Splurging on Invisalign, like finally!

My friends tell me that I don't need invisalign -...

my friends tell me that I don't need invisalign - but screw that! I've been wanting straight teeth since I was 15 (11 years ago), and have enviously watched many friends get braces over the years to straighten their smiles.

the prices for Invisalign are super prohibitive for me... in the last 3 years I've wanted it, then talked myself out of it, and wanted it, then talked myself out of it. I'm getting married in May 2015 and recently decided that I really should take the plunge and go for my dream of having straight teeth by my wedding. so I shaved off money from my wedding budget and my new-house budget, and pledged to cut down on shopping for the next 12 months and reserve my bonuses for Invisalign. in short, I'll be paying through my nose for the treatment. this had caused me some psychological discomfort at first but by now I've gotten over it. having straight teeth is a deep aspiration that I have harboured for long, and I doubt I will look back... I really hope it will be worth it!

SHOPPING FOR INVISALIGN

the thing about researching about local providers is that the two biggest invisalign players have cleverly sponsored bloggers, whom I find tend to downplay the level of sacrifice and pain involved in getting invisalign. so I hope my review can add some valuable insights to the local discussion.

anyways, I eventually met the two providers - both are Platinum Elite. I figured that if I'm going to pay so much (about SGD 8,500 which works out to USD 6,800) I might as well go to a reputable clinic. the quotes they gave me differed by a SGD 1,000, so naturally I went for the cheaper one ;) plus his clinic is 5 mins from my office, so that really helps. and supposedly the one I chose is an ortho whereas the other is a dentist - just something I read from local forum discussions.

both of them said my treatment would last 1.5 years. this means my teeth won't be completely straight by my wedding, but it should be "noticeably different". ok, i'll take whatever I can get! my ortho tends to underpromise though, so I hope I'll be done faster.

during the consultations, both also confirmed that my gums are pretty ok (phew! I was worried I had gum disease). my gums have receded slightly in my bottom row, and I've also had some bone loss there. my bite is generally ok, although my top and bottom molars don't overlap nicely. my ortho knows that I'm more concerned about straight teeth, so he said he will correct them as much as he can during the time it takes to straighten my front teeth. if I want to fully correct this, I may have to add another half a year to my treatment duration. I'll think about this later.

THE WAITING GAME

I got my moulds done last week. the nurses said it would take 6 weeks for my aligners to be ready, but that they would call me if they're in sooner.

I'm 1 week down, 5 more to go! I wish it was October already, which says a lot cos September has quite a few milestones for me (work anni, birthday, engagement anni...). I was reminder in another review about how nothing worth having is ever easy so that motivated me to exercise a bit more patience.

also, I don't think my ortho has plans to show me my clincheck videos before he orders the trays. I thought of requesting, but then I figured that I could also watch it when my aligners are ready. given his experience, I trust that he'll help make the best call for me.

till then!
Hello, and welcome to our Invisalign community!  Congratulations on finally being able to get this done for yourself.  :)

I have two main things for you:  first, do you know anything about AcceleDent?  I think it might be more than you want to pay, on top of all of the other sacrifices you're making for Invisalign, but it's an option.  It speeds up your treatment, so you only stay one week per tray (instead of two weeks).  But even used, it's pricey--between $400-$900!  New it's even more expensive.

Second, here are a few of our other community members who are doing Invisalign for weddings (that I know of)!

littleozMT26, and Nadinelliana.  glm777 is doing it for her daughter's wedding :D.

I look forward to following your progress.  I think you will be very pleased indeed with your results.  If you like, I can also point you toward some people who are also working on moderate-to-severe crowding.  Just let me know :).
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thanks for the warm welcome! I've read on this site about AcceleDent. not sure if it's been introduced in Singapore but I will ask my ortho when I get the chance :)
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Yeah, even if he doesn't offer it, he might be willing to work with you if you purchased a used unit from someone overseas.  A lot of people have them in Australia, it seems.
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tray 1 - it begins!

and...tray 1 is in! sans attachments :) I had a lunchtime apmt with my ortho yesterday. I tried the trays on for 1 min, and then to my surprise, he advised that it's better that I start at night. I had been all game to start wearing it there and then! later when I went back to work, I realised my upper left molars were kinda throbbing, causing a minor headache. what a prelude to the pain, I thought. so I
popped a paracetamol before gg to bed, and everything was fine.

things I did to prepare for D-Day:

- went on an oral care spree during a drugstore promo
- practised brushing teeth and also flossing after lunch at work
- visited my dentist for scaling and polishing, as advised by my ortho
- signed up for a miles credit card in hopes of raking in points while charging it for my treatment
- took the last chances of snacking at work
- had my birthday dinner with my boyfriend the weekend before
- ate steak.

by the way

I'm still not comfy with flossing at my work toilet (much less public toilets? I haven't tried!) does anyone have any tips / words of encouragement on ignoring what people may think of me and just flossing anyway?
Almost everyone I've talked to ends up getting used to the public flossing.  I avoided it by skipping lunch :).  Not because I cared what others thought, (because I really don't, and I've flossed on planes and stuff before,) but because it's a pain and takes away from my wear-time.  And also, I don't eat out.  So there's that.  I've seen one person say that they got a complaint at a fancy restaurant when flossing in the bathroom--someone complained to the staff that it wasn't 'sanitary'.  I wonder what her definition of sanitary is--not flossing?  But I've never heard of that from anyone else, and I'm sure she never saw that lady again :).  That said, you can also see how you feel about just not flossing while you're out, just brushing really well and flossing when you get home.  I'm guessing you'll hate it, but it might do in a pinch as an option.
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one week progress update

Here's my one week progress report:

1. I'm averaging 21h with aligners. It's shorter than I prefer but I'll try see how I can increase aligner-time. On weekdays, my lunch breaks are slightly over an hour. When lunching with colleagues, I don't feel good rushing them just because I chose to get Invisalign. Plus I do like to walk about after eating to balance out all the sitting I do from 9-5, so in a way I'm not in a hurry to return to my office either.

2. The discomfort has subsided. I realised that I'm getting more used to the plastic in my mouth, or that "sticky peanut butter feel" on my teeth. I've also stopped salivating as much. My ortho explained that when we first put on aligners, our mouths think it's food, hence all the saliva. Now that the aligners fit comfortably, I'm tempted to wonder why I've got to put them on for (what feels like) so long, but I guess I just have to trust the process. Also, trying to remind myself that this is the honeymoon phase of aligners since I've not had my 14 attachments yet.

3. I'm still apprehensive about flossing in public. Yesterday I had lunch at a hotel buffet with my family. While washing up in the ladies, my sister was like, "are you gonna floss?!?!" But then she grabbed some floss for herself so then both of us flossed together in the cramped toilet. I was glad to have her company. Hopefully very soon I'll be unapologetic about flossing ifo strangers. It's just a matter of getting used to.

4. Whenever I have to eat alone before a night class after work, I'm feeling like I'd rather starve than have to figure out a smooth routine wrt ordering food, removing aligners and brushing teeth after. I'm hoping to get used to eating heavy lunches and then skipping dinner. On a related note, not being able to snack makes me so hungry.

5. Around day 3-4, the edges of my aligners felt extra rough on my gums. Tried the whole ortho wax thingamajig and the irritation disappeared. I've yet to add a nail filer, a kiddy toothbrush or mouthwash to my inventory. Watsons, a local drugstore, and the oral hygiene section of supermarkets is fast becoming my favourite hang out.

that's all for now... my next apmt is in mid-Oct.
You might consider rinsing your mouth out well with water directly after eating, then putting in your aligners for your walk and performing your hygiene after returning.  See this answer from one of our Q&A's, for example:  How to Eat when Can't Brush Right Away?

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good idea, thanks! if the toilet's not too dirty, I'll try see if I can do this :)
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singapore's public restrooms are cleaner than indonesia's, i bet.. lol..
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tray 2 of 28

I changed to tray 2 last night without much incident. It's a day earlier, but I did it because my next appointment where I'll be fixing attachments is on 10 Oct. So instead of doing 14+10 days for trays 1 and 2 respectively, I thought I would do 13+11 instead. My ortho will be away for 2 weeks in Oct so I wanted to catch him, especially before I get my attachments fixed and my first IPR done.

Yesterday my left lateral incisor hurt a bit, though. I reckon it might be from me trying to "expertly" remove my trays with 1 hand, in a public restroom in a hawker centre where I was trying to avoid putting my blue casing on the sink. Well, lesson learnt, I'll try to use two hands next time.
What's a hawker center?
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a hawker centre is like a food court where there are common seating areas and diners can choose to buy food from a variety of stalls. it tends to be a cheap, no-frills kinda place, and their toilets are perceived to be the dirtiest in Singapore ;) if you're ever visiting, you *must* try eating at one! dirty toilets aside, lots of good food!
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Huh!  Wonder where the name came from.  Hawking their wares, maybe?  My diet is too strict to eat out, but it'd be fun to see! :)
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tray 3 of 28 + attachments

I got 14 attachments fixed two days ago, on Friday. I also moved up to tray 3. They are definitely tighter than I remember trays 1-2 to be, and my teeth are starting to feel tender. My lower tray is easier to remove because I can get a better grip on it and pull upwards. But my upper tray…wow. I might just tear up one day trying to rip them off. The parts around my canines (which have HUGE attachments) just won't budge. So far I've been pulling the back-left, back-right, and then my tray would hang awkwardly and painfully, and I struggle for 3-5 seconds trying to pull it off. Ugh. I'm glad I started having attachments on a Friday evening so that at least I sorta have the weekend to get used to this. Not looking forward to tugging at my trays unglamorously at my office toilet when the work week starts.

I find that the two attachments on my bottom left are especially obvious. I thought it was because the ortho didn't quite match the colour. But sans tray, they DO match my teeth colour. So I'm thinking maybe there was water/vapour in the bumps when I put the tray on hence the shiny look, or maybe it's just the way the light hits that part of my smile.

My ortho, the principal in his clinic, got his staff ortho to fix the attachments for me. She didn't quite walk me through the process so it was a little nerve wrecking lying down in the chair, just trusting her. All I sensed was that she was switching between a lot of equipment, and getting the nurse to help fetch a few things. It felt like first she polished the surface of my teeth, applied what is probably the glue, then a little water, air, and then a nastier tasting liquid, and then she put on a tray, and then some UV light, and then she tugged off the tray. Afterwards, she said she was "removing the excesses", off the attachments I presume since there was a lot of buffing. We did this 4x: upper right, upper left, lower left, lower right sides of my smile. Some of my teeth edges still feel a little raw/rough.

I also received my first IPR. I didn't know what to expect so it was scary, but actually it was not painful at all. She used what felt like a nano electric cutter, then switched to a manual file, probably closer to my gums. I thought I would just have it on 1 teeth per my ClinCheck, but she was also giving me two more IPR for trays 5 and 6. However she decided not to proceed with the last IPR yet as my teeth were too slanted.

Oh yeah so now I have what I think is a giant gap between my two front teeth! It's actually just 0.5mm, but it pops out to me in the mirror. I'm sorta amused, and thought about how once my friend, after seeing one of the popular super models sport a gap between her teeth, wanted one for herself too because she thought it was cute. It's not obvious with the trays though. I'm guessing other people wouldn't notice it as much as I do since I look at my teeth about 60x a day. Also on the attachments, my boyfriend said, "They're not obvious. It just looks like your teeth are deformed..."
hi may i know where did you get your invisalign done? Thanks!
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Hi, may I know how much in total did u spend on the entire treatment?
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sent ya a PM :)
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stained attachments - no more curry!

I stained my attachments :( Yes, the ones on my teeth. I realised it was after I had curry for lunch about 3 days ago. I didn't get a chance to rinse my mouth, much less floss/brush immediately, and had popped back my aligners before I managed to wash up only about 20 mins later.

I'm guessing the turmeric in the curry made my attachments turn yellow. It was like a brighter, almost glow-in the-dark kind of yellow. So unappealing. I was really disappointed because the attachments had been in for barely a week!

I contacted my ortho's clinic. A nurse was kind to offer to fix an appointment to have my attachments polished. But by today, the yellow stains had faded slightly. So I told her I would make an appointment next week if the stains persist. She also advised that to brush my teeth immediately after I eat curry next time. Though after this incident I would probably try avoid curry if I can. Sigh! #asianproblems

Anyway, I've attached a comparison photo - see the canine on the right. It's more obvious in real life, especially to me. Hope the extra yellowness goes away soon.
I'm not Asian, but I did the same thing ;).  I adore curry, and I stained a whole tray once.  I'm not even sure how I managed it, because I don't think I ate with it in.  But it may have been one of the times I forgot I was wearing it while I was cooking, and I took a taste, and bam!  I never got the color out of that tray, but I don't recall permanent staining of my attachments, so hopefully that'll work out.  It was really nice of them to offer to replace the attachment, though!!!
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Haha oh no! I guess turmeric's colour power is really strong :x I think the clinic offered to help polish instead of replace the attachment though. It was nice of them to sympathise with me and offer their time, so I'm glad for their good customer service :) How did your apmt on wisdom teeth go btw? :)
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I'm not sure how to answer that :D.  I made an appointment to get all four removed.  November 6th. I'll be under general, so that's good at least.  And insurance will cover 77% of the cost, so it'll be affordable for us.  I'm still terrified, but at least I'm doing it!
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