After a few years of working hard to get my teeth...
After a few years of working hard to get my teeth and gums healthy again in order to get braces, I was informed that I was a candidate for Invisalign! Finally I'd reached that goal and began my Invisalign journey. The next goal? A great smile!
I did a HUGE amount of research and reading other's reviews, watching videos, etc before I began, but I knew this would be the best choice for me.
I have 18 sets of trays total and have just started my second set. I also have 18 attachments. I will admit it took a good few days to begin to settle into this new way of life but all the changes have definitely been for the good. Besides the benefits of ending up with a beautiful smile and healthy mouth I find that not being able to snack between meals, drinking a LOT more water everyday and limiting my coffee intake to one cup a day at breakfast have all been positive changes.
I don't even mind all the brushing, flossing etc. that goes with the territory. It's kinda fun!
I have seen and felt changes to my teeth already. Nothing major of course. These things take time, but I look forward to the final results knowing that all this work will be worth it!
52 and very excited!
Tonight I started tray 3 of 18. Living with Invisalign has become easier with every passing day. I have noticed too that my teeth have gotten whiter partly from all the brushing and flossing but also because I have cut down so much on my coffee and cola intake.
On tray 4 and seeing changes!
16 Oct 2015
2 months post
On October 13th I saw my dentist for an Invisalign check and to pick up trays 4 through 7. Dr. Vasantha was very pleased with my progress and I won't have to go back until December 8th when I will have some IPR done and to pick up more trays.
I compared the first set of trays with set 4 that night when I got home and was really pleased to see a visible change in the alignment of the teeth.
Yesterday for the first time I was able to see a visible difference in my actual teeth and it's incredible gratifying to see the results of my efforts.
Tray 5! Visible improvement!
29 Oct 2015
2 months post
Tuesday night was "new tray night" and I looked forward to it all day long. (Who am I kidding? I look forward to new tray night for 14 days! ????) I am now almost one third of the way through my treatment (not including possible refinements).
It's great putting in new trays. I love the tightness you get with a new set. So far I have been very fortunate when it comes to pain. There is some tenderness for the first 3 or 4 days after putting in new trays but that's all so far. It is interesting that with each new set comes different challenges in removing them which makes sense since the teeth being targeted for movement changes with each new set of trays.
I had a cleaning that same day and my dentist told me that everything looks fine. He is pleased with my progress and so am I. The hygienist seemed pleased too. This cleaning was easier than past ones. My guess is that the strict tooth care regimen required by Invisalign makes a hygienists's job a bit easier.
I compared my first trays with the newest ones before putting them in Tuesday night and was so very happy to see a visible difference between them. Progress!
I will be going back on December 8th for IPR and more trays. At that point I will be almost halfway done. Woo hoo!
Bye bye tray 5.... Howdy tray 6!
13 Nov 2015
3 months post
On the tenth I started tray 6 of 18 and the improvement in my teeth is very visible now. It's really exciting!
I have also noticed that even wearing the aligners I can now completely close my mouth at night when I am sleeping. Before starting Invisalign my snaggletooth in the front prevented me from being able to close my mouth while sleeping and I was always aware of that tooth. It drove me nuts! Now it has moved so much that it no longer interferes. Even when my mouth was closed the tooth pushed my upper lip out and was very visible. That problem is also now gone. I am so happy I could cry!
Comparing the first set of trays to the present set shows big changes. 12 weeks makes a big difference.
I think back now on those first few days dealing with the nausea, discomfort, difficulties removing the trays and wondering " how will I live like this for the next nine months?" and am so very grateful that I persevered and for the advice I read online from previous Invisalign patients who went through the same things encouraging others to stick with it. IT IS WORTH IT!
(for the photos of the trays on this update I filled them with tissue to make them more visible)
October 8th - First IPR session and a very aggressive set of new trays....
10 Dec 2015
4 months post
On Tuesday the 8th I went in for my first IPR session and to get trays 8 through 12.
My Clincheck had indicated IPR between uppers 5 through 12 and between 26 through 29 on the bottom ( if I am reading a tooth chart correctly)
The IPR itself was not too bad considering it was my first experience with sandpaper between my teeth. Fortunately when he fired up the drill it was only for a very short time and was not too bad.
I was then given tray 8 to insert right then before going back to work.
This new set is the most aggressive so far. They are really working two specific areas hard this round....top front teeth and right front quarter and lower front. This is the most pain I have experienced so far and although I was a little surprised at the intensity it was still not even close to unbearable. I think that part of the reason for the more intense discomfort is that because of the appointment and the timing we had to start the new set in the morning and therefore unable to do it when recommended at night before bed.
In any case, as usual there is some tenderness for the first few days but a little more intense than with past trays. Lots of soft foods for now.
The results are worth the discomfort. My front snaggletooth is almost straight now.
After so many years with it such crooked teeth, I find it hard to believe that I now am really starting to love my smile. I am beyond thrilled and very grateful.
I will post updated pictures soon.
Tray 16 out of 18 and really pleased!
31 Mar 2016
7 months post
I have not posted in quite a while. The New Year has been a bit crazy between work and being sick several times, but now finally I have a chance to catch up.
In January I had my second IPR treatment (the lower teeth) and that was much faster and less painful than the first treatment on the upper teeth I had when I started tray eight.
Tuesday the 29th of March I started tray 16 out of 18 and I can't be more pleased with how everything has gone. I am no longer afraid to smile. It's now difficult to remember what they felt or looked like like before beginning the Invisalign process. My teeth are now almost perfectly aligned. I can run my tongue along the backs and feel the smoothness of (almost) straight teeth. I can't wait to do that on the fronts without the attachments! :-)
At this point in time it's hard to believe that after so much work and so much effort I have only two trays to go after the present set of trays unless I go into refinements.
In about six weeks I should be done with the initial treatment. It seems like yesterday that I started this and it seems when I started the process it felt like it would take forever even though it was only going to take nine months. The first few days were very difficult adjusting to the trays. It was so hard to remove the trays and eat with the pointy attachments. I even felt nauseous on the first full day I had my trays in but that all passed very quickly.
Dr. Sreemali is thrilled with how my treatment has progressed. I have what I hope will be my last appointment on May 10th. We will see how things are lined up at that time and if all is well I should be done. Recently I have had an issue with one lower front tooth striking the back of an upper front tooth but that problem should be fixed by the end. I have already noticed a slight improvement with that problem since I started tray 16 the other night.
A few years ago I could not imagine being able to fulfill my dream of braces and straight teeth. Now it's almost a reality. It's truly amazing. For all of you out there who are considering Invisalign, it's worth the work. Don't think there isn't a good amount of effort and discipline involved because there is, but as I wrote it really is worth the hard work. If you are interested I have some advice for you....
1) Follow the instructions you are given by Invisalign. I have read a lot of reviews from people who don't follow the directions properly and wonder why they did not get the results they expected. They leave the trays out longer than they should, drink alcohol, beer, etc. with them in, don't always brush and floss, etc. Stick it out and follow the rules to the letter. You will get better results faster and reduce the possibility of extending your treatment into a refinement phase. You will find a way to make it work for you within the parameters Invisalign gives you.
That's it. Just follow the instructions. That is my advice. Can't put it any simpler than that.
I will update again soon!