Invisalign with Propel in Maryland...never Had Braces - Aberdeen, MD

I am in my 30s and a working professional. My...

I am in my 30s and a working professional. My teeth have never been unsightly but in a world where everyone has near perfect teeth (thanks to modern orthodontics) it has long bothered me that I have several areas of crowded teeth (in the front, top and bottom) and an small open bite.
I can chew fine, but I've always been a nighttime teeth grinder and wondered if the misalignment of my teeth had something to do with it.
I consulted two local orthodontists regarding the best option for my situation and both recommended Invisalign over ceramic braces (my other consideration, as they are less noticeable than traditional braces.) My first consult was in Bel Air Maryland and the practice was very busy with many school-aged kids coming and going for adjustments to their braces.
While I did meet with one of the doctors, it was for maybe ten minutes and as soon as I asked for a quote, he hustled off and sent another employee (admin maybe?) with a cost breakdown that was about $7k. My dental insurance doesn't cover ortho but that still seemed excessive to me. The employee said they would give me a $500 discount because I didn't have coverage and that I could make a down payment and then monthly installation payments for the 13-14 months the doctor suggested I would need Invisalign in order to get the best results. I left feeling defeated, and suspected I would run into this same experience with whatever local orthodontist I consulted with (since medical procedures seem to be more expensive in general on the east coast, at least from my experience.)
Surprisingly, my second consult with Dr Jenkins in Aberdeen, Maryland was awesome! He spent more than 45 minutes with me looking at my teeth in depth, asking detailed questions about my dental history and overall just displaying excellent bedside manner. I had told him he was my second consult and he provided me a quote that was far different from my first. He indicated that I would likely only need Invisalign for 9 months to get my desired results. During a side bar conversation he mentioned another patient who he is trying to treat before the patient returns to
College out of state and said he was going to be using the propel technology to expedite his time wearing the treys. Of course I was interested in that, because I like to get things accomplished quickly once I get my mind made up, and so he explained that propel requires the doctor creating small holes with what is pretty much a dental drill, along the patients gum lines. The patient is numbed for this and it can result in moderate discomfort for a day or so after, but it cuts the time you need to wear Invisalign in half. This means instead of changing Invisalign treys every two weeks, the patient can change them every week! I asked how many of these slightly scary propel treatments I would need to cut my time down to 4-5 months of wearing time and he said two treatments. One at the start and one halfway through my treatment. Since adding the propel technology was only $200 additional per treatment ($400 total) and his Invisalign quote was closer to $5,500 I was on board. I should point out that the price difference wasn't the main motivating factor for me choosing Dr Jenkins though. I chose him because he is obviously a perfectionist (you get the impression he may drive his staff members insane with his attention to detail) but hey-great quality in a person you're hiring to make your teeth look the best they can, right?! I also appreciated that he took the time to explain each things I asked about, he offered to create an adorable payment plan without interest if it would help me, and he never "pushed" the propel on me in an effort to up-sell
his services. In fact, I actually had to ask if I was a candidate when I heard him describing the treatment in a story regarding his college-age patient. As of now, I have had my impressions taken by Dr Jenkins staff and he also took many photographs and x rays and created an extensive file on my existing teeth placement. He has indicated he will be sending the impressions off to Invisalign, as they actually create the treys based on his recommendations (and they are all created in Costa Rica, by the way) and then when he receives first treys back, he will evaluate if they are accurate enough based on the information he provided them. There could be some back and forth between the doctor and Invisalign before the treys are just right, he explained. Because of this back and forth conversation, it can take more than one month for Dr Jenkins to get my treys and begin treatment. It is my hope that by the end of June, I will be updating this post to tell you all about my first experience getting fitted with the treys (and of course a detailed review on the first propel treatment) I hope this helps some of you out there going through the same journey, or perhaps considering it.

Before photos taken by Dr. Jenkins

These photos show my teeth as they are now. Dr. Jenkins and his staff have been very thorough in documenting each step, even before I officially begin treatment. The day these photos were taken, the impressions were also taken to be sent to Invisalign. You can see some of the impression residue between my teeth still lol I will likely be getting my first treys in the next week or two, based on Dr Jenkins communication with me. He has personally replied to my emails which I think is impressive given how busy he is with patients and running three offices. At this point I am most nervous about three things:
1. Not looking like me anymore, after my teeth are corrected. Isn't there a possibility that my not-perfect-teeth make me uniquely attractive? Am I taking something away from myself by doing this?
2. The attachments...I believe I have to have many of them and I have heard other patients say they are irritating and also make the Invisalign much more noticeable (which really defeats the purpose of Invisalign, right?)
3. Propel treatments. I have already paid for two propel treatments which is the amount Dr Jenkins predicts I will need to cut my treatment time in half. I agreed to do them, despite the invasive nature of the treatment and the pain involved, because I think it may be worth cutting my treatment time down to 5-6 months versus a full year or more.
I should probably note that I am a working professional and also single and dating, factors that influence my choices regarding appearance.

Propel and first Invisalign trays

Today was my first Propel treatment and I was fitted with my first trays.
I am told that with two Propel treatments, I will only need 13 weeks of trays (at one set per week-the expedited treatment is because of the Propel.)
I am still numb from the topical numbing agent the doctor placed on my gums to do the Propel, but I have a feeling I may be in pain later today.
I took 1,000 mg of Tylenol before I went to the appointment in anticipation of pain, and the doctor was clear that I can take no ibprofin or aspirin (only tylenol) as antiinflammatory medications will stop the propel from working.
I will update later about pain level...I know I searched other reviews to get a better idea of what I was in for today, and had trouble finding many accounts so hopefully my experience will help someone else out there. Posting a photo I took in the doctor office with my first trays on.
The bad news is that during my next visit in three weeks, I have to get 16 attachments (all on the front, top and bottom, of course...ugh) so that's going to make them much more noticeable and the attachments we supposedly difficult to get used to, based on other reviews I have read. Not looking forward to that portion of this journey...especially since I just started dating again.
Bel Air Orthodontist

Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful