I agree with other posters that the communication...
I agree with other posters that the communication with this company is spotty.
I have found that their website continually updates your account to show which step they are on. This makes up for their inconsistent communication.
I will include my extremely detailed timeline here to help calm the nerves of other folks waiting for updates and shipping etc. I know I was cross checking other posters' timelines to estimate my own. I hope this helps.
- Oct 12 - Completed online assessment and received approval the same day
Oct 16 (Sunday) - Ordered the impression kit evaluation and gave them my photos the same day
Same day: Received order confirmation and “Treatment Consent and History” form - signed it the same day
Confirmation email they received the pictures
- Oct 17 (Afternoon) - got email my photos were approved
Evening - Received email that my kit was being shipped
-Oct 18 (Tues) - No tracking email yet
-Oct 26 (Wed)- Contact them via website for tracking info. Someone emails me back around 4pm looking up the tracking and says it was dropped off at 1pm. I go home and it’s there! I do my impressions that night.
The tops looked good, but I’m afraid my bottom teeth scraped against the mold while pushing my teeth in. On one of the trials you CAN see my gum line, so I’m hoping for the best. See my pics and captions.
From reading the booklet they stress that they NEED to see your gum line to form the aligners. So I would suggest to everyone to try to push excess putty down into your gum line while waiting the 2 minutes, as well as pushing the teeth in as far as possible. When I felt my front teeth hit the tray I stopped. The blank tray you can see that there are tiny grooves at the bottom to prevent you from biting the WHOLE way down which would reveal blue tray.. If that make sense
-Oct 27- Dropped the impressions at a USPS mailbox, watching tracking closely…
-Oct 29 (sat)- tracking says the impressions were delivered saturday afternoon
-Oct 30 (sun)- receive email about how they haven’t received my impressions yet… weird. Hopefully I get an update soon
-Oct 31 (Mon)- Receive email that they have my impressions “Nice impressions (with clapping emoji)”. Email states to wait 3-5 days for them to look over the impressions. Does this mean they were approved?
-Nov 1- Someone called me to change my CC info as requested. They left a text message they’d call back tomorrow because I didn’t answer. Because of the election I have been screening my calls..
Nov 2: I looked online at my account and it said this:
“Success! We've received your materials, and they look great. Next, we'll start making models of your teeth.”
So I am assuming they were approved? First try! YAY!
- Nov 3 - Website account now says: “Our lab technicians are hard at work reviewing your data and creating 3D models of your teeth.”
So from other reviewers it sounds like I should get a treatment plan within a week or so?
**Note, no approval email and no one has followed up with my CC yet. I was going to wait until I have my treatment plan to call and change my CC and apply coupon all at the same time
- Nov 3 (Evening) - Receive email that they are beginning my treatment plan and it should be available for view in 7 to 10 business days. The emails notes I can contact them to preauthorize payment. I will probably do this. I could have my aligners by Christmas! I’m very excited.
Now the website says “Our lab technicians and orthodontists on staff are working together to create a customized plan that will be sure to make you smile.”
Overall the website seems to be the most accurate way to figure out progress. Changed two times in a day or so.
-Nov 7- Status on website has not changed yet. I called them to change by credit card since I could not do it via live chat. The rep said they would charge my CC the moment my treatment plan was created. They would start making them right away so I could have my aligners by Nov 27th! I forgot to ask about the coupon. So I sent them an email that night via their website to ask if I could apply a $150 or $100 coupon to my account I found on retailmenot.
I will continue to update this post. I hope to get my plan soon!
Exactly 7 business days after last SDC email
I check the website everyday.
Nov 14 - On website 9am or so: “You're all set! No action is needed from you at this time. So sit back, relax, and put a smile on your face.”
Noon: “Great news! Your treatment plan has been approved and your smile is ready to ship directly to your door. All you have to do is buy it.” - Now there is a “View Treatment Plan” link and pay button where I can input my order and coupon. (So what’s the deal with preauthorization?)
I looked at my treatment plan, its a pdf with only 8 pictures of before and afters. I was hoping for a more detailed plan. They do not look the same as other posters. My treatment will be 6 months.
Okay, I went back onto the website at 1pm because I was still unsure about the purchase. And now the Pay for aligners link is gone?! Idk what’s going on.
Checked my CC, and it looks like they already charged my credit card, that’s why the link disappeared. But it was for the full $1500 amount. I sent a live message to a rep named Gus. And he gave me a refund for $100 on my CC. Easy enough. So I suggest do not do the pre-authorization so you can easily apply the coupon in the future.
Now that the pay link is gone the website says again "You're all set! No action is needed from you at this time. So sit back, relax, and put a smile on your face."
Also, still no email yet.. Here are my before and after pics. I'm very excited to fix my bottom teeth!
Received my first month of aligners super early
Nov 20 - They are 3d printing my teeth models email
Nov 23 - Email that my aligners are on their way?! Wow that was quick. It includes a tracking number. I guess because I pre-authorized it they were expedited?
Nov 25 - Shipping took two days! And one of those days was Thanksgiving! I can't believe how fast I received my aligners. It took about a month plus a week to go from my initial pictures to having the aligners in my hands. I think because I preauthorized payment with my impression kit everything was set on a faster track. There was a slip of paper with the impression kit that I filled out to preauthorize payment.
So my treatment goes like this.. they send aligners in one month (3 sets of aligners) increments. You are told to wear the first set for one week, the second set for one week, then the third set for two weeks. The instructions say to wear them for at least 17 hours a day.
The first pair fit well. The top seems to be more snug than the bottom. I quick tried on my second week pair, and it seems like they get more snug as the treatment goes along. I was worried because my current bottom pair has a bit of space between the aligner and my actual teeth. I guess this is this way to have my teeth become accustomed to aligners. I hope they next pairs with "engage" with my teeth better. I feel absolutely no pain at all with this first pair. I will update soon.
Thanks for reading!
No problems so far
I am halfway through my third tray. This tray feels much tighter than my first tray which is good! I feel like the teeth are engaging with the aligner.. if that makes sense..
I was initially worried that my next set of aligners would not come since I didn't hear from SDC at all. Then I got an email from them that my aligners were on their way on Wednesday the 14th with tracking. I recieved trays 4 through 6 today, Saturday just in time for holiday traveling. I still have a week to go until I switch to tray 4. I peaked at tray 6 and I see some major movement of my out place tooth which is exciting!
So I paid for my treatment in full and still get my trays in installments raher than all at once. I don't think they send out full tray sets for full payers anymore. I understand why they do this to ensure patients don't rush the treatment plan.
You may notice the 14 sticker on the pic I've included here. It looks like this is SDCs way of keeping track of when (like December 14) to ship aligners to keep patients on track.
I wonder if anyone has been able to actually receive all their aligners at once?
Anyway, I'm excited about these next trays because I haven't notice any real changes to my crowding with tray 3. So hopefully these next sets will do the trick!
Thanks for reading everyone!
5th tray - What I've learned
So I have just switched to my 5th tray (of 18). I’ve included a picture of my bottom teeth, where the most work is going. I don’t notice much of a difference yet. I will include a list of things that I have learned during my first month of treatment. I hope this helps you all!
1. My treatment begins by pushing all my teeth forward. This sorta exaggerates the crookedness. They do this to make more room for the straightening process. But I am confident things will straighten out (haha) because my teeth fit perfectly into each successive aligner.
2. Coffee does not stain my trays, but I drink it with a straw. I drink a lot of coffee all day. This is a habit I simply cannot give up.
3. I do not brush my teeth after EVERY meal.. I don’t have time for that. I just make sure when I am in the comforts of my own home I clean them really well. So that means in the morning, after work and right before bed. Sometimes I clean up after lunch at work, but not always.
4. If I go a few hours without wearing my aligner and pop them back in, I can definitely feel the teeth had moved. Wear your aligners as often as possible people!! I average 20+ hours a day.
5. During my first tray, I noticed a little lisp, but my friends did not at all. (Maybe they were being nice??) I believe talking with my trays in is definitely harder to do, like a bit more strained. If I know I have to talk during a meeting or something, I will take them out.
6. When I have my aligners in I tend to clench tight or bit really hard when I’m not doing anything. It’s hard to explain. I’ve read that other posters have experienced the same thing. I hope this will not lead to TMJ
7. I actually don’t enjoy having my aligners out. My bite is slightly different and my teeth will squeak when I bite down hard. It’s sorta uncomfortable because I am not accustomed to the position of my teeth, since they are constantly moving. Having the aligners in kind of masks this feeling.
8. When putting in a new aligner, I do so at night before bed so I can have them in uninterrupted for as long as possible. Usually, the aligner doesn’t sit perfect at the molars, like it feels like you can’t close your mouth the whole way. Then by morning the molars sit perfectly. I will feel a bit of discomfort for the first day or two, then it goes away. I probably feel the most “pain” when I take my aligners out and eat those first few days because the teeth are moving and are sore. Compared to the pain from braces, this is absolutely nothing.
9. After wearing a tray for about a week a biofilm builds up on the aligners that brushing with a toothbrush and paste does not get out. Invest in some cheap denture cleaning tabs to clean these off.
10. I get mailed aligners in sets of 3, where I wear them for one week, then one week, then 2 weeks. The thickness of the plastic material changes as the month goes on. I read that the company uses this thickness changing technique to speed up the treatment process safely! Impressive!
11. At the beginning of my treatment I was afraid that the aligners were too big for my teeth. I noticed there was a bit of space between the teeth and tray.. Like I could see spit accumulate in the space. But now that I am 5 trays in, I noticed that the plastic is now perfectly molded around my teeth, no extra space! I bet they slowly adjust the size to acclimate your teeth to the aligners which basically replaces the need for those starter trays (they used to send these out, but not anymore). I am quite impressed with their treatment technique, if you can’t tell already.
12. I use MI paste, which is a remineralization paste that supposedly heals little cavities. Without a tray the paste basically washes away after a few minutes, but now I rub the paste on my teeth at night then put the tray over it to extend the amount of time the product is against my teeth until morning. I have x-rays from before treatment, so in a few months I’ll get new x-rays, which I will post here if there is proof I’ve healed my cavities. (They’re not really cavities. The doctor said it’s erosion of enamel which is common in 18-30 year olds. I’ll show you all later in my x-rays) MI paste also helps alleviate my teeth sensitivity, which has definitely improved since using my paste/tray method.
13. The “Glo-pop” teeth whitening system has made my teeth a bit sensitive, even though they’re advertised as sensitive-free, not as bad as Crest whitestrips I’ve used in the past (The pain from Crest was UNBEARABLE, Glo-pop is not at all like that).. So I use the glo-pop stuff once in awhile to minimize sensitivity, so I haven’t notice a difference in my teeth whiteness...
I hope this helps!
Tray 9 and tray 13 (out of 18)
Hello all! I'm about to finish my 5th month of 6 soon, so I'd like to share with you some updates with my progress.
I think the photo evidence I have provided here tells it all! Look at the progress between month 3 and 5!! I can't believe it! I was kinda disappointed with the lack of visible progress in my first 3 months (9 trays), but once month 4 hit I began to see a lot of improvement! I just put in my last tray for month 5 (very tight), and I think my bottom teeth are near perfect. I would be happy if I stopped here even. But I do have one more month to go.
I will include some of my notes here to help anyone who is reading:
1. Get a small pair of scissors to cut excess plastic that is rubbing against your gums or lips. Once I feel slight irritation the first full day I wear a tray, I start cutting! This prevents the irritation from turning into a full blown wound. I find little safety scissors perfect for the tight angles of the tray. Some months the trays are well trimmed, others aren't.
2. A few days into a new tray, my teeth with feel "loose." This really freaks me out. I can literally wiggle them with my fingers. I googled it and apparently it is normal. Once you have worn the tray for a few days, your teeth with stiffen into its new position. Wear your trays as long as possible everyday or your teeth won't stay in the new position!
3. I've read some places (Invisalign forums) that some orthos "OK'ed" any clear liquid to drink with trays in.. but I also read that any sugary drinks can get trapped under trays and basically sit next to your teeth! This could potentially damage your enamel, so be weary of drinking juices, sodas etc with your trays in. I know in my previous post I said I drank coffee with the trays in, but I have now stopped because of this reason.
4. I never received my month 4 package.. So I chatted with SDC reps online and from the tracking (which I never received an email for.. after month 2 they stopped sending me "your trays on on the way -tracking" email) we deduced that the package was misdelivered or stolen (who even took them, I hope you're happy). They happily sent me a new set and even expedited it because they had to be reprinted. After the chat, a rep called me to confirm everything. I didn't have to pay extra or anything, but my treatment was delayed a week and a half.
5. With the reprinting of month 4.. I feel like they may have done it wrong? I'm not sure how to explain this but they just didn't fit as snug as previous months.. like I could very easily lift my trays in and out with my tongue for all 3 sets of trays. I did feel my teeth move, and clearly they moved in the right direction, they just weren't as snug. Maybe this was a deliberate part of the treatment? I'm not sure.
6. Now that I'm on month 5, the trays are back to their regular snugness.
7. My trays fit, except at my canines... I'm not sure if these teeth are moving at all. I could do an overlay at the end of my treatment to see for sure, but honestly I don't really care. My bottom teeth are the only ones I really want to straighten.
8. A tiny space has formed between my front two (top) teeth because the treatment indicates my whole bite has expanded. I don't like this.. food gets stuck in there and sometimes when I rub my tongue against those teeth, one of my taste buds will get stuck between the gap. The gap is REALLY small, not enough to see, but I can feel it.