I'm 24 and have always been self-conscious about...
I'm 24 and have always been self-conscious about my baring my teeth. I have never had braces as a child, and hearing from my family dentist that I would need to extract at least four teeth in order to get braces had effectively scared me away from them. Two years ago (after getting out of college), I finally took the chance and went to see a dentist certified in using braces like Invisalign as treatment for correcting teeth. I had gone in wanting ceramic braces, but after getting pictures and molds done, I was seen to be a good candidate for Invisalign despite my severe overcrowding and overbite. The best part was that I did not have to pull any of my teeth out! (Just barely made the cut for that, by the way). I did have to get a ton of IPR done, mainly toward the front of my mouth. I had 32 aligners for both the top and the bottom, 14 attachments, and elastics at one point.
Fast forward to my 28th tray a year and a month later, the aligners were starting to not fit securely onto my teeth the way they used to. It was clear that my teeth were starting to stray from the computer's predictions (something I noticed around my 24th tray, and believe that it was because I started becoming forgetful about keeping them on for at least 21 hrs/day). By the 28th tray, he decided to go in for refinements mid-treatment. My first set of refinements were 21 aligners. I got more IPR done with the same amount of attachments as before, but no more elastics. At the end, he noticed that the teeth right beside my top front tooth was having trouble rotating along with some other imperfections, so he suggested a second set of refinements.
I am now on my 8th tray out of my 14 trays for the second set of refinements. I have been using Invisaligns for a little more than two years now, and my teeth are not yet perfect or "finished," but looking at how they were when I began this process, I can safely say that it has been absolutely worth it. I only hope that after this set of refinements are over, I will be where I want to as far as "perfection" goes. It has been a long journey and I am ready to get this process finished! I will continue to update, and only wish I had started my review when I first began my journey.
After two and a half years of having buttons attached to all of my front teeth, I am finally clear of them since last weekend. My retainers are going to be shipped in another two weeks, and I will have to continue wearing them for 14 hours a day for the next few years before I can begin dialing down on the hours.
It is a small price to pay for trying to attain "perfect" teeth. Even though my -incredibly stubborn- upper left and right lateral teeth remain skewed towards the center, it is a marked improvement from where I began. The only solution would be to remove teeth in order to create room for more rotation, but I weighed the pros/cons of doing that and felt the end result would not be worth all the extra time and effort that will go into this option.
Overall, I am very satisfied with the results from Invisalign--I actually feel comfortable laughing with my teeth exposed or showing a toothy smile now. I have started using Crest's professional effects whitestrips to give my new smile more oomph as well.