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My Invisalign Journey! - Waukesha, WI

Well I am 37 years old & my husband paid for...

Well I am 37 years old & my husband paid for Invisalign for me for our 16th wedding anniversary. (How very sweet hey?) I was another case where my parents just couldn't afford braces for me when I was younger. I have 3 kids, 15, 10 & 7 and my youngest has Autism, I am a SAHM and I lead a busy life but I have always wanted to get my teeth fixed just couldn't pull it off financially til now.

I just started with my first tray yesterday. So far it's been eventful. After a few hours my teeth were already sore. I took advil but my jaw kept hurting. By bedtime I was just done. Couldn't tell if the pain I was feeling was normal or me just being wimpy or what. I woke up this morning with a burning sensation on my right side upper and lower wisdom tooth area. (Yes I still have all 4 of my wisdom teeth as well) and it was burning so bad I decided to go in. Apparently I have some deep sores already from the tray digging into my gum area. (Not supposed to happen) so they filed it down and I couldn't believe the relief just from that. So...my first 24 hours, wasn't very pleasant. I am now on day 2 of my 1st tray and now that they filed some off, I'm in less pain and I am so so SO thankful. I just worry that they'll have to file EVERY tray or else the same thing is going to happen.

I have 24 upper & 24 lowers so they claim 11 months (48 weeks) and I should be done. I have huge spaces, I'll see if I can post a picture for you all to see. I, as many of you have blogged about this and updated so I will try to as well for anyone else since you all have been helpful.

Got my first tray Monday Morning. It is Wednsday...

Got my first tray Monday Morning. It is Wednsday afternoon so I'm into the 3rd day and soreness is all gone now. After going in yesterday to get some of my tray filed down, my sores are healing & I'm feeling much better. After reading all of your helpful info on realself I realized that I could potentially file down spots on my own, which, was good to know. It's still a bit awkward having the tray in but now with having no pain or soreness I can at least handle my day which the past 2 days I kinda couldn't. (Kept thinking about it). I'm hoping with each day it'll get easier and I'll get used to this more & more. I have to say though like everyone else has said the first couple days SUCK so be prepared for that. Again day 3 and MUCH, MUCH more tolerable!

Day 4. Everything feels better. No soreness. Easy...

Day 4. Everything feels better. No soreness. Easy to get aligners on & off. I even went out for the first time last night (Karaoke) & I had a couple drinks then went in to brush and put them back in and all was well. I took them out to sing & would then put them right back in. Not as bad as I thought. Today will be interesting though...going to the Packer Game at Lambeau. Not sure how clean THOSE bathrooms will be if I need to brush my teeth & everything. Shall be interesting.

Day 5. For some reason my teeth felt sore again,...

Day 5. For some reason my teeth felt sore again, like they did on day 2. It only lasted for a couple of hours & it wasn't THAT bad so I never took Advil or anything. My teeth also feel LOOSE. I find it a bit hard to believe being on Tray 1 and only on day 5 but seriously my top 6 teeth and bottom feel loose. I'm told by friends that it's normal & obviously they have to get a little loose in order for them to move. Just weird, kinda freaked me out. Otherwise, all is well. I AM starting to get used to them though. Definitely not as weird so for anyone reading it DOES get better and I was one of those "freaking out on day 1 & 2".

Day 9. All is well. Getting kinda anxious about...

Day 9. All is well. Getting kinda anxious about 9/10 and putting on Tray 2, not looking forward to the soreness to return and also for the filing of the new trays to be done but gotta be done. I'll update again once Tray 2 is on.

9/10/12 - had to put in Tray #2 today. Tops fit...

9/10/12 - had to put in Tray #2 today. Tops fit bottoms wouldn't fit right. I went into the ortho and they tried filing down my bottom tray. Still wouldn't fit right. They tried cutting & filing some more and it still wouldn't fit right. They gave me tray #3 and THAT one fit. In order to wear tray 3 I had to have 6 attachments put on my bottom teeth. So now I am 2 weeks ahead of schedule on my bottoms. I am wearing tray #2 on my top and tray #3 on the bottoms. I am feeling like I will be VERY sore later. There was no way I was going to wear tray 1 again until they re-ordered tray 2, nobody knows why tray 2 wouldn't fit either, they claim it rarely happens.

9/14/12 - Well first 2 days with Tray 2 on Top and...

9/14/12 - Well first 2 days with Tray 2 on Top and Tray 3 on bottom and all I can say is OWWWWWW! For 2 days I couldn't eat. I could barely get the tray off on the bottom, any pressure at all hurt so bad. Now that it's been 4 days the tray on top, no problems. Tray on bottom is fine until it's time to take them out. Getting them off is a little harder and it hurts when it snaps back on. I am hoping this is still because I have the wrong tray on the bottoms, hoping it's not always like this. In 8 days I go back in to get the buttons/attachments put on my top teeth (i think 8 will go on top, I have 6 on the bottom already). Definitely a bit harder with those attachments on, but I feel like it can't get any worse than this.

Anyone new to this...I can say that it DOES get better a few weeks in. You will get to the point where you don't mind them being in at all, sometimes I even forget they are in. You will get really good at how to get them off and on also. I can say this, my teeth are WHITER than they have ever been. (That's what happens when you brush & floss your teeth 6 times a day, lol)

If I remember later I'll try and take a picture of my teeth with Tray 2 & 3. Probably not notice any improvement yet but we are getting there. :)

Oh I forgot to mention that my bottom Tray 3 WILL...

oh I forgot to mention that my bottom Tray 3 WILL be in for 4 weeks not 2 this way when I go in to get my tray 3 on top, they'll still keep me in tray 3 on the bottom so we are still on track.

9/24/12 - Got attachments put on my tops and onto...

9/24/12 - Got attachments put on my tops and onto my Tray #3. I've had tray #3 on my bottoms for the last 2 weeks because Tray #2 for some reason didn't fit so they recommend just keeping tray #3 on the bottoms for another 2 weeks so I can get back onto the same schedule with both tops & bottoms. I already took my advil & the office gave me some aligner tools to help me get the aligners off more easily. (I'll let you know if it works because when I was at the office and they ask you to try them on, with the new attachments I had a hard time getting them off.)

I also asked about refinements and how/when would they know if I'll need them. I am supposed to have 24 U & 24 L. She said my bottoms will actually be done at aligner 16 & they have me wear these 'dummy' aligners (that really don't move the teeth anymore) until my tops are done. (Wow, being done earlier than I thought on the bottoms is good news to hear). She said I should technically be done with my tops about tray #21 so they would know about THEN for sure. She said normally if we wear these suckers like we are supposed to then we shouldn't have to need refinements. She said there are some rare occasions where the clients weren't happy with something or their is spacing issue still or something but usually refinements are not needed. I know I shouldn't worry about THAT considering how long I still have to go but I thought it was interesting to hear about the 'dummy' aligners and also thought is was interesting to know that I should actually be done around tray #21. So only 18 more aligners to go. LOL

I got aligners 4, 5 & 6 and then she said the next time I go I will receive 5 aligners at a time from here on out unless I need to come in for some reason. Should be smooth sailing now!

10/16/12 - I am on tray 4 tops & bottoms and I...

10/16/12 - I am on tray 4 tops & bottoms and I wasn't supposed to put tray 5 in until the 22nd. I took them out to eat today and the upper tray cracked almost in half. I was told to put my upper tray 5 in early AGAIN. (sigh) So 5-6 days early and they are very tight and very uncomfortable and I've only had them in for 5 -10 minutes. I just wanted to say that this seems like a lot of drama, I am questioning 'is this worth all of this' today. I know things happen and all of that, it just seems like every other tray I have some issue with Tray #2 didn't even fit and I had to wear Tray 3 for 4 weeks instead of 2 weeks, now this tray cracks and I'm over a week into this tray and have no clue why it cracked when I've taken them on and off the same exact way all this time and never had a problem before. What if I crack this one by accident? I can't possibly go to Tray 6 when I haven't even completed Tray 4 all the way. Just feel frustrated and it saddens me that I've had this many issues already. I've read others have cracked some aligners so I know it's fine but just saddens me to go through more pain because when you put in trays 'early' it hurts 50% more than it usually does. Grrrr...

On Tray #7 and all is well. Haven't cracked any...

On Tray #7 and all is well. Haven't cracked any trays since my last post. I think I see something happening finally so that is exciting. Not much else to report. Only 17 more trays to go! lol

Tray 11. All is going well. I updated a photo and...

Tray 11. All is going well. I updated a photo and from the beginning of treatment to now I can see a major difference so I guess this is where you start to get happy when you see all the time wearing the aligners is actually paying off. No problems with anymore cracked trays so that is good. Will be thankful when treatment is complete it feels like forever.

Tray 15 out of 24. Trucking along everything's on...

Tray 15 out of 24. Trucking along everything's on track so far. This is easy peasy now although I can't wait to be done!

Half way done with Tray 17 and all is well. My...

Half way done with Tray 17 and all is well. My bottoms are now complete and the next trays for the bottoms will just hold the teeth in position. I was told today that I can lessen the amount of time I wear my bottom aligners to about 14 hours a day instead of wearing them the entire day. In four more trays we will decide if we are done or if refinements will be needed.

Tray 19. Everything was going pretty smoothly...

Tray 19. Everything was going pretty smoothly until this last tray. Began to get sores on the roof of my mouth & most of my gums are very irritated & swollen. I tried filing down the trays, which I haven't had to do in months & it helped a little bit. I have 2 more trays to go and my uppers should be done. All of spaces should be closed up within the next 4 or so weeks and then we'll see if I will be needing refinements. Since wearing these aligners and I am a clencher I have somehow pushed my 2 back molars on both sides of my mouth, top & bottom up into the gums a bit and now my back molars don't touch because of this. The ortho says that they will slowly move back down once I am finished wearing these aligners.

Tray 21

All is well. Gaps are closed finally. This is the last tray where the teeth will have any movement. The next 3 trays are just to keep the teeth 'in place' but won't be shifting anything anymore. I go into the Ortho in 2-3 weeks to see if I'm really done or if we need any refinements. Will keep you posted.

Tray 24 of 24 I think I may be done! Yay!

Well my gums have had it, thankfully this is my last tray and I don't think I'll need refinements. There are two teeth that don't feel like they are touching (when I floss I can tell) but honestly I'm not sure they will move anymore, I think it's as good as it's getting. I go to my next appt. next week so we'll see what they think. I'll update again after that appt.

I'm Done Folks!

I went in yesterday all trays completed including last two + trays. Yesterday they took buttons off and filed teeth nicely and took impressions. I have to wear my thicker style retainers for 6 weeks (night and day) and after 6 weeks I only have to wear them at night. So...that's all folks, I am done. I waited til now to say it IS worth it. Look at my teeth pictures and you all can see that yes, a huge improvement and much better.

8 weeks later...

So I wore my retainers for 6 weeks both DAY and night and after 6 weeks most people get to just wear the retainers at night but not in my case. After about 2 hours of not wearing my retainers my teeth start getting spaced and start to shift back. I am not a candidate for the permanent retainer behind your 4 front teeth either. I was told to try and wear the retainers at night and only 1/2 of the day but unfortunately like I said after 2 hours or so my teeth already start spacing and shifting so I have to put the retainers back in. I'm disappointed and wonder how long this is going to go on for. (sigh) So...here I am done but still wearing the retainers FULL time.

12+ weeks later

Since I have to wear my retainers full time still I now have an open bite in the back where my molars don't touch, well technically I had this when I finished my last invisalign tray but I was told it'll correct itself once I'm wearing the retainers part time. I still can't keep my retainers out for longer than 2-3 hours or spaces will start. In order to fix my "open bite" now they have cut my retainers so that they are no longer on any of my back teeth in hopes that my back teeth come down on their own. I am now getting spaces between my teeth in the back since the retainers aren't on those teeth and I'm told once my bite is fixed they will have to re-fix the spacing issues. I go back in a few more weeks and I almost think if this doesn't do the trick they are going to have to put regular metal braces on so I can have 'bands' to fix that open bite. This has turned into a nightmare. I thought I was done. (sigh)

Open Bite Pictures.

Just updated what a back 'open bite' looks like. Invisalign patients or those who wear their retainers full time, this can happen to you.

Refinements are now needed. (sigh)

Went in for my appt. and my bite is still an open bite. It's a little better but my teeth still don't touch when I close my mouth. They did some procedure (forget the name) where they basically grind your molars done a little so there aren't any pointy areas making it so my teeth aren't touching. I was then told me to come back in a week to get a panoramic picture done so they can resend in to invisalign for refinements. Since they cut my retainers to where they are only over my top 5 top & bottom teeth all of my other teeth, including my molars have shifted and spaced so now that all has to be fixed. Still confused how my bite is going to be fixed, won't having more trays in make my open bite worse? Feeling pretty down, just want to be done. (sigh)

Pictures of open bite - better but still not right.

Just uploaded pictures of my bite. It's better but still off. Refinements are now needed. (sigh)

Refinements

So I went in and got my refinement trays. I have 10 total. I am told hopefully I won't need all 10, we'll see. Surprised though that I don't need any attachments with any of these though so I guess that's good.

Refinement tray #3

My bite is getting better. My first set of Invisalign (24 trays) I didn't have any aligners over my wisdom teeth. My refinement aligners have the aligners over my wisdom teeth. I think before when I clenched my teeth all of my molars were being pushed down into my gums except for my wisdom teeth so when I closed my mouth my wisdom teeth touched but nothing else did. Now that the aligners are over my wisdom teeth I think they are getting pushed down so I'm able to close my mouth better. Not sure if this was the case for any of you but seems to be part of what caused the open bite for me. I'm on tray #3 out of 10 and I still have gaps so I'm pretty sure I'll have to have all 10. Amazing though that my teeth don't hurt when I put in new aligners, hope this is working.

Refinements - Tray #3

2nd set of Refinements (6 more trays)

Finished my 1st set of refinements and now onto the 2nd set of refinements. Still have some slight spacing issues that need to be tightened up. Hoping the end is near. We are WAY past the 11 months I was originally quoted since this is month 20. (sigh) We'll see what 6 more weeks do. Wish me luck!
Dr. Bubon & Associates

My son used this provider for his braces and we were successful with his treatment so I figured I'd go ahead and also use them for my treatment.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
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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Are the refinements supposed to take care of the open bite?  Or are they for different spacing issues?  Thanks :)
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After I was originally done with Invisalign (before any refinements) my teeth were fine it was just a severe open bite problem that I was unhappy with. They had me in retainers already so what they did was cut off most of my retainers so the retainers were only over the top 4 teeth & the bottom 4 teeth. This way they hoped my bite would improve. It did improve but then because my back teeth were not being retained they all shifted. I got refinements to then fix THAT! The refinements included my wisdom teeth as the first 24 trays did not. I'm on the 2nd set of refinements to still fix the left over spaces from cutting my retainers. My bite is MUCH better and I seriously believe it to be because these refinement trays covering my wisdom teeth!
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You saved my life with this post! I have an open bite when my slingers aren't in (I'm on tray 3/15). I had my right upper wisdom tooth pulled while pregnant & never got the others done. My trays are fashioned excluding my wisdom teeth & now my wisdom teeth on the left touch but no other molars. Reading this clears up the reason & makes me think that if I just have the others extracted post aligners it should improve...
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Getting 3 more wisdom teeth extracted seems really extreme though. I think it would be less costly & less painful if they just resubmitted your pictures to invisalign and have invisalign redo the trays to INCLUDE your wisdom teeth. I had 24 trays and all 24 trays excluded my wisdom teeth. My refinements include my wisdom teeth. I'd talk to your dentist about this and see what they think.
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Also, if you don't use clear aligners after Invisalign but go with the traditional wire retainer (Hawley) or bonded retainers instead, it's very possible that your open bite will resolve.  That is also something do discuss with your doctor.  When I stopped wearing my aligners full-time, my open bite closed, but when I wear clear retainers for an extended period of time, the bite opens again.
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Mine didn't go over my wisdom teeth either, but my wisdom teeth don't touch.  For me it was my canines that keep my mouth from closing after the molars got pushed down.  But same principle.  So glad that what they've done has fixed it for you, though!!  Your teeth already look beautiful, so it'll be nice to fix the remaining issues!
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Thanks. I'm hoping this does it. They claim it can take months to years for the open bite to 'correct' itself. Seems a bit extreme to hear 'years'. Months I could handle but years?
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Huh…yeah, I hadn't heard that either.  But I have heard that sometimes it doesn't self-correct, so maybe that just means years.  I hope it's much shorter for you…us, even :)
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Wow, the end results look amazing! Sorry about the open note problem though, my worst nightmare is having to go back for more treatment after finishing the actual treatment. Hopefully you will get that resolved, best of luck!
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Bite*
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Dkdhsbs
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Sorry, please delete this comment, my phone was acting up and I posted this by accident!
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This site doesn't allow me to delete any comments. :/ It's ok, thanks for the comments. It appears that when you think you're done, you're usually not done. (sigh)
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I ended up going back to my ortho and complaining about this open bite. They said I was wearing my retainer too much (again) and now I have to wait another six weeks before they'll try doing that same grinding the molars thing you were talking about. I can't remember the name either. I asked them about getting a Hawley retainer instead of the Vivera, but they didn't seem too keen on it--suggested only replacing the top retainer with a Hawley. I'm going to be firm with them, though. I know it's the stupid aligner that's doing it--I just can't stop clenching my jaws with it in. All that said, I think the refinements won't make your open bite _worse_. You'll just have to let your teeth settle again after the refinements are over. But I'd definitely consider something other than clear aligner-type retainers.
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Yeah this is fun times. They definitely told me that the aligners often do cause the open bite for some people. I think mine may have had something to do with my first 24 trays the aligners did not fit over my wisdom teeth but my refinement trays do. I'll say some prayers for you that don't have the same problems I did.
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Thanks.  Two more weeks and I get to go back to the ortho.  My jaw is so darned tired!  :)
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I have this issue with the open bite already! I am positive its a results of the trays because the bite is only about as open as the trays are thick! I go in Friday to have impressions done for refinements... I am sorry you thought you were done and now you have to get refinements!!!
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I agree. The dentist says this can happen with invisalign. Would of been nice to know this BEFORE treatment. I'm getting refinements to close the gaps again now but it won't fix the bite problem. I am told it can take months or even years for your bite to readjust if it adjusts at all.
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It happened with me, too, with the bite!  I've started getting headaches again, and my TMJ is worse.  And because I have to keep putting the retainers in, my bite never has time to readjust all the way.  I've decided to ask my ortho for a regular retainer instead of these blasted trays, in the hope that my bite will be able to settle.  

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WOW! I did not know this could happen. My ortho shaved my retainers so one molar on top and on bottom on one side is exposed. Now I'm nervous! Keep us updated! Also, I looked at your pics before reading your last update. Your teeth look great!
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UGH, I hope it works for you because it didn't work for me. I'm getting refinements but the refinements will just close the gaps again and not fix my bite problem. (sigh)
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Thanks for the update and thanks for the heads up about the open bite. Though I hadn't thought about it much, I do know that my dentist checks for any malocclusion at each visit and measures every gap...perhaps so this doesn't happen? I'll have to ask questions at my next visit.
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Wow! Nobody has ever measured gaps for me. Lol
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My dentist said when I get my next round of refiners he's going to cut off the molar portion on my bottom tray (right side) and this hopefully with allow the molars to move upwards and close the gap. It could happen (insert eye roll).... Time will tell.
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Thats what they did for me but so far it hasnt done shit. Lol
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