping) and really really want a bright white perfect smile. He told me that my treatment would take about 20-24 months - conventional braces would be about 18 - and that i'd be changing my aligners weekly.
I started my treatment 6 weeks ago.
The first week was a nightmare. I hated how much plastic was in my mouth - it felt very obtrusive. I just kept reminding myself to give it ten days to see if i'd get used to it. It was so bad that I considered calling my orthodontist and not proceeding with the treatment. I hated it. I felt like my mouth was constantly full of saliva and I couldn't stop touching my aligners with my tongue - plus I was clenching my jaw a lot more. A few days passed and i'm glad I waited it out - because by day four, I was totally fine with the way they felt in my mouth.
My teeth feel a little bit tight after every aligner change, but I take 500mg of Advil before changing them, and only change them at night - so that by morning, the pain is significantly reduced.
By aligner #4, my back teeth had moved significantly. I was getting big pieces of meat stuck in between my back molars - which was really uncomfortable and had begun to inflame my gums. I took it as a positive though - that with minimal discomfort, my teeth are already moving a lot. I carry dental floss and Listerine with me at all times and floss after eating everything, which btw, is really hard to do with traditional braces.
Yesterday I had my attachments put on. Ugh. I was actually angry when I walked out of the office. They do feel like coral on your teeth. I have 8 on my upppers and 4 on my lowers, plus my hooks for my elastics. My tongue is quite abraded and the inside of my cheek is sore from where the hooks are, but again, I keep reminding myself that it takes a week or so to get used to anything new in your mouth, and to be patient. By the next morning (today), my mouth feels better, but it does make me want to have my aligners in more often.
I take my aligners out for all eating and drinking except for water. I clean them daily with denture tablets and brush them 2-3 times a day with a soft tooth brush (along with my teeth, which I floss 2-5 times a day). I have an impeccable dental hygeine routine now and really like it. I haven't had problems with bad breath - I mean - no more than anyone has morning breath - and it's quickly resolved by a good tooth brushing and aligner brushing. I keep a tooth brush and toothpaste at every sink in the house, as well as one in my purse for when i'm out. I do feel that all of my teeth cleaning sets a good example for my children who often see me heading to the bathroom to brush up after meals.
My treatment time seems like forever and i'm trying not to let that discourage me. I've had a number of girlfriends and co-workers go through the Invisalign process and they've been nothing but happy with the results. One friend did have an over rotation and had to have it adjusted with another 4 months of aligners - but that's part and parcel of what you need to expect for the future.
If I have one recommendation for everyone who finishes their treatment - wear your retainer for life. Your teeth will shift again if you don't - your Orthodontist or Dentist might not tell you this, but I've known people who have followed the 6 months of retainer policy (I did two years) and a few years after they've stopped, their teeth migrated again.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both treatment types. Remember that with whatever treatment you choose to go with, stick it out, be patient, accept that discomfort is part of the treatment and that the end result won't just be about having straight teeth for the sake of vanity, but also for the lifetime of keeping your bite and smile healthy.
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