Invisalign - Started January 26, 2015 - Charlottesville, VA

I'm just starting my journey with Invisalign. I...

I'm just starting my journey with Invisalign. I received my first trays on January 26th and will have a total of 41. I change every 10 days. Normally, I would be putting my next tray in tomorrow night, but my orthodontist wants me to have 7 teeth pulled before moving to the next aligner. The oral surgeon was out of town this week so I'm scheduled for oral surgery on February 9th. I'm NOT looking forward to it! The first tray hasn't been too bad, but the ortho said this first tray was just to get me used to wearing them. I have attachments on top and bottom but none on the front teeth so far. They don't bother me. I'm a bit nervous about the next tray. Not only because my mouth will still be healing after surgery but also because of the reviews I've read about them being initially uncomfortable. The orthodontist wants me to try to wear tray 2 at least 3-4 hours a day right after surgery and move back up to 22 hours as quickly as possible.

My motivation for deciding to do Invisalign was cavities. I'm 45 years old and have never had cavities but all of a sudden had 5!! That was it for me. I've always known my teeth were extremely crowded with overjet but I honestly didn't give it much thought because they were healthy and braces cost so much. The dentist told me I've done an amazing job preventing cavities up to this point but that it was a losing battle and the only way to avoid more in the future was to straighten my teeth. Soooooo...here I am. I'm so excited to have a group of folks to go through this with and have found everyone's stories so encouraging. Thank you all for being out there!

Ear pain

Wow! All of a sudden yesterday I started getting sharp, shooting pains in my left ear. I made an appointment with my PCP today to make sure it wasn't an infection and she said my ear looks good, so I'm wondering if it's from my teeth. In November I had ear and nose pain and pressure that my PCP couldn't figure out. She tried treating me with a round of steroids and an antibiotic but no change. She finally suggested I ask my dentist to see if he thought it could be from a tooth even though I had no tooth or mouth pain. He suggested having my right upper wisdom tooth removed and that took care of it. I'm wondering if the left one is causing me trouble now. I'm actually starting to look forward to my extractions on Monday :-(

7 Extractions

Well I survived the extractions! :-) My nephew and I went in together and both had appointments for 8:00 a.m. At 9:20 we were in the car on the way home. He had 4 wisdom teeth pulled and I had 4 pre-molars (I think they were called pre-molars but not sure) and 3 wisdom teeth pulled (had the other one pulled in November). It's so nice to have someone to go through this with!!

My mouth is still pretty numb but it is starting to wear off and the pain is creeping in. Completely manageable with the pain meds though. The dentist gave me a bilateral ice pack to use for the first 48 hours (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off). I'm hoping to go back to work Wednesday. I have not attempted to put my next set of aligners in yet and am terrified at the thought of doing so. I'm going to ask my sister to call the ortho and ask if I can wait until tomorrow to try. I sound like Elmer Fudd when I try to talk right now so it would probably be a very frustrating conversation for them if I called. LOL!

Tray 2

I ended up waiting until tonight to try putting the aligners in again. They feel tight but otherwise ok. I have noticed some suction when I swallow at one of the extraction sites. I'm trying to be very careful when I swallow to avoid this as I was told this can dislodge the clot.

Healed and starting for real this time

My extraction sites are doing great so I was able to start Invisalign again. I put in tray 3 last night. I went to my ortho's office last week and asked them to check my bottom aligner because it was loose. They squeezed the edges of the aligner together and popped them back in. They didn't feel loose anymore so I felt silly having wasted their time for something I could've done at home. When I put my 3rd set in last night I noticed the bottom aligner was loose again. When I took it out to try squeezing the edges together I remembered wondering if I had attachments missing. I forgot to ask them to check that last week when I was at the office and feel a little embarrassed to ask now. Is it possible to have notches for attachments in the aligners without having the attachments put on yet? Do they do that? I just don't want to call and tell them I'm missing attachments if there were never any there to begin with.

Tray 4 - Wow this one is tight!

These were tight going on so I'm wondering how my teeth are going to feel tomorrow. I went ahead and opened the packages for trays 5 and 6 because I wanted to see if anything is actually changing. LOL! It is sooooooo hard to be patient. Good thing the ortho only gave me 6 trays or I may have opened more. ;-) It looks like the spaces created by the extractions are going to be closed on the bottom and almost closed on the top when I finish tray 6. The spaces still seem really big to me so it'll be interesting to see them disappear in 30 days. It'll be so much easier to eat once they're closed. I'm wondering now if maybe the lack of significant discomfort/pain up to this point has been because of all of the extra space created by the extractions. I might be in for a rude awakening once all of that space is closed. We'll see how high my pain tolerance is then. LOL!! I'll post updated pictures after tray 6.

Tray 5 of 41

Finally got tray 4 out of my mouth. Wow that one was not fun. I think the tray just didn't fit right. It had a lot of rough edges that cut my tongue and cheeks up. I finally got them all filed down and the damage healed but it took several days. I never could get the bottom tray to fully lock down on one of my bottom teeth. So far tray 5 is tight and has one area I need to file but other than that it's A LOT better than the last one.

On the upside my sister found an amazing product for oral pain. It was an absolute life saver when my mouth was so cut up. I couldn't eat without it. I'll try posting a pic but it's called DenTek Adult Instant Relief Kit. It's a compact kit with a little applicator to apply the medicine so you can use it on the go. Perfect for work!

Tray 6 is in the house!

Tray 5 was great. It started out tight but was super comfortable by the time I switched to tray 6 tonight. I got nervous last Friday because I forgot to put them back in before I left for work so went 12 hours without them in. It was a tough day with a migraine, nausea, and throwing up. I was afraid I was going to have trouble since they were out so long. They were snug going back in but loosened up again by the next evening. Still, I'm going to mention it to the doctor when I go for my appointment next week. That will be my first progress checkup since I started and I'm anxious to see what he says. I really hope I'm on track and progressing well. Tray 6 is tight like tray 5 was initially but not painful. Still waaaaaaaay better than tray 4. I think I have PTSD from that one!! ;-)

Tray 7, Day 5 (04/27/2015)

I meant to post these earlier. First ortho checkup went well. No changes...just hold the course. I did get a link for my ClinCheck but I don't know how to save it to post it here. I can send a link to it to people but can't seem to save the video. Is it okay to post the link here?

Tray 15, Day 1

It's been awhile since I posted. I'm finally starting to see a difference myself in my bottom teeth. The last two trays (13 and 14) have really been tight when I put them in so I guess it's getting serious now. LOL! I've been trying to keep them in longer each day to help things along. I've also been chewing on my chewie every day. I don't know if it will make a difference or not but I tell myself it is. ;-) I really like being able to change trays every 10 days so want to do everything I can to stay on that schedule. I tried to piece together side by side pictures to show the progress of my teeth (January to July, 2015).

Worried about tracking

I called my orthodontist today and made an appointment for next Thursday. I noticed two more attachments are missing and that one of my front teeth seems to have a pretty big space between it and the aligner. I've noticed it before but it seems bigger to me now so I'm worried that I might need something adjusted. I've been missing attachments on some of my back teeth since my extractions at the beginning of my treatment. My orthodontist hasn't been worried about it though and hasn't replaced them. When I called today they weren't worried about the additional two that are missing now but said they wanted me to come in to have the spacing checked. I've attached a picture and would love to hear if anyone else has experienced this. I'm hoping it's nothing and won't require a mid-treatment correction. :-(

Bottom teeth progress update

I wanted to post a pic of the progress so far with my bottom teeth. We're getting close!! I can't wait to see the same progress on top. It looks like there's going to be more movement up top during the last half of my treatment.
Charlottesville Orthodontist

Awesome! I've been very happy with Dr. Hamer and his office so far.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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