52 Year Old with Invisalign - Atlanta, GA

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I decided to document my Invisalign journey since...

I decided to document my Invisalign journey since I've learned so much from all the other reviews on this website. Hopefully, someone else can learn from my experience. I was supposed to get braces when I was a teenager. I even had two premolars extracted. But for whatever reason (probably money) braces never happened. I've always been told that I have a nice smile (go figure!) but I've always been self conscious of the crowding on my lower teeth. In the last couple of years I've noticed, due to the crowding on the bottom, my top teeth have moved. I actually noticed it in a picture and I thought "Oh my gosh that looks horrible!" I asked my long time dentist if he noticed that my teeth have shifted, and he said yes and that they would continue to shift as I get older. Well I can't let that happen so I talked to my grown kids about getting braces and they all said "Go for it!" My husband said, "Okay, as long as you don't get metal". So I talked to my dentist who gave me a referral to an orthodontist. I went to three other Ortho docs before deciding on my orthodontist. This website was good as far as knowing what to look for in an Ortho. My Dr. was neither the cheapest nor the most expensive. But I chose him because of his vast experience, three office locations (one is near my home and one is near my work), office staff and about 50% of his patients are adults. One Dr. I went to had this little kid decor and I just couldn't see myself there! I do have insurance that covers adult orthodontia and an FSA account so that helps. I had my impressions made June 10th, paid $950 toward my account and was told it would take 4-6 weeks to get my aligners. So, as of now I'm waiting...

My teeth before receiving my aligners

Here are some pictures of my teeth before the Invisalign.

My 1st aligners!

Today, exactly 4 weeks from when I had my impressions made, I received my first two sets of aligners. I had some shaving (interproximal reduction (IPR)) done on my bottom incisors. The technician used a tool that felt like a metal file and she ran it in between my teeth a couple of times. No pain from this. I was shown how to put aligners in and take them out and the fit was checked. I had to take them out and put them in several times while at the office. I was given tubing to bite on that helps to push the aligners further into place. Also, I was instructed how to clean them. I was told to use clear antibacterial soap and a soft children's toothbrush to clean them. I did notice that there were some parts on the lower aligner near my tongue that would probably irritate my tongue. Those areas did not curve into my gumline, but rather out. The technician was able to smooth down those areas. My Dr. told me that If I noticed any other areas that irritate, I could use a fingernail file to smooth them down. I'm to wear the first two sets for 2 1/2 weeks each 22 hours a day. My next appointment is five weeks away and I will getting a little more shaving (IPR) and ten attachments will be put on. I have my ClinCheck video, but I'm not sure how to put it on this website. Once I figure that out, I will do it. I'm pretty excited to have the process begin.

I have had them in for about five hours and so far I don't have any pain whatsoever. I do feel pressure, but not pain. I went to the Apple store immediately after leaving the Ortho office. I cracked the screen on my iPad, but that's a whole other story! Anyhow, I talked quite a bit to the Apple guy and I did not notice any type of speech impediment (yet!). I've heard that some people get headaches. I'm prone to migraines and I hope that the Invisalign doesn't cause me to get headaches.

Treatment plan

I forgot to mention that I have 20 lower aligners and 23 upper aligners. It should take about 12 months.

2nd set of aligners

Well, I've had my Invisalign 5 weeks tomorrow. I'm finishing my second set of aligners and I am about to put in my third set tomorrow. I go to the ortho tomorrow and he will put on my attachments. Observations I've made thus far: Snacking is really a hassle. (I didn't know how much I snack!) Can't even get a sample when at Costco! I've been on vacation that last couple of weeks so it's not so bad, but once I go back to work. I'll be snacking on water.
Just a warning for those of you that attend church and take communion...the communion really sticks to the aligners! So make sure you keep it near the roof of your mouth. When I put in the second set, I again had to file down the same exact area as in the first set. So I'm assuming all the rest will be like that if they use the same molds to make the aligners. I haven't had any severe pain, just more of an ache the first couple days with the 2nd aligners.
For on the go cleaning and when water is not available I've use these dental appliance wipes called "Cleanse, Freshen, Go". There is also a spray bottle available. I bought sample sizes of both on Amazon. The wipes work good in a pinch. The spray needs water to rinse it off.
So far, I'm glad I did it1

Aligners 3-6

We'll I went to the orthodox doc yesterday and I had 11 attachments put on. I have one on the top right incisor which ican clearly see. In my picture you can see the ones on my eye (canine) teeth. One of the attachments came off the first time took the aligner off and as of today one more has come off. I have an appointment tomorrow to have them reinstalled. I feel more pressure now that I have the attachments. I did wake up around 1:00 am with some discomfort, I took two Tylenol and went back to sleep. In the morning I was fine. Again I had to file down a couple of areas that we're hurting my tongue. The attachments do rub when the aligners are out.
I bought a portable sonic toothbrush to leave at work. It was $12.99 at Beth, Bath, and Beyond (with the 20% coupon). I'll let you know how it works out.

Aligner 6

It's been a while since I've updated. Nothing much has really happened. I am one week into aligner 6. My husband says he can see a little change in my bottom teeth. I know that things are moving because there are gaps between my teeth now. According to my treatment plan, my top teeth won't really move until my bottom teeth are in place which makes sense since my bottom tooth that sticks out is the one that is pushing on my top center teeth. Only thing I'm kind of worried about is the "black triangles" that people have been talking about. I'm going to ask my Ortho about them next week at my appointment.

I'm pretty used to the aligners now and have a pretty good routine going. I really don't like brushing my teeth in public bathrooms so I use the "Colgate wisps". Usually they are sold in pairs, but Target has a pack of 40. They're pretty good to use until you can get home and brush. I also found these wipes called "Cleanse, fresh, and go" that I use to wipe my aligners when I can't clean them with water. There's also a spray that you can get. I keep some wisps, wipes and spray in my car.

So far, no one at work has said anything about my aligners. I've told two people at work and they both said they wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't said anything. There is a co-worker who I'm pretty sure has Invisalign, but I haven't said anything to her.

Aligner 17

Well I haven't updated in a while because things have been very busy. I am on aligner 17/20 on the lower and 17/23 on the top. I am very happy with how my lower teeth look. The upper ones need a little bit more time. This process has been pretty uneventful. My ortho says I've been tracking perfectly with my plan. I have a couple of stains where the attachments are and I'll let my dentist get them off when I go for my cleaning. Also, My ortho gave me some "Opalescence Go" to start some whitening. He did talk to me about retainers. One set of invisalign retainers are included and I can purchase these other ones called Vivera. Four sets cost $375. I'm going to do some research. A friend of mine has the permanent retainer that goes behind your teeth. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do.

Waiting on refinement trays

Well I finished my initial treatment about two weeks ago and I had new impressions made. So I'm currently waiting on my refinement trays, I'm happy with my bottom teeth except for the triangles and I have two top front teeth that need to be straightened. Dr. said it might take 4 aligners. I have to continue wearing my last aligners until the new ones come in. I'm so ready for this to be over...
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