Here is a basic overview in regard to the details of my treatment. At the end, I have listed my personal likes/dislikes & other items. I had a bottom tooth that was distinctly out of place & I did not love my smile. When looking at photos of myself, I was always drawn to the way my teeth looked. I had braces as a child but did not wear my retainer as prescribed.
My son is currently receiving orthodontic treatment so I decided to take advantage of the family discount. The initial consultation involved images taken of my teeth. I also sat with the doctor & explained what I was looking for (expectations). He completed and exam and made recommendations based on what he saw. From there, he gave me options in regard to how my teeth could be corrected. He indicated that I was a good candidate for invisalign. It was his opinion that since I was not looking for complicated adjustments, invisalign would work just fine. He did give me the option for traditional braces.
The reason that I chose invisalign really boiled down to price. The cost of ceramic braces & invisalign were nearly identical. As an incentive, I was offered an additional discount and a reasonable pay plan if I chose invisalign.
To get started with invisalign, you have to have a series of molds taken of your teeth. There is nothing out of the ordinary about these molds. To some it may be uncomfortable but the procedure itself is not unique. After the molds are taken, the orthodontist sends the molds to invisalign & electronically sends an RX. From there, the trays are made to specification. It took 3 weeks to receive my trays.
For the original treatment, I had 15 trays upper and lower. I am now on tray 11. After tray 15, I will be going in for refinements. Some of my teeth are stubborn and require new trays to fine tune alignment. I have 7 attachments which were applied at tray 3. There are two on top & 5 on the bottom. My treatment overall has been noneventful which is just the way I like it. I am given 4 trays between visits. The doctor checks my teeth & I am on my way. I am happy with the results so far. Invisalign has served its purpose.
Below are my personal experiences with the product. I have read many reviews and let me preface that this is MY experience. You may or may not have the exact same issues. I want to be clear that it isn't fair to declare invisalign a poor product because you experience pain or minor annoyances. Trust me, any kind of treatment involving tooth movement is painful. Some things should be accepted as being part of the experience good or bad.
1. My doctor was VERY clear in expressing that invisalign requires a lot of self discipline. If you aren't willing to commit or have trouble with this, don't get invisalign. It won't work.
2. My doctor advised that no matter what traditional metal braces are "Gold". It is a tried and true product. Although invisalign serves the purpose just fine, there is no other product that works as well as traditional braces.
3. Both invisalign and braces hurt. It is unavoidable.
4. Invisalign is not invisable and shouldn't be considered as such. Nothing is invisable.
5. I find invisalign to be inconvenient for spontaneous moments. I have found that sampling food unexpectedly is kind of a pain. I always have to say "hold on, let me take my trays out." With traditional braces, you don't have that problem. This doesn't happen often, but it does happen.
6. My attachments are rough to the touch. They rub my mouth & cause sores when I eat.
7. The edges of the trays are sometimes rough & rub sore spots in my mouth. I have taken a nail file to it from time to time. The soreness goes away after a few days.
8. The trays develop an odor after a few days. No matter how clean I keep my teeth & the trays, they smell.
9. I feel my trays all the time. Sometimes it gets on my nerves.
10. My lips stay very dry. I use LOTS of chapstick.
11. My lisp never went away.
12. My trays dry out often. Drink plenty of water to help with this.
13. There are only 3 people that I work with who know I am in treatment. No one else has noticed that I am wearing trays.
14. Use a reputable orthodontist.
15. You get what you pay for.
16. Don't be afraid to ask questions. It is OK to demand to be informed of your treatment. Also, let your doctor know if something is wrong.
17. I had to have some of my teeth shaved to make room in my mouth. I found this to be the most unpleasant part of the experience. It was not painful.
18. My attachments are not all that noticeable. You can probably see them if you look hard & I point them out to you.
Overall, Invisalign is a good product. I am not disappointed in my choice. In comparison to traditional braces, I find them to be equal in terms of comfort. I don't think one product is better than the other. It is really a matter of what you want in regard to appearance & involvement.