Update: on tray set #34

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Got my first trays today, and it went much better...

Got my first trays today, and it went much better than I expected, based on comments I had read here and other places. Trays went on easily and pop off just fine (though I have long fingers and some decent nails!). They just felt tight, and after about 7 hours were aching like I remember feeling as a child when a molar was fighting it's way out. Then the aching subsided. It actually feels weird to take them off, like my teeth are suddenly fragile.

Lisped a tiny bit on my S's for about 2 hours then it was all gone. No more lisping! My kids didn't even notice until they remembered that I was supposed to get my trays today, and asked to see them. They are very smooth, smoother than my actual teeth so my tongue does just fine with them, no sore areas. The only thing I'm noticing is that I'm producing LOTS of saliva, which is making me feel just a tad ill at times after swallowing so much of it. I assume this will subside as my body/mouth adjusts to the trays.

About my treatment: I have 44 trays for both top and bottom, although we may stop as early as 36. My ortho plans over-correction into treatment just to make sure that things progress far enough. We are correcting many things (90% overbite, crowding, prominent canines, mis-alignment on right side and in front, plus most of my teeth lean inward), hence the large number of trays. My ortho is a preferred premier provider which I believe means he's done over 1000 cases. I made him show me clinchecks of other severe patients and they look great. They have never had to put braces on a single person after invisalign treatment so I feel like I'm in good hands.

I'll have 10 "attachments" total, starting with trays 4. Two on top, each side, and three on bottom, each side, but none on the front four teeth, top or bottom. Plus my first three trays, at least, have "ridges" on the top front four teeth and one of the bottom teeth. Ridges are like little horizontal lines/indentations, which make the very edge of the tray flare out just a tad. I haven't seen much mention of ridges on this site. The ortho originally thought I'd have to have rubber bands at some point, but there are none on my clincheck video so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I had assumed that the first set of trays didn't do much except get you used to wearing them, but they are definitely doing something! When I take them off there are definitely some teeth that are sore, so something is already being moved, however slightly.

Time for bed, hopefully the night will go smoothly. Will probably slobber way more than I'd like to :-)

Will load "before" photos in the next day or two.

Forgot to add that I am a 38 year old female. I...

Forgot to add that I am a 38 year old female. I decided to give myself straight teeth for my 40th bday in a year and a half!

October 5, 2011 Second set of trays...ouch!...

October 5, 2011
Second set of trays...ouch! These ones are definitely doing something to my top two front teeth! I'm keeping the trays in as much as possible since my teeth are so sensitive when I take them out. All four top and four bottom front teeth now have "Power Ridges" on the trays which were annoying the first day but now I'm used to them. They make the tip of the tray flare out a little bit on those 8 teeth, which scrape against my lips just a little.

Does anyone else have "power ridges" (horizontal indentations that are closer to the root/edge of the tray)? I will have to ask my ortho about them at next visit. From what I gather from the little I've found online, they can be used in some cases in place of attachments, and are only used on the four front teeth, top and bottom. Correct me if I'm wrong.

In my 3rd week I'm finally starting to be able to go 6-7 hours at a time without eating. As a lifelong grazer, this is quite a feat! However it leaves me with little energy for running :-(

Have my Clincheck videos to share! Am posting the...

Have my Clincheck videos to share! Am posting the full view, and the right side, which are the most dramatic (also have top, bottom, and left side videos).

Got 10 buttons on my teeth earlier this week (Week 4). They are actually not that visible when my trays are off, moreso with the trays on, I think. They do not rub my cheeks, just feels like I have food stuck to my teeth when I am eating and the first day I was afraid I would bite one off accidentally. The trays are not hard to get on or off.

Also found out that I apparently will not need elastics. Amazing!

On tray set 7. Don't see anything happening which...

On tray set 7. Don't see anything happening which is frustrating, but my bite is definitely off and my teeth are hitting each other in new places so something must be moving. I will have 34 trays on bottom and 36-42 trays on top so still have time to see something happen! Trays are tight the first day, then after that they pop off and on easily. Makes it tempting to move to the next tray earlier than two weeks, but I will be good and follow the directions :-)

Am currently on tray set #34, top and bottom. My...

Am currently on tray set #34, top and bottom. My original treatment is 36 trays top and bottom, with 6 more for overcorrection. The current plan is to do new molds after #36, for a revision that should put the finishing touches on my teeth, I'm guessing another 6 months or so. It's been a long journey, and apparently will be even longer! However, I'm very happy with the results so far and it has definitely improved my self confidence. I love smiling in photos now! The photo I am attaching shows me smiling at a friend's wedding in November 2012 at about tray set #31, showing all my teeth, something I never used to do! If you were to blow it up and look closely you can see some of the attachements on some of the side teeth, but you have to really be looking for them.

My son got metal braces this past summer so it has been interesting to compare. They were pretty much the exact same price. I think mine are definitely easier to keep clean but he doesn't have to really think about his (which is why he has the metal ones, that he can't lose!). As a 40 year old woman I would be very self conscious with the metal ones but he blends right in at school as a 12 year old!

Over three years and counting

So I'm on my 4th full set of Invisalign. The first 3 sets were 40ish sets of trays EACH, top and bottom. This 4th set is only 20 trays because I said that's all the more I'm willing to , and then I'm pulling the plug. I currently have 24 attachments and also wear rubber bands on both sides.

My son began traditional braces a year after I started Invisalign, and was done with them 6 months ago, and his teeth are absolutely perfect. I know he is young and his teeth hadn't been crooked for 40 years but it makes my Invisalign experience a little frustrating!

Invisalign has been great at straightening teeth (accomplished in the very first set). It is not as good at fixing alignment and bite, which is what the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sets of trays have been trying to accomplish. I have never missed a day in 3.5 years, never forgotten them, wear them as directed. Even my orthodontist, who is a "Premier" provider of Invisalign doesn't know what else to do at this point. So I'm calling it and they're as good as they'll get. Which is way better than they were at the beginning but certainly not perfect.

So if you have any issues other than pure straightening, ask yourself if "pretty good" is good enough for you? Downside is that they are less effective at solving certain issues. Upside is it's nice to be able to take them off to brush and floss. My job requires lots of teaching and talking and meetings and it has been nice to pop them off if I want to.
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