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Dreams and Nightmares Come True - South Hadley, MA

So, this is day one and it has been a crazy roller...

So, this is day one and it has been a crazy roller coaster of a process to get here. I am 24 years old and have a mess of a mouth (pictures to come). My mouth is extremely over crowded, I have an over bite, and a cross bite. I have a child's size jaw (according to the bite molds I had to due), but an adult sized and number of teeth. I was surprised when my orthodontist said that even with all this I was eligible to have MOST of my work done via Invisalign. This was extremely important to me considering my age and my upcoming wedding (in July of 2013). There was, however, one condition. I needed to have teeth pulled. Four in fact. All my pre-molars. I have a fear of needles/sharp objects. All I have to say is: thank god for conscious sedation. I didn't have to be put under, couldn't feel a thing, and luckily don't remember a thing about the event of having four extractions!

Anyway, so it's been three whole days since my four favorite teeth were forcibly torn out of my head. But, in exchange I have shiny new liners. OUCH! I expected the pressure, but not the PAIN that comes with pulling off or putting on a liner. My canine tooth is right beside the fresh whole from having my extraction, and it feels like the liner is trying to yank it out too. I'm hoping the pain subsides with wearing, but oh-boy is this going to work doubly as a diet - I'm avoiding eating to avoid the pain!

Anyway, this is the start of a long road as I have approximately 50 aligners top and bottom. When all is said and done, I will need wire braces for a short while (few months) to correct anything the Invisalign cannot. Wish me luck on this ride.

Day Two is much, much better. The pain is still...

Day Two is much, much better. The pain is still there, but slowly subsiding. I took a trip to my dentist today to make sure my extraction points are healing well since I was so worried about getting "dry socket". The internet can be a blessing and a curse in all the information and scares it can provide.

Anywho, I wanted to explain the title of my review a bit more. Before this process I have always had very crooked teeth and also had a habit of grinding my teeth quite ferociously in my sleep. As such I would have nightmares about losing teeth. They'd all crack and crumble and fall out. They were rather vivid. So, the experience of having not just one, but four teeth pulled has been a living nightmare for me. I had to spend three days with four missing teeth and no Invisalign to cover the gaps. ICK!

The additional details on my treatment are as follows: I have 50 aligners (which were call given to me on my first visit). I have to wear each aligner for two weeks. I have eight attachments on my upper and seven attachments on my lower. On my 30th or so aligner, I will have to go in to have at least one more attachment placed.

I've added some pictures this time around, these were taken yesterday and I apologize for the saliva, but I can't seem to stop drooling like a fool just yet. Still waiting to get used to the liners, I suppose.

P.S. - It is scary as all get out to post pictures of my teeth. I have avoided smiling for all of my teen and adult life in order to avoid showing my teeth. Now, here they are for the world to see. I hope this is all worth it in the end and I can look back on these pictures and fondly since this smile will be exchanged for a much straighter, healthier one.

The pain is pretty not existent. I'm getting...

The pain is pretty not existent. I'm getting better at removing the aligners, but also have an "Outtie" (a little hook-tool designed to help remove the aligners) on order. I have too many attachments and it's tearing my nails apart to try and pry off the aligners a few times a day.

By the way... THE SMELL! Oh, gosh, I wish someone had warned me about the smell. When I take my aligners out in the morning, I brush my teeth before I enjoy coffee or breakfast because I can't stand the idea of eating with that nasty smell in my mouth. Without the aligners in, no matter how many times I brush, between the attachments feeling like chunks of scratchy food and the smell - I feel like my mouth is always dirty. I prefer to keep the aligners in as much as humanly possible without starving myself. I've become quite self-conscious about the smell and am going to invest in a stock of Listerine strips to be able to scarf on before I have to talk face-to-face with anyone.

So, I got used to Tray Numero 1, only to have to...

So, I got used to Tray Numero 1, only to have to switch. I found that alternating cleaning the trays with dental aligner some days and a half-and-half mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on others really helps to eliminate the smell. As for Tray 2, its a bit achy but nothing too bad thus far. It's actually kind of nice to feel the tension and pressure since the other aligner had become so comfortable/loose. I have noticed a little blood from one or two of my more crooked teeth (a wonky tooth that sticks backward into my mouth on the top, and on the bottom my right canine). It's annoying only because the little spots of blood get stuck in the tray and when noticed by others is a bit embarrassing. I find more often than not, the blood mostly appears in the morning after I'm done grinding my teeth throughout the night.
Springfield Orthodontist

Referred by several friends and acquaintances in the area

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (21)

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Also I notice no odor from the trays at all whenever I take them out I use a small baby toothbrush and brush them with anti bacterial soap and dry them off before I reinsert after I've cleaned my teeth. Once a day while I'm having dinner I let the aligner soak in efferdent. At the end of two weeks they have remained as clear as they were on day one.
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Good luck with the treatment. I am on tray 4 and just got attachments yesterday. Very surprised you are in aligners three days following extractions. I too had an extraction of a lower incisor prior to my treatment and also have a previously pulled molar tooth 30 but my aligners were only ordered after impression were scanned for two weeks after the extraction and the site had time to heal so started my trays six weeks post extraction and my lower tray is basically a partial tray that ends before the tooth 30 site that I will be getting an implant for after treatment. I hope to see updates on your progress!
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hello there: Hang in there, things do get better and easier...:) In regards to the smell. I also had similar experience and after trying many ways to clean my trays, I finally came up with a routine and its helping me with keeping away the smell! I of course brush and floss and clean my tongue thoroughly. Then I scrub my trays with regular dish soap and soak them in a solution of equal part of water and hydrogen peroxide. Then rinse them under cold water before putting them back on my teeth. I do the soaking while I eat. I have noticed that my aligner do not smell any more. I soak them at least twice a day. I can not clean them thoroughly when I work. I am a nurse in a hospital and I only get 30 min lunch break so its very difficult to have the time to clean with the hydrogen peroxide solution! Good luck..:)
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This really helped! Thanks so much!
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Hi Isis, sounds like you've been through a lot just getting started. Once you get a few weeks under your belt dealing with the trays become routine. Hang in there, it gets easier and exciting when you start seeing results! Tc
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I have never had a smell !! In fact no morning breath whatsoever. Here is my routine: When I remove my trays, I always wash them in warm to cool soapy (antibacterial soap) water, rinse and dry. Before putting them back in, I always floss, brush and then rinse with Listerine Antispetic. Once a week I let them sit for 15 mins in RetainBrite cleaner. My mouth always feels super clean!
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Hm. I have been cleaning them with denture cleaner. I may have to try anti-bacterial soap. I think the extraction points are also making my mouth feel ick, subconsciously. Thanks for the tip!
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Good for you taking the step now! Don't look back, just forward! I am 43 and wish I had done it a long time ago but, no regrets, I'm thrilled that I'm doing it now. You are brave to post your pictures but it is great that you did as someone reading your posts will surely be able to relate to you. I started my aligners 2 months ago and it does get easer. The first two days of a new aligner are the hardest for me. In fact when I start a new one sometimes it feels as though I can't even get it on for the first time, it is so tight. The drooling will get better too.... hang in there and look forward to your wedding!
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I just finished my invisalign treatment after 10 months and I am very happy. But I feel that the ortho staff should give a little more help on removing the aligners--especially after the attachments are added. By the way, they just say you will get attachments, etc. but they don't tell you that this will be where the trouble starts. The first months with just the aligners is a piece of cake. Then come those attachments. I had 13. Seven on top and sixon bottom. I made the mistake of leaving the office without trying to get them out. And I thought I would never get them out. I amnot kidding, my fingers were bleeding by the time I finally got them removed. Not to mention that I was starving! So here are some tips for removing them. Start on one side at the back and pull it down. I used my index finger. Then work around toward the front and then on to the back! Don't try to loosen the back on both sides and come to the front. It is much harder. Practice will help. At first it would take me 15 minutes to get them out and after a couple of weeks, I could pop them right out.
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So sorry to hear what a tough time you had with removing the trays. I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been. We have a forum going to address this very thing, because you are not the only person who has had that struggle. Here it is for anyone needing more help:

How do you get your Invisalign trays out?

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Wow I am surprised they did not have you put them on in the office. My first set did crack as I did not pull from the back as you said.
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I did put them on in the office, but didn't try taking them out while there. They should make sure that you can get them out before you leave the office. That way, they could at least give you some tips.
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I think trying to do this case with invisalign is mighty ambitious. Your teeth are crowded most likely due do muscle imbalance or breathing and airway problems. Was this discussed. You need palatal expansion and airway evaluation. DO you snore or are you a mouth breather. IS your nose always clogged?
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Thank you for this information, but this was never mentioned. I don't snore (I just talk and grind my teeth) in my sleep. I also don't have any issues with airways - my nose is not ever clogged and I don't breath through my mouth.
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Good for you girl. I am in a similar situation as far as how our teeth are. I left the orthodontist today with a quote of $6,648.00 and I would have to wear invisalign for 24 months, changing liners every 6 to 9 weeks. The Doctor was urging me to open up a care credit account. I am just stressing about how much money it is going to cost. I am going to do it, but I am going to "shop" around with other orthodontists to see if I can get invisalign cheaper. I'm hoping that I can use the photos and clay molding the orthodontist did (they are mine, I paid for them!....$368.00 for mouth mold and pictures) at other orthodontists for another quote....right?
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I would certainly hope so! I paid about the same price $350-ish for the images and impressions of my mouth. I had not shopped around afterward because I was so taken by the service provided by the orthodontist I visited. He and the staff were excellent and come highly recommended. In fact, my orthodontist offered his own payment plan. He said I could go through the Care Credit company who would charge me finance/interest, or he could set up a monthly automatic withdrawal plan using my credit card and not charge anything additional. I hope that you are able to find an orthodontist that can beat the price or offer an efficient payment plan. Keep in mind, if we are going to be stuck in these for 2 years, we want to have someone nice to visit and help us out. Don't skimp on service. :) Good luck!
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I went with Care Credit, and no interest or finance charges are added unless I am late with my monthly payments. My plan is $3800 divided into 24 payments of about $159.00. The office plan also charged no interest -- $1200 down to start treatment, then $145 per month for 18 months.
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Isis811 is giving some very good advice. I think its wise for you to visit other orthodontists so you can make the best choice about who will do your treatment, but please don't let only the cost be your deciding factor.

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Oh my gosh - I'm so excited for you!! I can imagine that it could all feel a bit overwhelming at this point, but I definitely think at the days go by and those teeth straighten up you will be loving what you see!!

How do your extraction sites feel? Doing ok?

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Aw! Thanks for your concern. The extraction sites are doing okay. The dentist said they are healing great. They are unnerving to look at or touch (which I avoid doing at all costs), but are tender down in the gum/bone area because my scab/healing process seems to be starting way down deep - at least in the case of my lower jaw. My upper jaw, I barely even notice the extractions. Besides the pain of the Invisalign the first day, the lack of snacking/eating, the third worst part is trying to quit smoking. I know its bad for the extractions anyway, so I'm doing my darnedest. I certainly don't want to walk around with yellowed aligners. Ick.
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GOOD FOR YOU for trying to quit smoking!! I can imagine its not easy to have some extra stress in your life with all this dental work, and trying to quit - I'm impressed!! Hopefully you will be able to power through and just quit, but remember if you do smoke not to be too hard on yourself and just to start "quitting" again.  I'm cheering for you and believing you will beat it!!! :)


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