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!

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?

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.

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.
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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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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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Oh goodness!  LOL!
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but compared to hong kong's , indonesia's is waaaay much cleaner.. lol ..been there, traumatized.. lol
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Isn't Singapore known for its clean public areas?
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singapore is the cleanest, if i may say so.. :)
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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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wow you skipped lunch! I'm trying to skip dinner but not much success yet. it could be the different cultures as well...here we can eat rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. so it's gonna take some adjustment before I can successfully skip meals. hopefully I'll get more pro at flossing in public. btw having some trouble changing my treatment date from 10/2 to 9/16 on my mobile.. help? :D
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No problem! :)  It was because you put 'haven't done it yet' instead of 'not sure'.  I've fixed it now.
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wootz, thanks!
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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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I can definitely help with technical problems like that.  I generally go ahead and rotate pictures that upload wonkily, so I can either delete the first two or I can get rid of the update where you uploaded them again, whichever you prefer :).
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cool, perhaps you could help rotate the first two pics and delete the update where I uploaded them again. will help make for smoother reading I think. thanks v much! p.s. do mentions eg @TwoPlusOne work on this site?
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Okay--got rid of the redundant update! :)

And re. @call-outs, no, not yet....  But I do it, because the computer gods might make it happen for us in the future :).  They keep improving things for us and it has been mentioned on our wishlist in the past.  And also, a lot of people at least understand what it means.
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