Gap, Underbite and Crossbite. . . Oh my - Charleston, SC

I wanted to close my gap since I was a child....

I wanted to close my gap since I was a child. Growing up, we already struggle with insecurities but having a gap between my two front teeth definitely made things worse for me. It definitely has affected my confidence. I had opportunities to get brace as a child, but I felt like metal braces would draw even more attention to myself, which was definitely not desired.

So fast forward to 2015, I'm 37 yo and this year is the year of self improvement!
I went in for a consultation on January 9, 2015. And after many, many consultations with other orthodontists, I finally found one that can treat my complicated case with invisalign.

My next appointment 1/27/15 I had digital scans taken and sent to Invisalign. The hygienist says the digital scans are better than the molds and they are both the same price (Not all ortho's offer digital). My aligners will arrive in around six weeks. I hade to pay $1193.20 up front. My no interest finance via orthobanc, offered to me at ortho office is set at $211.95 a month for 24 months.

I also told the ortho I am interested in Acceledent. I read about it on real self and heard it speeds up the process. The ortho says with Acceledentt I can change aligners every 5-7 days instead of every two weeks. It costs an additional $1350, he ordered it and I will pick it up the same day I pick up the aligners and pay for the acceledent in full that day.

I hate having to wait so long to begin treatment!

Pre treatment pictures

In addition to the gap between my two front teeth, I have an underbite and my upper front teeth are in crossbite behind the lower front teeth. I was born without the two teeth on both sides of my two front teeth, so after my invisalign treatment, I will need to get two implants or bridge to fill the spaces.

My treatment time is estimated at 18-24 months. But since I am going to use acceledent, hopefully my treatment time will be cut in half.

Im just ready to get this show on the road!

Got Aligners

Got aligners 1 and 2 on 3/9/15. The package says 1 out of 42, OMG! I watched the clincheck video, my gap wont be closed until the very last few aligners, Bummer! The hygenist watched me put in tray #1 and take it out. She also demonstrated how to assemble the Acceledent and sent me on my way. My next appointment is in a month. I am to wear the aligners for 22hrs a day for two weeks. I was looking forward to changing every week, but the hygienist explained that eventually I will change the aligners every week, but not yet. I did notice a lisp when talking in the Ortho's office, gotta learn to get that under control. . LOL

I was able to put Tray #1 in and out really easily had no problems. Almost felt like it wasn't working. . .until I took them off to eat that night. Felt soreness and like my teeth were released from captivity, like taking off some really tight jeans, everything just relaxed. LOL!

I used the acceledent for the first time that night. I read the instructions that came with it. just bit down on the mouthpiece and relaxed my lips so my teeth did all the work holding the acceledent in place.
My lips get really dry, as you can probably see in the pics I posted, I have to get in the habit of carrying chapstick and using it. Nobody noticed the invisalign. I told my two best friends, my two sons, 1 co-worker (cause I didn't feel like going to the bathroom to take them out, I had to prepare her for what she was about to see, we only have a 30 minute lunch break). I told most of them out of excitement, but none of them noticed on their own. Not even my sons, and they are very observant. Or maybe people noticed and just didn't wanna say anything? hmmm. Oh well, guess I'll never know.

Changed to aligner #2 on 3/23/15. I put it in at night and then used the acceledent. Still no pain, just the soreness I mentioned when I take the aligner off to eat. So far no visible changes, but my gap does look smaller when I have the aligners on. My bite feels funny also, not uncomfortable just different.

Got attachments and Elastics

When I went in for my one month check up on 4/7, I got 14 attachments and elastics to my surprise. Now the aligners aren't so invisible anymore and I'm a little disappointed about that.
My ortho says I can change the aligners every 5 days now as long as they are tracking properly and I don't have space between the teeth and aligners. So far my aligners are fitting properly but I am still a little concerned about changing them so quickly. I read reviews that talk about roots being damaged from changing trays so quickly. Has anyone else heard anything about this issue?
The aligners are harder to get off now and the attachments keep rubbing against the inside of my lips.
I was eager to hurry up and close my gap. But then I starting thinking, once my gap is closed, I'll have two gaps on both sides of my front teeth. . . That's worse!
The ortho says he uses some kinda coloring in the aligners to fill in the space.
I'm trying to stay focused on what my teeth will look like when my treatment is done and my implants are in.
I'll post another review in one month, unless anything changes before then.

Tray 7- Edge to Edge

My teeth are touching edge to edge now, with the aligners on. Without, I still have an underbite. Its not much, but its progress! I've been feeling a lot of pressure on my two front teeth. . Could the gap be closing!!!!!!

More spaces than I started out with

Im on tray 10 now and this aligner and from here on out has a space for a pontic or fake tooth where my left lateral incisor should be and eventually there will be space for the right lateral incisor. The space isn't really that big yet, but it fills with spit, which makes it noticeable and NASTY. So, I called the ortho's office and went in a week early to address this issue. The ortho only gave me one option, Perfect -A-Smile, which is a tooth colored paint for the aligners. It's $150 for three shades or $50 for one shade, but we don't know which shade would best match my teeth. I really don't wanna spend anymore money on this! Im already paying $200 a month plus I'm saving for the implants that Ill need after invisalign (which is $5,000 by the way) . He also told me that some people use nail polish. Im not sure about wearing toxic nail polish in my mouth for 22 hours/day. I asked him if it was safe, he told me not to swallow. Yeah! ok, so now I'm looking for other options. Anyone have any cheap but safe ideas?
During this visit, I also got IPR done (for the first time) to three of my front lower teeth. He shaved off a small amount of my teeth using this little round, spinning saw like instrument. It wasnt painful at all and quick. He then put some fluoride on those teeth and told me not to brush or floss that area for 24hrs. I was a little surprised that I needed IPR considering I can already tell that my teeth are moving because I have large spaces between my lower molars that weren't here before.
The ortho also mentioned that my aligners/teeth weren't tracking all that well because the aligners didn't cover my teeth all the way at the base of the aligners, near my gumline. Mostly the areas around my canines. Then he said that we'll just catch that later. . Later? Id rather fix the problem now, but im not a orthodontist, I hope this is what's best. When I got my first ten trays, the hygienist told me that if I see that im not tracking right to wear the current tray longer than 5 days and use the chewie. Then she showed me pictures of trays that aren't tracking right, but in the pictures, there was air/space in the aligners at the bottom of the teeth, not near the gumline like mine, so I thought I was fine. I was thinking that maybe I should wear the aligners a little longer till they fit better instead of changing after 5 days. So, thats what Im doing. Im changing to #11 on my 7th day instead of 5 like I've been doing. Hope this helps to get me back on track. Any thoughts?

Tray 20

I had a 5mm gap between my two front teeth. Its smaller now, space is opening for the lateral incisors. I still have the underbite, waiting patiently for it to be corrected.
I got the attachment removed from my bottom teeth! one step closer to getting them all off.

No more underbite

Im currently on tray 23. My underbite is gone, but I still have to wear the elastics. The gap between my two front teeth is smaller and the space for lateral incisiors are getting bigger. So far, so good!

Tray #30

Went to my monthly visit today. The ortho says Im progressing really well. I have about 2 more months to go, then probably refinements. Around tray #38, Im going to het a cone beam scan which will show where my roots are and we will have a better idea how much room we have for implants. I'll be getting two implants on the left and right of my two front teeth.
I'm still changing my trays every 5 days and using my acceledent every night. I also still wear the elastics whenever I have the aligners in.
Im really excited! The end is near.

Diastema almost gone

Im currently on aligner #33. My underbite is gone and the diastema is almost closed. The ortho finally got some tooth colored pain for the aligners, at no extra charge.
Now that I'm almost done with the Orthodontic phase #1, Im scheduled to go back to the surgeon to see if there is enough room for the implants. Im excited about phase 1 coming to an end, but im really nervous about grafting and implants, surgery.

Refinements

I went to the oral surgeon on 10/18/15. He did a cone beam scan $200. He said I didnt need any grafting before the implants based on what he saw on the scan. He also said that he needed more space on the right side to place the implants, the left side was good. Also said $5500 for the two implants including sedation. I was soo sad, Tired of invisilign.
I went to a different doctor to discuss the actual teeth that will fit onto the implant. He charges $5,000 for the two teeth. $$$$$$$
To be honest, I was devastated when I had to go back in for refinemints. And depressed when I realized that I had to pay two more doctors.
I went back to my Ortho on 11/3. We discussed what the surgeon said and I had to get a new scan to send into invisalign for refinements. When I went back in to get the new aligners, I got IPR done between like 10 teeth, mostly on the bottom.
So, now it is 2/26/16 and I am on refinement aligner #11. Im still using acceledent and changing these trays every 7 days. Im going back to the ortho in 9 weeks/April 26/ aligner #20, to get my attachments removed and a bonded retainer on the back of my two front teeth to keep the gap closed. Then back to the surgeon.
By the end of this process, I'm paying $18,000 for this new smile and my dental insurance is covering nothing but cleanings. So I started working a second job. Im looking for another job that pays better with better benefits, hopefully ill find one that covers implants by April. Smh.

I got Implants!

I got two dental implants yesterday and I feel great! I was scheduled for two implants, later incisors #7 and #11 with graft at the time of surgery. . .but during the procedure the oral surgeon realized I didnt need the grafts and just got the implants. I did the surgery with anesthesia.
1- An IV was inserted into my arm
2- The oral surgeon asked if I had any questions, then injected the anesthesia into the IV line.
3- 45 minutes later I woke up, it felt like 1 minute later
4- I walked to the xray room and they took an xray
They gave me written post op instructions and a prescription for Ibuprofen 8OOmg & Hydrocodone (as needed), and chlorhexidine to rinse my mouth with 3x a day. Im scheduled to go back for a follow up visit with the surgeon in 1 week. Then in 3-4 months I can get my crowns (the actual teeth).
After the surgery, Im suppose to eat soft foods for 1-3 days. So far, I felt a little sore about an hour after the surgery and I took ibuprofen. I have had any pain or discomfort since. I am wearing my last aligner all day every day still, until I get the crown to hold everything in place, and hide the two spaces I still have.
I started this process in January 2015, got my implants 19 months later and in 4 more months I will have the smile I always wanted . . . About time! i am soo ready for this process to be over.
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