Elation and Anxiety About Invisalign - Dickinson, TX

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Getting Invisalign was a very emotional experience...

Getting Invisalign was a very emotional experience for me. I had deep seeded burdens of remembering aunts and grandmothers before me who never had the financial blessing of being able to fix their teeth. Some couldn't even afford dentures and I remember watching them gum their food and I felt a sense of sadness for them. I thought about how many impoverished people I meet every single day that suffer with infected, missing, or unsightly teeth. It had always been a subject that made my heart feel sad.

I can remember having okay teeth, but always feeling a spark of hope that one day I could have beautiful teeth like those who can afford cosmetic dentistry. I would always see those Hollywood smiles and think... "One day I hope I am blessed enough to accomplish having a smile people would say was beautiful.

Luckily I always had naturally white teeth. They were only slightly bunched or crowded in front, but otherwise straight. People would often say they were nice or pretty teeth. But then I suffered 4 yrs of GI problems and reflux and vomiting and this caused erosion of my esophagus, irritated mouth and gums. My teeth became loose and started to shift, and some back teeth broke when I tried to chew my food. So I started noticing more and more misalignment.

I could not afford braces or Invisalign at first. I had to try to do a little at a time to first get my medical problems and minor tooth problems fixed, then worry about the cosmetic issues.

At first all I could do was quick fixes such as buying one veneer to put on top of a crooked bottom tooth to make it look aligned to the front even though it was pushed behind all others. The veneer looked nice, and gave an immediate illusion of straighter teeth, but felt very fat because it was my original tooth covered by a fat veneer. Then there were approx 2 other side teeth that also moved but it wasn't as noticeable so I just left them alone. I had approx 4 back teeth that had dental work that became so brittle they broke off and the old dentistry had failed to save them.

My top teeth were not terrible. Some people said they were pretty. I always hated that they slightly bunched over the two neighboring teeth. Maybe no one else noticed but I did. The front teeth also looked fat to me. I always wanted them to be slimmer and longer in front.

I had just graduated from College course as a EKG Cardiac Telemetry ICU Tech, and worked at the Bank and with my new income there was no doubt that the most important thing I wanted was to fix, save and cosmetically improve my teeth. I thanked God in my prayers that I would not have to be like my impoverish ancestors and loose all my teeth and feel embarrassed for life. I went to a recommend dentist and started my dental work.

Both of my employment situations require heavy public relations and I have to talk with Physicians and the public daily and so I wanted to straighten my teeth but didn't want to feel awkward like people in metal braces, etc.

I saw Invisalign brochures that show only the absolutely clear trays over the teeth and got excited and thought wow this is great.

I admit that I did not even ask questions, or research any thing else about it. I just went to my new dentist and paid for the procedure and said I wanted it done immediately. I remember him telling me how long it would take...not long since my alignment was not too bad. I was excited.

I only briefly remember him saying something about cementing an aligner to my teeth. Since I never research what this means I just assumed he meant something like some hidden bracket somewhere on the back of my teeth or on my back teeth and I didn't even ask him further questions. After all the Invisalign Brochure showed a pic that was beautiful and clear and that was my projected idea of what I would get.

My Invisalign trays came in and I remember being so elated that this day had finally came! The dentist explained that he'd have to shave some teeth to allow them to move, and put on the bracket "buttons" and I could feel them shrinking or curing the trays all around my mouth but I could not see what they were doing.

When my dentist hand me the mirror, my face went from elation to shock. There were all these composite aligner buttons all over my teeth, in the most visible places like front teeth and side teeth. It looked like food on my teeth, barnacles or weird calcium deposits. I was shaking my head and pouting about how terrible this looked and how I never imagined this. So then I questioned why these the brochure would show completely clear trays but now I had all these unexpected "buttons" bonded all over my teeth. Then he explained that each of the buttons were strategically placed there to move my teeth and without them I could not move my teeth. I felt anxious and worried that now I would have to go back to work and face the public and feel extremely self conscious.

I had no one to blame but me. I did not research this. I did not ask questions about the aligners the dentist told me about. I learned a real life lesson. Research everything fully or you might get surprises you don't anticipate! OMG. I just felt so let down.

I thought, at least when people see metal or clear braces they do know what they are. They may even know what clear Invisalign trays are...but the majority of people do not know what the button aligners are and will probably loose their lunch looking and wondering what is on people's teeth.

I thought...why the hell don't they use Clear aligner composite. I felt let down.

My sister is a R.N. and told me that a nurse at work has Invisalign and every single person at work was afraid to ask her what the bumps all over her teeth were. They all thought she had horrific calcium deposits all over her teeth and didn't want to hurt her feelings or ask what it was.

I was thinking "Oh that's just great...now people are going to see me and think I have s--- or food on my teeth, barnacles or calcium deposits. I am not going to smile, or get one single date the entire year I have to wear Invisalign because I am going to feel terribly self-conscious.

This was all entirely my fault for not researching the whole procedure.

I had the idea when I looked at the Invisalign brochure that it was just like the photo of a clear device and if I had a special occasion like a date or business meeting at work and had a presentation I could temporarily remove the clear device and my teeth would be normal like before Invisalign. Later after the occasion I could put the device back in. You can not do that. If you remove the device then you have all the visible aligner "buttons" all over your teeth and it's terrible looking. So you must wear the trays at all times and at least it gives so hint that you are under dental care. Live and learn.

So then I just had to accept that I got the device. I didn't research it and now I had to carry on wearing this all year. If I ask my dentist to change the aligner color to match my teeth I am not even certain that will make a difference. I'd have to pay extra. And I can't see changing them unless he can find absolutely clear composite. Nothing else would be really worth changing.

So I had to ground myself and think how lucky I am to even get Invisalign when most impoverish people can't even consider affording it. I am lucky and I will feel uneasy the entire time I have to wear it but I will hope time goes by fast and it will be worth the embarrassment of wearing all those unsightly aligner buttons.

I also started to feel anxiety about how my other cosmetic dental plans would incorporate into this plan. I removed one veneer on my bottom teeth to push my natural misaligned tooth forward with Invisalign. I extracted old problematic back teeth, so that I could get permanent dental implants put there. I felt confused whether to get the dental implants before or after the Invisalign. I talked this over with my Dentist and told him that I felt like I needed to align all my existing teeth first with Invisalign and when they move to their permanent place then I'd feel safe putting dental implants in, but not before. I was scared if I put dental implants in now before Invisalign moves the teeth that my alignment could be hindered and the teeth and implants might now match up. So my dentist filled in the Invisalign tray where missing teeth were with composite. This gives the illusion that all my teeth are there until I get the dental implant put in (after Invisalign.)

I wanted my front teeth to not be sitting over my other side teeth. I want the Invisalign to move them back, inside the alignment of other existing teeth. Right now they appear too fat to me. I do not know if this is because they are bunch in front of the other teeth or if they are too fat? I l-o-v-e pictures of front teeth that a thinner and slightly longer in front. I am assuming that after Invisalign moves my teeth. I can ask my dentist to add bonding to lengthen the 2 front teeth to give me this look. Hopefully I didn't have to do this before the Invisalign.

I feel both privileged and anxious.

My advice, don't just look at brochures and pictures. Get online and research patients experiences. Know what you are asking for.

I noticed too many type-o's. Sorry my cats...

I noticed too many type-o's. Sorry my cats were all over my desk. You might have to read it a couple of times. I can't find a edit button on this site.

Did I mention that the Invisalign trays become...

Did I mention that the Invisalign trays become saliva (spit) trays. All day long your spit pools in these trays, and you feel like you have to suck on your tooth trays several times per day to empty them...it sort of disgusting.

You will need to carry your toothbrush and brush or rinse your mouth out often because the spit under these trays breeds bacteria that causes the trays to have an odor. You must remove the trays and rinse or brush them too. I've been rinsing & brushing about 5-6 times per day.

My second set of trays was so sharp around the edges of the plastic, I felt like I had paper-cuts all over my tongue. I tried to file the edges with my fingernail file cause a trip back to the dentist is too far.

It is too early for me to tell you if Invisalign...

It is too early for me to tell you if Invisalign will make my teeth align perfectly. I am just starting my 4th tray. (You have to change trays about every two weeks.) I did not really see hardly any movement the 1st or 2nd trays and I felt as though they were really sort of training trays before they give you the tighter ones. The 3rd tray was the one where I definately felt soreness in all my teeth because it was tighter. I didn't see very much difference. The 4th tray was even tighter and within a few days I noticed slight movement of my front teeth being actually pushed back, and my one bottom tooth that a veneer was removed from started to move forward, and I felt like I was finally seeing small changes.

After you read my link above, I want to add this advice. Wear your trays! I take mine out only for 1-2 minutes to brush my teeth and then put them right back in. When I thought about spending $6,400 for these little plastic trays...I thought I better make certain I wear it because that's a lot of money to waste. The number one reason for Invisalign not working is patients not wearing the trays 24/7. I remove them to eat, and eat quickly, brush my teeth and put it right back in.

I'm still not happy about the button aligners, but it's too late to change things so I'm wearing the buttons and clear trays at least till the end of the year.

Here's some advice:

Don't just take your trays home in the little provided baggies. Take them out of the baggie, feel for razor sharp edges! My first two trays were not buffed, and I suffered with paper-like cuts all over my tongue and lost a few taste buds! You can ask you Dentist to buff any rough edges.

If the dentist fills in composite in places were teeth were pulled or missing, sometimes the composite put into your Invisalign tray can be too much and you will not be able to close your teeth correctly. So if you feel this bowing effect you must go back to the dentist and ask them to smooth it by removing excess composite and then try on the tray before you leave to make certain it fits. I had to do this twice already. The dentist may give you 2 sets to last a month, and only one of those will fit, till your teeth move...so you may find by the next set that the composite filling in your Invisalign tray is too overfilled and needs adjusting. Ask the dentist and he'll correct this.

When I saw the new "Snap on Smile" I thought it is very similar to Invisalign, and thought Invisalign should offer Clear and White trays too. Then people wearing Invisalign would look like they had perfectly whitened teeth while correcting their teeth. Thank me later for this idea:)))

Plan on brushing your teeth more than 3 times per day, and also brushing your trays. I brush both about 6 times per day. The reason for this is because these trays literally become spit trenches and bacteria forms in there and the trays develop an odor.

I truly am not certain if Invisalign is any better than standard braces? I was at a party this week and saw woman wearing braces and they looked clean and neat. I thought at least people do know what those are on people's teeth. A lot of people look at the Invisalign "button" aligners on my teeth and I can see it on their face that they are thinking "What the heck is stuck on her teeth?" The buttons ruin the idea of Invisalign being Invisible and Invisalign needs to develop a clear aligner composite. This was my only true complaint.

For the tiny inconveniences above, I am still very thankful to be able to afford this treatment of my teeth.

I dream of a Hollywood smile. I need dental implants in the spaces where my dentist removed teeth. I had the hunch that I should get Invisalign first and let my teeth move and then after they align, get the implants. Several Dentist on realself confirmed this.

After Invisalign, if my teeth are not perfectly aligned my dentist can then bond them, or tweek them.

I might go as far as some super white veneers but my dentist says I don't need them. I had also seen a lot of friends with crooked teeth go for the option of shaving existing teeth and doing cosmetic straightening, some looked great, but some looked badly placed or really really fake. I have nice healthy front teeth that were only slightly misaligned. I know I could have chosen the quick cosmetic fix of bonding or veneers, but I choose to save my healthy teeth and try to align them with Invisalign even if it will take 12-18 months. (I'm hoping for 12 months.)

Teeth were so important to me because I had seen generations of my family before me suffer with bad teeth. It was my promise to myself that if I ever got a better salary the first thing I'd do is fix my teeth. (Before this year I never had the money to really fix them. Then I graduated from a College class and got a really good medical job with benefits and felt emotionally triumphant about actually doing it. So yes, I complained about the button aligners but that's a small inconvenience for my vision of beautiful teeth.

I suppose that if Invisalign does not completely straighten my teeth I can then tweek them by shaving and bonding them.

I am posting 2 pictures to update you to let you...

I am posting 2 pictures to update you to let you see how my teeth have moved. I am only on my 9th tray. Here are the results. I still hope they move a lot more, and I still have more trays to continue. Thanks for viewing my journey.


I JUST WANTED TO ADD A HELPFUL HINT. I ORDER DR. GEORGE'S DENTAL WHITE FROM THE INTERNET. IT'S ONLY ABOUT $20 S&H INCLUDED. IT COME IN A 5.2OZ BOTTLE. IT'S 10% PEROXIDE THAT IS THICK AND HAS A PLEASANT MINT FLAVOR. I SQUEEZE A TINY AMOUNT IN MY INVISALIGN TRAYS ABOUT ONCE A WEEK AND WHITEN MY TEETH WHILE WEARING INVISALIGN. PEOPLE ALWAYS ASK HOW I GOT MY TEETH SO WHITE. I did Zoom Whiten them once last year, but found Dr. George's Dental White just as effective as the stuff bought at the dental office. No, this is not made by my dentist...even if the name is the same. Google it, it works. It come with trays, but I just use my Invisalign ones:)

Look at my 9th tray pictures, that's about 3...

Look at my 9th tray pictures, that's about 3 1/2 months of wearing Invisalign. You can definately see changes, especially of my one bottom tooth that was behind all others. I still want a lot more movement and change. I have to have my teeth cleaned again because now that the teeth have shifted the hidden tarter areas are now showing at the gumline. I do feel happy seeing these small changes.

I am on my 12th upper tray for my upper teeth and...

I am on my 12th upper tray for my upper teeth and it is suppose to be the final upper tray according to Invisalign's calculation. Invisalign said I needed 15 for the lower teeth.

I am glad I have the option of refinement trays because my top teeth are no where near my expectation. Just as some of the other pts who replied on my page reported, my two front teeth still look a little overjet, they did not move all the way back and evenly into the space between the other teeth. I expect them to move back! I still have 2 weeks to wear the last upper tray and maybe something miraculous will happen but probably not. I don't see my dentist for another 2 wks. Now I am wondering what patients mean by "One set" of refinement trays. Do they mean one additional tray or a few? Because...I think I'll still need a few on the top. I'm going to be miserable if the two top teeth don't pop into alignment. That was my main issue, not liking the bunched up front teeth. Yes, they are absolutely much more aligned especially the bottom teeth, but listen Invisalign....I expect my front teeth to be pushed back. Again, I need to know what the phrase means "One set of refinement trays." I absolutely need them. No picture yet...I'll wait till the end of the 12th upper in two weeks and post the pic before I insist on the refinement set.

And don't get me wrong they are better, much better and have moved, but Invisalign needs to perfect moving the front teeth, and especially pushing them back.

When I am finish I am going to ask a dentist to bond and shape them like the newspaper clipping picture below of my favorite tooth shape.

Read and look at current photo. I am ordering...

Read and look at current photo. I am ordering refinement trays right now. Current progress below. Read last comment about not being perfect.

I am still wearing my Invisalign trays far longer...

I am still wearing my Invisalign trays far longer than I wanted to wear them (About 1-1/2 yrs) because they have not corrected the overjet of my front upper teeth. My front teeth still slightly sit on the top of the two side ones. This has been the most difficult task ever. I want my front teeth aligned inside of the two side teeth. (I am going ot post some update photos, but the photos dont really show you the overlap. In person you can see it.) Maybe I am a perfectionist, but for $6,000 I expect them to come out straight. If my last set of 3 trays doesn't do it then I have to go see a real orthodontist to see if he can correct this. I did ask on my recent visit if the dentist could shave the bell shape of my teeth on each side and maybe this could help get them aligned properly. This was my whole reason for getting invisalign. All other teeth have moved great, except the front ones! I am now ready in the next month or two to get 4 permanent tooth implants where some teeth were removed, but it's frustrating because I wanted all teeth aligned first, before I get the permanent implants. I know I could get them now, but my better judgement says wait until your other teeth align - because they can not move the implants. I don't want gaps.

10/12 was my final result of my Invisalign Braces....

10/12 was my final result of my Invisalign Braces. Although my teeth look great in photos, in person you could still see an over-jet of my front teeth. The main reason that I got invisalign was to get rid of the problem of my front teeth overlapping the two side teeth. I guess you could blame it on the bell shape of my teeth, but then we shaved them on each side and they remained still overlapping. And the bottom lower ones weren't perfectly straight as I will show you in photos. I had refined 3-4 sets. 1-1/2 yrs had gone by at at this point I was ready to give up on Invisalign and not waste any more time. I asked my dentist to remove the aligners and I did not want the final aligner trays because I had it set in my mind to go get real braces from a real licensed Orthodontist. I paid all of the $6,500 from my pocket in full and at that time did not have dental insurance, so no dental insurance covered this. For some patients this outcome would be okay. For me, it was not. I think for $6,500 my teeth should truly be aligned. So I googled many Orthodontist, and watch out because most dentist advertise Orthodontics but when you ask them upfront, are you licensed as an Orthodontist they say "Well no, but we do Orthodontics..." I hung up and preceded to asked everyone of the Orthodontic Offices about their credentials. I had heard really really good things about Space Center Orthodontics, in Clear Lake. Of course there are a few disgruntled reviews but for the most part good ones. I also knew some patients. I had heard it was mainly for children, and I am not a big fan of children, so this was going to be an adventure. I will write a review with total honesty about them, but end this Invisalign Braces review with the last photos taken. In my opinion Invisalign did move my teeth, but had a lot of difficulty moving the front ones.

The new Waterpic Ultra Flosser is the best thing I...

The new Waterpic Ultra Flosser is the best thing I ever bought. It's like a shower massage for the teeth. Every time the water runs out, I am like "Wait...I am not done yet!" I did not get this until after Invisalign and got it when I got Ceramic Braces. You never have to floss again the old way if you use the new Waterpic Flosser.

I wanted to say I love Dr. George Johnson. He...

I wanted to say I love Dr. George Johnson. He really tried to straighten my teeth but in the end of Invisalign it seemed like all the refinements in the world would not move certain teeth. Read my review "Ceramic Braces to finish the job Invisalign didn't" Thank you for all of your comments. I hope it helped.
League City Dentist

My dentist is a great one. He and his staff are great people. They are very attentive. They have helped me with any problem I've had. I've never felt pain after dental work. He has very reasonable rates. All of my fellow hospital colleges recommended him. I can not say enough good things about this dentist. It is not his fault that I did not research Invisalign. The only issue that annoys me about Invisalign is the aligner buttons, otherwise everything else is tolerable. Now I just need to follow my plan. I need to constantly remind myself how lucky I am to afford this...and hopefully how well it will turn out. I may Pout, then laugh at myself.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 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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