My Twopenny's Worth of Experience - London, UK

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I am a 42 year old female with a slight overbite...

I am a 42 year old female with a slight overbite and crowded, over-protruding canines/premolars on the top and bottom right.

The "problem" teeth never bothered me, and were in fact described by the ortho as "somewhat charming". However, I had to have clinical ortho done on the right side of the mouth, so decided to use the opportunity to straighten the whole lot (for fear that what looked "charming" on a young woman will turn me into wicked witch as a get older). A vanity project, in other words.

Being a vanity project, the options were only between Invisalign and Incognito. After a full year's deliberation over whether to do it at all, I then told the ortho to go for whatever option he thought would give the best results. I extensively researched both the procedures and the providers, and trusted the ortho not to make a decision based on his financial reward.

The ortho explained all the pros and cons of both treatments, and went for Incognito. He made me fully aware of the drawbacks: the temporary lisp, the tong discomfort, possible mouth ulcers, not being able to eat apples or similar for two years etc. A word of warning here: your perception of how bad all these things are and whether you are prepared to put up with them have very little correlation what you will actually feel once the braces are in. First, the adverse effects are highly individual and virtually impossible to predict in advance. Secondly, what appears OK as an abstract concept may not be OK in reality. Example: I thought having a lisp for a while would be a bit of a laugh. Now I realise that work will require me to conduct some extremely serious negotiations a week after having the top braces fitted, and suddenly the lisp is a bit of a problem, rather than a bit of a laugh...

Now the review of the actual experience so far. A week ago exactly I had braces fitted on the bottom incisors, canines and first premolars only. This is the first stage of the fitting, to get me used to the sensation, the rest will be fitted two weeks after the first stage.

Day 1: A tiny lisp present on "s's" only; the nurse was surprised as bottom braces rarely cause any lisp. Have a warning that "unwanted teeth movements" will happen during the treatment, and no to worry about them. Given wax to put over the braces to avoid tongue irritation. Reaction by the end of the day: "what's the big deal, I am going to phone the ortho and have the rest of the braces fitted straight away".
Days 2-3: Ah! The front teeth feel like I have been hit in the face with a baseball bat. Still, because of no braces on the molars, can eat almost normally. In fact, am taken for lunch to a fancy Italian restaurant and manage to enjoy all three courses thoroughly. Day 4-5: Teeth stopped hurting. Eating remains an interesting proposition and a logistical challenge because of the braces, the wax, the compulsion to clean teeth/braces after every meal, but I would not call it a problem. Becoming a bit pensive about having to live with this fuss for two years (also acutely aware that it will get worse once the rest of the braces are in place). The upside: I will probably get slimmer as snacking between meals is too bothersome, and I need to lose a dress size for a bash on September 16, so looking at the bright side!
Days 6-7: Getting a hang of applying wax to minimise both discomfort and interference with eating/speech. No longer have to repeat "St Michael's Street" three times when getting into a taxi home, so assume the list is gone completely.

Look forward to having the rest of the braces put in place in a week's time, to be continued...
Stephen Hopson

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 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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