Invisalign in London - Harpenden, Herts

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So I've been reading this blog for a while, and...

So I've been reading this blog for a while, and realised most of the reviews are US based, so I decided to offer a British experience. I am 25, work for the Government (where I talk to a lot of people, and so wasnt in a situation where metal braces were feasible. Plus, I'm exceptionally vain). I never had braces as a kid, although I had other forms of dental work to widen my mouth or something that really didnt work. As I've got older my teeth seem to have shifted and I would rather get my teeth sorted out sooner rather than later!

I first enquired about Invisalign in the summer, and the first appointment I could get was in October. There, I had my moulds taken and xrays etc done. I thought I had fairly minor gaps to close up, but after talking to the orthodontist it turns out I still have an exceptionally big overbite, my top and bottom teeth are slightly out of kilter with each other, as well as the gaps. This also meant that I will need elastic bands, which I'm not over keen on.

After that I learnt a valuable lesson. I made the mistake of explaining where I work, and asking whether the bands had to be worn all the time, because I couldn't really go be talking to politicians and have bands pinging out on the table. He agreed, explaining that the longer I wore them the better, but it was less crucial than the actual braces. Then he proceeded to stick another mold in my mouth and lecture me on how stupid the Government was while all I could do is wimper. Moral of the story: don't tell anyone with any power over your mouth where you work.

All my impressions were sent off, and I was summoned back for some more in November, which was pretty irritating. I was worried it would hold up the progress, but my braces turned up on time in December. The appointment to get them was done in 5 minutes, he put them in, took them out, I repeated. Contrary to other people's experience, I've found it really easy to get them in and out. I don't have to wear bands for a few months, and I don't have any buttons until January. And off I toddled back to London.

To begin with, they didnt really hurt, but the taste of plastic was pretty grim. Over the course of the afternoon it started to get worse, and I found my first problem. My office runs on its stomach. Food is a reward and punishment, and barely an afternoon goes past without there being some form of cake. The first afternoon of my braces, I was presented with my first dilemma: a mince pie (God I love mince pies, first one of the year) and lots of brushing, or stay strong.

I caved. I am weak.

I managed the rest of the day with plenty of distractions, and managed to sleep ok. Having read lots of the blogs on here, I should have been prepared for all the 'side effects'. I had read numerous times about being really thirsty, sore lips etc. Did I prepare? No. I got caught on the tube with no water and genuinely thought I would mug someone for something to drink. I should have listened! The second day was where the fun started. The pain was a lot worse in the morning, and I had a two hour meeting over lunchtime, where because of the 22 hours a day thing, I couldnt eat. That was pretty frustrating. I also learnt after the meeting that trying to remove Invisalign while wearing lipstick makes you look like a vampire. I wear a lot of lipstick, so this upsets me.

I also learnt that afternoon that I can't bite my nails or the end of my pen, which is probably good for both my fingers and my stationery budget. The pressure got a lot worse towards the end of the afternoon as well. Its not so much excrutiating pain, but more a horrific itch on that bit of your back that you can't reach and it drives you crazy. For hours. The tempation to just rip the damn things out of my mouth was pretty horrific.

I'm now on day 3, and the pain is a lot less than yesterday. However, again I ignored what everyone else said, and have clearly been running my tongue along the sharp edges. Like everyone else said, its in shreds. This does prove that I am more of an idiot than I previously thought. My biggest challenge is approaching in about 10 minutes. My Friday morning meeting involves cake, and it gets passed around for a full 30 minutes. I'm already getting upset at the thought.

I will update this over the course of the 8 months of my treatment, and try and post some photos up next time. The cost I've approximated in dollars, it was about £3,500. Happy to answer any questions or comments if people have them, especially from the UK!

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