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Invisalign - Sydney, Australia

Hey guys! Im a 24 year old female currently on my...

Hey guys! Im a 24 year old female currently on my 10th/14 for upper and lower Invisalign treatment. I have always wanted to straighten my teeth, although they werent THAT bad, i had overlapping of the two front upper teeth and mild-moderate crowding on the bottom which was progressively getting worse as time went on. I was never confident enough to show my teeth under any circumstances and if i'd smile it was behind pursed lips or my hand covering my mouth (which i still do! lol)
So being the first point of contact at work and dealing with a high volume of people per day i needed treatment that was quite literally INVISIBLE. So after months of research i booked appointments with 5 ortho/dentists (each with VERY different opinions and prices!) and decided on one who promptly informed me that i was eligible for Invisalign Lite which consists of a maximum of 14 aligners over the span of 7 months when aligners are changed every two weeks. The beginning process wasnt difficult, we took impressions which wasnt hard or uncomfortable, and when they were sent off it took just over a week for my aligners to arrive!
Putting the aligners in for the first time was not painful, but felt quite abit of pressure. When i tried to talk it sounded as though i had a golf ball in my mouth! To call it a 'lisp' is a huge understatement! It was actually quite funny! It took approx TWO FULL DAYS before my speech returned to semi-normal lol (thank God it was a weekend!) it has only gotten better from there and i believe my speech is back to the way it should be (i hope!)

Taking the aligners out for the first time was a TERRIBLE experience! I didnt even have any attachments yet (so you can imagine how much more difficult it was when i got them before my 2nd set was put in!) i struggled for a good 10mins per aligner! I was too scared i would break them or that my teeth would come out with them! I realized with every new set for the first 3 days they are pretty hard to get out however after that period it is extremely easy (with or without attachments) as the aligner softens. I have realised that it is easiest to remove my top aligner from the back left corner with my right hand, and my bottom aligner from the back right corner with my left hand. It may differ with other people but i found that this was the best way for me.
I got my attachments applied before my 2nd set, 7 top (with two attachments on one tooth) and 5 bottom. These arent so bad and havent caused me any problems in terms of scraping or cutting etc. If i remember correctly i then received 4 sessions of IPR at different stages of treatment, which is when the dentist drills between teeth to create space for movement. This does not hurt at all but the suction pipe causes a bit of sensitivity. Its over in 1 minute!

Removing aligners to eat is NOT a problem, as i mentioned earlier the first few days the aligners are tight therefore hard to remove and the teeth feel quite fragile and it may be painful to remove. At times i felt like i was pulling a tooth out, it was quite painful! But it does not last!

I saw/felt a difference almost immediately after beginning my treatment and everybody who knows my teeth are being straightened are absolutely AMAZED at the progress! The tooth that was overlapping has moved back quite significantly and i think it is now in the process of rotating back downwards to meet in alignment with the rest. The bottom have a little while to go but i am optimistic that the work will be done within the last four sets (fingers crossed!)

i do have a couple of concerns/questions... I found that during my last set (set 9) the overlapped tooth has been a little loose, im too scared to touch it and too scared to bite down on hard foods :( does anyone know if this is normal or ok?
Also, i know my bite is supposed to change as my teeth shift however iv found that it has really affected my chewing. Its hard for me to chew 'properly' like i used to, and i put it down to the fact that my jaw/teeth/mouth are just used to the aligners size and arent biting down as far/hard. Will this change? Im abit worried....

Other than these concerns, my experience with Invisalign has been really good! And i would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for an 'invisible' way to straighten teeth. Not ONE person has noticed or mentioned my invisalign since i put them in in January. Even people who knew i was straightening my teeth didnt realize that they were actually in my mouth at times that they were! Also, cleaning your teeth after meals does not become a burden and Invisalign does not change or alter your life. I aim to have them in a minimum of 21 hrs per day however I do not rush my meals or anything. I dont even TIME myself or how long they are out. I eat normally and when im done i brush and floss which will only take 2 minutes out of your day. Also if you cant brush DONT STRESS! The world wont end, just rinse your mouth out with water or chew on gum for 5 mins and put them back in. Your life doesnt change or stop because you have aligners in your mouth! Its not as bad as some people make it out, its actually abit too easy! :)

I certainly recommend Invisalign and i am looking forward to my end results hopefully by August this year! Yaaaay!

Hey guys, i've started on my 11th set and finding...

Hey guys, i've started on my 11th set and finding this one quite painful :( i hope that's because it's doing extra work this time! ;) I just had a question for anybody who might know about other dental procedures... What can generally be done about 'unevenly shaped teeth' eg. Having a shorter tooth that doesnt align with the rest or jagged tooth etc? Is there any way this can be fixed without anything too unnatural?

Seriously losing hope that my aligners are going...

seriously losing hope that my aligners are going to accomplish what they are supposed to...

Oki doki, its been a while since i updated my...

oki doki, its been a while since i updated my progress.. well during my 11th aligner i noticed they werent sitting properly on the bottom 4-5 teeth so i notified my ortho who asked me to go in on the last day of the set. he explained that Invisalign had nlt prescribed for him to shave my bottom teeth as they try to 'avoid' this unless entirely necessary, but he said my bottom teeth have absolutely no space to move hence the aligner not fitting properly due to not enough movement. he then shaved between several bottom front teeth and asked me to go back to aligner 10 for another two weeks, which has set me back one month. when i got home and looked at my bottom teeth i cried for the rest of the night. i saw gaps which i was convinced wohld never close because i assumed my teeth would be moving back to create space, not forward to close them, after all that was the reason i got invisalign to begin with. also i noticed the aligners STILL were not sitting any better than the last set. but i got thru the two weeks and saw some gaps close, some however, still the same. my bottom teeth did look straighter though.
i went back yesterday for my 11th set, and he again filed between my bottom teeth. i was shocked, first thinking i dont want 'thin' teeth, then also thinking i dont want to see those gaps again!! what is he doing!
then i came out and told him my concerns and he reassured me that the gaps will be closed by the end of treatment. set 11 still does not fit any better, and im just confused and quite discouraged at the moment. am i supposed to have a refinement done now, before the end of treatment since it doesnt fit? i dont want to have just thrown $5000 in the bin, i want to make sure my treatment is 100%.
i am happy to report though that my top teeth have improved and are certainly less stubborn than the bottom set :P
if anybody has been thru the same thing or can offer me any advice it would be much appreciated..

Hi guys, just a quick update. Last i wrote i was...

Hi guys, just a quick update. Last i wrote i was worried about the spaces left in my bottom teeth, i put in number 12 last night and i woke up this morning to find a gap already closed lol literally overnight! Im very happy about that and hoping the rest will follow suit. I must say this set it the most painful i have had so far, perhaps a 10/10 type of pain :( but i am happy because i know they're moving and i can feel the pain in particular teeth, thankfully the ones i was worried hadn't moved enough. I guess i'll get the verdict in two weeks..

Hi guys, just a quick update while im here. Im now...

Hi guys, just a quick update while im here. Im now a week into set 13/14 (still cant believe it!)
The time has gone incredibly fast! Its also amazing what a seemingly short amount of time can do for your smile. Im pretty sure i will need a few refinements as there are still gaps to close and teeth to move a little but im happy with my progress thus far. This set wasnt so bad in terms of pain (nowhere near the last set!)
im truly excited for aligner 14 and cannot wait to see my end result :D

p.s: im sure this question has been asked numerous time on this website but can anyone tell me how the retainer phase goes? How often do i wear the retainer? For how long? Also, if i choose to get a bonded retainer will i still need to wear the plastic one on top?

thanks for reading..

Hi guys, just another quick update. I've had to...

Hi guys, just another quick update.
I've had to wear my last (number 14) aligners for about a month now due to my ortho being away for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately it still hasnt achieved what i wanted so after seeing my ortho today we decided it was best to get refinements. 5 in total which should be in in a few weeks. Im happy that atleast it will all be done properly, abit sad coz i thought i'd be done by now but i guess ill be done by the end of the year or start of next :)
will update as i go along..

HI GUYS! I havent been on here for quite a long...

HI GUYS! I havent been on here for quite a long time but just wanted to update once again with my progress..
lets see.... So where i left off was that i was getting 5 refinements (5 is the maximum for refinements with invisalign LITE)
Im currently on my fourth of five. The refinements have not been very painful at all, compared to the initial set they actually dont hurt at all when i put them in or take them out which really confused me because it made me feel like they werent doing anything at all to change my teeth! The first 2 were like i was wearing a used aligner. The third one was a little tighter, then the fourth was more tighter again. I can honestly say that just this fourth set has made a significant difference all on its own! So dont lose hope if your aligners dont seem to be doing much work, it only takes that one or two to do most of the moving before u go back to the 'lazy ones' lol
so in regard to the progress of my teeth, id say i need about 2 more before i get the perfect result! Its a shame i only have one to go :( FINGERS CROSSED number 5 will push extra hard! Il be switching to five in 6 days. Cannot wait!
does anybody know what i may be able to do if the fifth doesnt shift my teeth far enough? What alternative do i have in order to achieve the perfect set of teeth?

8 months later

It has now been about 8months since the end of my invisalign experience and am now only wearing my retainers at night.
I must say that doing Invisalign was probably the best decision i have made for myself, i am not insecure about my teeth or about smiling anymore and it is one of the best feelings in the world.

i'll say though that they arent really staying in place as solidly as i'd like so i try to wear them more often than just at nights. But im sure that will change. Im very grateful for this experience and recommend anyone to do it, because even the smallest changes are encouraging! The cost/time IS WORTH IT!
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I am having the same experience, in that I feel like my teeth aren't staying put with just the night-time retainer wear, so I wear the retainers a few extra hours during the day.  But now my TMJ seems to be coming back.  Have you had any adverse affects from wearing your retainers extra?

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I enjoyed reading your post. I'm sure by now you're done or at least finishing your refinements and onto your retainer phase. I researched that part and it seems everybody has a different story on how much/long they have to wear theirs and the type they have. I'm on tray #1 of 23. I was only supposed to wear them 2 weeks each, but I'm still wearing my first set for another 2 weeks because they're still tight -- despite wearing them 23-23.5 hours a day. I figured being vigilant would speed up the process, but guess not. You never mentioned again about your top tooth. My tooth is very similar to yours (crossed over about the same amount) and I was just talking to my ortho today about people who said their teeth are literally loose and wiggling. She said they reset -- I assume yours did? How long did it take? How long before you saw that top front tooth straighten out? I have an extraction right in front, so I understand about the crying over unsightly space... I'm supposed to see improvement in that by aligner 9. And, like you, I also fear pulling my teeth out trying to remove the bottom tray, especially the ones next to the gap of the missing tooth... You're very lucky that you had no problem removing the trays even with attachments, as even two weeks in, the bottom one still gives me a very hard time. All in all the wearing of these isn't difficult, it's only the pain upon removal. I hope you reached the level of perfection that you were striving for.--Renee
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Hi Inktatt, im glad you enjoyed reading my review :) at the moment im still on refinement 5, (iv lost count of exactly how long its been!) but thats because i hadnt been 100% satisfied with the result. As il mention in a proper post a little later my ortho had decided to use an interesting technique with this retainer in order to ROTATE the stubborn tooth, my most recently uploaded pic shows where my teeth were at about three weeks ago.. wearing aligners for longer than two weeks is very normal especially if its your first aligner (i remember having to wear one of mine for a month too but it was closer to the end of treatment) just remember your teeth are going thru a transition and as they move the bone has to readjust to its new placement, so the longer u keep in the same aligner the better for your teeth. I know how frustrating it is for u and im sure you're SO eager to get to number two (or 23 for that matter lol) but from someone whos felt that also just believe me when i say you wont believe how fast time is going to go, before you know it you will be on 23 an wondering what happened to the time :) in regards to the top overlapping tooth, my ortho told me it was quite normal for it to wiggle a little because its in transition and ofcourse is a little unstable because of this, it still does wiggle til now a tiny bit and i think it will until its been set by the retainers for a little while. I just make sure not to bite down on hard foods with it and try not to brush too hard on it either, but my ortho also assured me that out teeth are very strong and wont fall out just like that :) id have to say i saw improvement in that front tooth little by little but i do think it was around the 10th/11th aligner where i started to see how much it had significantly been pushed back, its just a matter of rotating it downwards that takes the most time so just be patient and it will happen eventually even if u do need refinements just remember its going to look AMAZING once ur done and it will all be worth it :) as mentioned in one of my posts, i found a particular way of removing each aligner which was from the left side with my upper and right side with my lower, i dont know if its just how the aligner was made but its easier to pop them out that way. Maybe give it a try and see which side on each aligner comes off a little easier. As long as you're not too rough ur teeth will be just fine :D but dont be scared to pull those aligners out, if ur too easy on them (esp with attachments) ur just prolonging the pain/discomfort. i really hope iv helped with your questions and thanks for your post :) il update my review soon re; my progress :)
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I have spaces now in the back of my mouth with my molars. Food gets stuck in there now easily and I have to constantly floss (more than usual). I'm hoping those will close up after everything is done or closer to the end of my treatment. it's not unsightly but annoying.
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Sorry to hear that you are concerned whether the refinements will actually be able to complete the treatment or not. I would encourage you to talk to your dentist or orthodontist about what options would be, since each office is going to have somewhat different policies.

I have submitted this question to the Q&A so we can hear the opinions of some of the dentists who volunteer on RealSelf, and that can hopefully give us a glimpse into how some offices would approach this:

What Happens if Your Teeth Still Need Some Corrections After the Last Set of Refinement Trays?

Keep us posted on what your particular offices says, and how things look after your 5th tray. Hopefully it will be a rockstar of a tray and this concern will have all been for nothing - we can hope! :)

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Hi Mariposa, I am so glad you have made this post with updates and info about your invisalign as it has helped me alot in my research as I am strongly thinking of getting invisalign but was unsure about all the details. I think I have a slightly worse case than your initial one though so don't think I would be eligable for "Invisalign Lite". I also live around the Inner West area and was just wondering if you could tell me the name of your orthodontist if you dont mind? They seem like they do a very reasonable price considering yours was $4,700 without a healthfund. I really want to get Invisalign but have been reading up on some testamonials on how they can cost over $8500, which I certaintly will not be able to afford.

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Yeah, having to do refinements is always a bit of a bummer, because by the time you reach that stage you are just so ready to be done...but like you said, at least it will be getting done right. Not much longer, and you will probably be much happier with the results. :)

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Hi Mariposa, thanks so much for your helpful, honest comments...really helpful for me who is considering invisalign. I also live in the Inner West and would be interested to know the name of your ortho. When do you finish treatment? It sounds like you want to wait until you finish before posting the details.
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Thank you so much Megan, your help is much appreciated. I did find some helpful information in those links.
it is so exciting, im so happy with my decision to do something about my teeth, my only regret is that i didnt do it sooner!
I will keep you updated on my progress (less than a week til i get my 14th!!) thank you once again! :)
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Oh my gosh, you are almost done mariposa_1!! How exciting!!

Here are some Q&A's that will help with your question about retainers. My personal advice - wear them religiously, otherwise you do risk your teeth shifting back & what a bummer that would be after all your time and expense.

After Invisalign Treatment, What Type of Retainer Will I Get?

How Long After Invisalign Do I Need a Retainer?

And, just in case...

Can Invisalign Retainer Be Replaced?

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Hi 'stella82' thank you for your comment :)
its terribly difficult to find an Invisalign provider with a reasonable price, not to mention that as you mentioned they all differ greatly for some strange reason.
May i ask when you were thinking of starting invisalign (after you have found an ortho that is) ?
As mentioned earlier i just wanted to be sure that mytreatment is successful before i give out the ortho's name as i want to make sure im referring people to him for the right reasons. If you needed it asap il send you a private message :)
please also note that this cost was for Invisalign LITE. An ortho will let you know if you are eligible for this. Also it seems that i will have to pay a little more for refinement aligners as well.
I will update the pic shortly, i think it looks even better now :)
p.s. You are welcome, im glad my review has helped :)
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I am currently trying to find a good orthodonist for invisalign with a reasonable cost.
I have been to 3 so far whose prices who have differed significantly, however I appear to have a very similar case to yours and this price is alot cheaper to what I have been quoted. I am mainly concerned about my front tooth overlapping where it looks like you have achieved a great result from your invisalign so far. If possible would you be able to let me know who your orthodontist is?
Kind Regards,
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I just wanted to add thank you for your post and updates it has been really helpful :)
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Hi 'sunny daze'
Thank you for your comment, im happy you found my review informative :) i remember how hard it was for me to find reviews that covered all aspects of Invisalign and it was so frustrating because i was so eager to start but didnt want to make the wrong choice, so its good to hear i may have helped in that regard :)
RE your question about the cost, i actually didnt have a private health fund, after most ortho's quoted me ridiculous amounts for invisalign (ie $9000!) i did start considering getting one to help with the costs. But luckily i found this ortho who charged me the $4700 and i decided i would be able to do it without a health fund with installments payed when i go in for check ups (which most ortho's do as far as im aware)
if it helps, i do know somebody who got invisalign with a healthfund, her quote was approx $8500 and i believe her health fund covered about $2000 if i am not mistaken.. I guess the ortho or your health fund would be able to give you a more exact estimate depending on your quotes, sorry :(
as for the pain, i have never felt enough pain to take any type of pain killer (up until this set i am wearing right now which is a killer!) although i still havent taken anything for it. I've read that painkillers work quite well although you might find that you wont need it. The pain lasts only a few days into a new set and usually when you are biting/chewing, otherwise its tolerable,iv found.
i hope i have been able to help you with my answers and please feel free to ask me anything at all :)
p.s im not too familiar with Bondi as i am from the inner west however if i do come across somebody who knows a good ortho up that way i'll be sure to let you know :)
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Hi mariposa_1, I'm considering Invisalign too so I've done a bit of research on the internet. I've never read a review as descriptive as yours. Everyone says how easy it is, but your honest post shows it can be tricky at times. Thanks so much.

I'm in Sydney as well, so I'll back to see how you feel about the end result and if you do end up posting your Ortho's name. I'm looking for someone around Bondi.

If you don't mind, can I please ask :
- how much of that $4,700 was covered by your health fund?
- when you say you have pain, is it relieved by Panadol, or do you need something stronger?

All the best for the remainder of your treatment :)
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Thanks Megan, thankfully the pain is about 1% less today lol i'll certainly keep you updated!
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I was so happy to read your update!! I'm sorry to hear about the amount of pain, but yay for the gap closing!! Keep us posted on what goes on from here!!

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i would have at the beginning but im now on my 12th aligner and only have two to go so its probably not worth it now :(
i hope you enjoy invisalign and i look forward to hearing how it goes for you :) thanks and will do!
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You could probably still ask for it but I'd say it will come with a price tag. If I didn't have it I guess my treatment would take 14-15mths.
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let me know how you go :)
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Yes im from Australia too 'Aus' for short, wow, i got the 14 aligners which also takes 7 months (thats one set per 2 weeks) so im intrigued about your treatment time/ amount of aligners. Maybe i should have gotten that device, treatment is going so slow :(
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Aus you mean Australia? That's where I'm from. I have 29 Aligners. It'll take around 7.5mths. I also have with my treatment a vibrating machine called an AcceleDent. It's meant to speed the process up by up to 50%.
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Well here in Aus its the express version where the maximum number of aligners are 14, its for not so serious cases
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Not even sure if Invisalign lite is?
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jeeez... Is that invisalign lite?
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