Failed Invisalign, now switching to traditional metal braces

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So I was originally skeptical as to if I wanted to...

So I was originally skeptical as to if I wanted to document my journey or not but I realized how much it can help others interested in Invisalign AND help keep me optimistic. I was always told "you don't need braces" or "your teeth are straight enough" but bottom line, I've wanted them my entire life. I don't like the gap I have or that two of my top teeth are really crooked. I was originally supposed to start in 2012, but I knew something was not right when my orthodontist at the time magically could not tell me a price, the steps I would need to take, or estimated procedure time until I actually started the forward three years, I finally started the process on June 16th with a new orthodontist who is a top 1% Invisalign provider. I am now on tray 9 of 24 (unlike most treatments, I change trays every week and not bi-weekly). Was there pain? YES! After the first time I slept in them, when I woke up my mouth was on fire (not literally of course!). I learned to change my trays at night and pop an Ibuprofen and normally when I wake up the next morning, I'm fine. So far the only real complication I had was with gum soreness. I learned the hard way about some trays not fitting properly and having to get them filed down a bit. It seems as if it took forever for my gum to heal. I had to file trays 3-6. Other than that my journey as been fairly smooth and painless thankfully.

I started to notice results at tray 5. My front tooth that is crooked began to be push backed and in line with the rest of my top row. Now I'm just waiting to see when it will straighten out and those spaces I dread soooo much will begin to close. I'm set to complete my treatment on December 1st....but I have a feeling there will be a refinement in my future. I will definitely post more pictures and an update when I'm halfway done (2nd week of September)

Halfway there! :)

So today I went to pick up my remaining 12 trays...YES I'M OFFICIALLY AT MY HALFWAY MARK! I'll be completely honest, my birthday was this past Sunday (Sept 6th) and I've been out of town the last 2 weeks...translation, I maybe wore my trays for 8 hours a day?!? However, my appointment went well. My doctor said I'm making good progress and now only need to wear my elastics at night, yay! I think I am going to wait a week or two before I start doing so since I've slacked off the last 2 weeks. I was beginning to get nervous about my midline not lining up correctly but when I look at tray 24, it looks nice. My next appointment is set for Dec 2nd and unfortunately we were already sort of discussing refinement which I kind of expected. Another thing I've noticed is my new trays say "passive aligner" which my first 12 trays did not. From the little research I've done apparently it is when one side is "done" and the other still needs to move. (makes sense because my right side seems nearly perfect while my left side isn't quite there yet). I also watched my clincheck video again and it looks like the results I'm dying to see won't happen until tray 18 (currently on tray 13). See you all then :)

Week 14 of 24, gaps almost closed!

So I've decided to start doing weekly comparisons since I'm only 10 weeks away from the finish line. When I get a tad more free time I am going to do one big timeline of my progress. Week 14 was the first week in a while that it really hurt when I changed to my new tray. I've still been wearing my elastics 24/7 instead of just at night. Maybe I'm just a wild sleepy but a few mornings I've woke up and my rubber bands were off, lol. Other than that no real complaints. I'm happy to be able to visually see so much progress but I'm still anxious for the end result. 75 more days (Dec 2nd)

4 1/2 months down, 1 more to go! (before refinements of course)

I can officially say I only have 1 month left (only 4 more trays to go). I want to write down the things I still don't like about my smile since my orthodontist said we will discuss this at my appointment on December 2nd. Hopefully, most of them will be corrected with my final 4 trays and I can cross them off my list :) My one stubborn crooked tooth is still crooked. It actually seems more crooked now that it was a month ago but I know sometimes they have to do that to get it to the right spot so I'm trying to remain optimistic about it. I still feel like Invisalign is worth it because it 4 1/2 short months, my smile has improved greatly and so has my dental hygiene. I'll be honest, I used to only floss maybe twice a week and now I'm flossing at least 5 times per week. I surprisingly have no cavities and so far no complications at all during the process because the occasional pain and minor bleeding from gum irritation during the first couple of weeks. I posted my clincheck video picture of what my teeth are supposed to look like at the end of my journey. Besides that, I haven't been able to get too many great pictures. I just got a new phone a couple weeks ago. I tried to do more comparison pictures but not much luck yet!

Any thought/comments on the refinement process? I have no idea what to expect as far as length of time or if I should even do it since I do have the option to switch to metal braces at no additional charge.

It's been a bloody week...

Tray 21....this week has been different to say the least. My gums have been extremely sore and bleeding several days this week. I'm not sure what's so different or why. I have 3 trays left. The right side of my mouth looks GREAT, I'm extremely happy with it....the left side, not so's still extremely crooked?!? My bite is still off and my teeth don't line up at ll (sorry, I'm a worrier, I think it's in my blood lol). I honestly haven't seen much of a difference since tray 15 and it seems like my teeth were straighter then than they are now. One tooth is definitely much more crooked. Maybe it'll straighten out in these next 3 weeks? Anyway I've uploaded pics so you guys can see exactly what I'm referring to. My provider is in the Top 1% so honestly, I did expect pretty good results with round 1 although I realize refinement is practically inevitable. Hopefully Invisalign can give me the results I'm looking for, otherwise I am strongly considering switching to traditional metal braces. When my birthday comes around next year (September) they last thing I want to worry about is braces. *fingers crossed*

Can't believe I seriously only have 2 weeks left (of my initial trays atleast)

Tray more blood this week but my gums are still a tad sore. I did more comparison pics and they made me feel a little better :) I've noticed my mid-line is much better than it was. Still a few crooked teeth and bite issues. I think I've just accepted that my "crooked side" (as I've grown to call it) is not going to magically correct itself in the next two weeks so that's something that will have to be addressed in the next go round. Regardless, I'm happy with the progress I did make in these short 5 months and don't think it was a complete fail. I'm super anxious to go to my appointment on December 2nd. I kind of wish I had more appointments though. I've seriously only had 1: my initial appointment, then at 12 weeks to pick up my other trays. Is this normal? It seems as if others see their orthodontist/dentist every 6-8 weeks. Can't wait to see how many refinement trays I'll have and how many refinements I'll have to do. Happy Holidays All!

1 tray left & coming to my senses...

I only have 1 tray left!!!! I'm excited. The last two weeks have made me come to my senses. Before getting Invisalign, I did a TON of many google posts, you name it! Not once did I see a person start off with as few trays as 24, switching weekly. Not one person had completed it in 5 1/2 months. With that being said, I realize that literally being done in 5 1/2 was a stretch and unreasonable. I'm actually excited for refinement to see how much more my smile can be improved. Just for fun, I'm guessing refinement round 1 will have about 10-14 trays. Let's see if I'm right :)

I posted comparison pics of my before smile, around halfway thru and completed initial treatment

Temporary freedom....

I'm done with phase 1!!!!! I got my attachments off (which was painless except the ones on my front tooth) and get to wear my smile for a while. We took new impressions and talked about things I wasn't happy with during my appointment. No more trays until my new ones come in on January 6th. Right now I'm still wearing my last tray at night only.

Having second thoughts....

So after waiting 5 weeks, then my appointment being pushed back another 2 weeks since my trays weren't in, I finally had my appointment today. When I found out I had 30 refinement trays, I couldn't have been more disappointed/discouraged. 7 months worth of refinement trays? I was really hoping to be done in the next 6 months or less. It's especially challenging since I'm supposed to be relocating out of town at the end of June. I'm stuck and don't know what to do!!!!! I can switch to metal braces which is what I'm leaning towards right now honestly. HELP!!!!!!!!

Not feeling the refinement process

I'm on refinement tray 4 of 27. So far I can't see any results. The first time around I could see results at week 5 but maybe it will take longer with refinement. When I look at my ClinCheck video, I cannot notices any changes until week 7 so that is probably when I'll do my next update. I still haven't adjusted to having this open bite on my left side. It definitely got worse after Invisalign round 1 than it was before I started.

I don't want to go on a rant but the last 4 weeks have been frustrating! I talked to my orthodontist about my concerns and possibly switching to metal braces. To be completely honest, I am not sure if I believe his answer. I was told metal braces would take longer and it takes at least 6 months before they can even begin to correct my bite and other issues. Basically going to metal would take over a year while sticking with Invisalign would only take 6-9 more months. I do sooooo much research and ask others thoughts/opinions. Some said dentist or orthodontist prefer Invisalign because it's minimal effort on their part, fewer appointments, and more profit for them. I'm inclined to agree to an extent seeing how I only have an appointment every 12 weeks (totaling 4 appointments so far). At the same time, I want to believe my orthodontist has my best interest in mind and wants my smile to be just as perfect as I do. What do you guys think? I guess I just don't understand how my teeth have improved so much already (although they are still far from perfect) and they are basically saying the same timeline for metal braces as they gave me before I even started Invisalign. Secondly, I know several people who had braces growing whose teeth shifted from not wearing a retainer. I've seen them get metal braces to correct their smile again and it never takes longer than 4-6 months. I'm trying to be patient but it sucks when your estimated treatment time is extended and delayed. My new estimated time of completion is by November 11th, 2016. I hope this stays accurate seeing how I originally expected to be done by the end of June.

It's still only working for once side on my mouth :(

I'm officially on refinement tray #8. I take weekly pictures on my phone just to try to see if there is movement but I do not see any :( I wonder why the process is going so terrible for me?!?! I do a lot of reading and most state results are only bad due to non-compliance. Well that's definitely not an issue for me. I wear mine for 22 hours a day (at most maybe 2 or 3 days per month I only wear them about 20 hours). I showed a friend of mine who also had Invisalign the first picture I posted. Her response was "oh yeah your teeth look better" I noticed her pointing to the top picture. I had to tell her that the top picture were my "natural" teeth, BEFORE any Invisalign then her faced completely changed. Yep, that confirmed that one side of my mouth looked better before Invisalign. Funny moment. My next appointment isn't for another month. I'm really praying I see something by then. At this point I really wish I would have gone with traditional braces. Invisalign isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Almost done with week 10 of refinements...still no sign of improvement

Switching to tray 11 in a couple days. I still don't see any improvement. I'm anxious to hear what my orthodontist says at my appointment on April 13th. I never would have thought I would actually look forward to going to the dentist, haha!

Invisalign is not worth it! Planning to switch to traditional metal braces

4 more refinement trays left. In case you were wondering, my teeth have not moved or improved at all during this entire refinement process. FRUSTRATED is not the word!!!! I plan to just switch to traditional braces at my next appointment. At least I know metal braces will move my teeth and get me results. I don't think I want to waste another 6 months on a second refinement that may or may not work.

I think Invisalign is sort of a waste. I feel like I spent wayyy too much money for minimal results. Luckily, I can switch to metal braces at no additional cost. However, I wish I would have went with metal braces from the start. After 1 year, my personal opinion is Invisalign is NOT worth it and I would not recommend it to anyone regardless if the provider is so-called an elite provider and has a tremendous amount of experience.

Ditched Invisalign...!

Sorry it's been a while since I've updated. In the last few months, I "finished" Invisalign refinement #1. The refinement set me back some :( A few of my teeth were more crooked after the refinement and the refinement left my midline off (my first trays did have my midline corrected). Also, it left me with a terrible open bite that I didn't have before. At the end of me refinement, I was 14 months into an original estimate of 12-18 months. My orthodontist felt as if I still could have finished on time but it was hard for me to believe Invisalign would get me the results I'm paying and hoping for.

I SWITCHED TO TRADITIONAL BRACES!!!!! I got clear braces and I actually like them so far. It's only been 4 days and so far they are not as painful as I thought they would be. My teeth were only sore for the first 48 hours. They didn't give me an estimate but I'm hoping to be done within 6-9 months. i still wish I would have originally just started with traditional braces. I honestly think I would have been done by now.

Still no results....

I've now had metal braces for 4 months. The left side of my mouth is still crocked and has a huge open bite. The new estimated completion date they gave me is October (so October this year will be 13 months in metal braces and 2 years and 5 months total for my braces treatment). Still no answers as to why it's taking so long or why my teeth aren't progressing. I wear my elastics as instructed. The only "answer" my orthodontist keeps giving is that it takes patience to see results. My teeth haven't improved for an entire year :( which is very disappointing. It really sucks but I think if I don't see any improvement by October I'm going to just ask to have my braces taken off and consider it a loss/lesson learned. Pics without braces are from September when I "finished" can see my teeth are still crocked on one side. Pics with braces are hard to tell but my teeth look the same. My confidence has fallen pretty low to where I don't even like to smile at all in pics or I'll take pics that only show my good side where my teeth are straighter. I cracked the camera on my phone so I can't get any really good pics :(

Tightening and new estimated completion date

So I went for my tightening this past Wednesday. They made a few tweeks on my left side so hopefully my open bite will begin to close and my teeth will start fitting together better. The dental techs tried to suggest IPR but luckily my orthodontist disagreed with them. Also, I am now expected to be done in August instead of October which was music to my ears. I am still going in every 4 weeks for adjustments. My next appointment is scheduled for 2/14/17. p.s. they convinced me to get color, so now I have lavender and I actually love it (:

Finally seeing progress!

My "crocked side" /open bite is finally closing!!! I'm so happy. & anxious to be done.
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