From the Beginning - Palm Desert, CA

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Everything has been very smooth from the initial...

Everything has been very smooth from the initial visit, impressions, viewing my video, and getting my first trays. The second set of trays was also very smooth. I had a few questions after the first trays that my dentist answered to my satisfaction. I had looked for answers on the invisalign site and when some of the answers confused me, Dr. Tom cleared everything up.

From The Beginning

I am just finishing up the second set of trays. Again, everything has been good. The hardest part for me is dealing with the routine of cleaning the trays and brushing my teeth when I am either eating out or traveling. I have become pretty proficient in teeth cleaning in my car, as I HATE using a public bathroom to brush my teeth!

My second set of trays kind of twisted in the back when I put them on, but I figured out a technique that kept them from twisting. I would have gone back to the dentist, but I was traveling, so I knew I had to get them in correctly; it just took a bit of time.

The positive part is I have lost about one pound a week, as I can no longer graze. Along with the weight loss, I have kicked the diet coke habit also. Not bad for almost 64 to be able to make these changes!!!!!

Going Back to Day 1

Guess I should probably tell everyone what day 1 was like for me. Not only did I get 10 (maybe 11) attachments.....I have a very small double one on one tooth if that is possible, but I also had what I think is called IPA where they shave down the teeth to allow movement. So after all of that, the dentist popped the first set of trays in. I loved his sense of humor when he said his rule was everyone must take each tray out three times before they could leave the office. Actually, I think it was a great rule. It was a lot easier to pop the trays out in the office than at home the first time....but as anyone with can tell you, once you develop a system, it isn't too difficult to get the trays out. Practice does help....don't know if anyone is perfect at this! We just all cope!!!!!!

And yes, that attachment drove me nuts for about 4 days. The positive things about that is that I can't stand to have the trays out because of the attachments, so getting my 22 hours a day in not a problem. I think I am most likely wearing the trays 23 or more hours a day.

I will have trays for 9-10 months, so with set #3, I figure I have 8-9 left months if all goes according to plan.

My teeth have been sensitive and a bit sore, but only when I try to eat. So, I am slowing down and chewing carefully, as I can feel that my back teeth have already shifted.

So many positive things have happened since the first trays went end, especially breaking a 40-50 year old habit of drinking diet soda. I also look for very nutritional foods, instead of reaching for those sweet treats. So not only will I have a nice set of teeth, but I should be healthier!!!!!!!

As Dr. Tom told me, I am taking some wonderful steps for a healthier second half of my life....I wonder if he really thinks I will live to be over 120!!!!!

Set #3

This set was very uneventful. They weren't even as tight as the 2nd try. I did have to have the dentist shave one spot that pinched my upper gums, but other than that..... no problem. I can look at my first set of trays and compare them to the 3rd set and see a difference in movement with the back teeth. I also notice more space between my upper front teeth, which I assume will close up in later trays.

I will try and post pictures soon.

Set #4

Again, this set of trays has been uneventful. I can feel that my back teeth are starting to line up much better. So far this process has been very smooth and uneventful. I hope things stay this way. I do find eating meat is a bit of a challenge, unless it is soft as the back teeth are often sensitive and a bit sore.

I think my biggest issue is that I keep breaking the fingernail of the finger I use to remove the trays. I have learned how to use another finger, so all is well.

When I had braces as a teenager, I had much more pain than I experience now. The most positive part of this invisalign experience is that I have lost 8 pounds to date!

My Photo

The over crowding, especially on the bottom, shows well. As does how my molars have moved so my bite is way off. One side has already been corrected, now for the other side!!!!!

Set # 5

Once again, a very uneventful set of trays. I had a bit of sensitivity, but noticed other people used sensitive toothpaste and that seemed to take care of the problems quickly. This site so helpful when you have questions and issued. Especially when it is going to be two weeks before one sees the dentist. Actually four weeks this time, because my dentist's office is updating its computer system when it is time for my next appointment. He gave me the next set of trays to put in, which I was happy about. I don't think I would want to wear a set much more than two weeks.

It was fun looking at my first set of trays and comparing them to tray 5, what a difference. I can tell from the pressure on my lower bottom teeth that they are going to start to move....YEAH!!!

Tray 6

Once again, another uneventful tray. I am noticing that my teeth are so much easier to floss. I have a teeth cleaning appointment next week and it was will interesting to see whether the better oral care makes for a shorter cleaning!

It seemed a bit strange to have the trays myself this time instead of going to the dentist for the trays. I like the fact the dentist checks everything each time. From reviewing this forum, I guess many people get a few set of trays and do it themselves!

The most positive aspect, is the invisalign diet is working. I am now down 10 pounds without trying to loose weight! But I certainly think about what and when I am eating a lot more now than ever before.

Tray 7

Just like the other trays, this one has been smooth sailing. I did get my teeth cleaned right before Tray 7 went in. Because of the better oral health, I had a lot less scraping (tartar) ! I did have one brown spot next to an attachment but that was easily buffed off. I am hoping that in the next few trays that the crowding in the bottom teeth will start to move. The top looks pretty good, not perfect, but better. 7 down 13 to go! Looking forward to the half way point!!!!!

Tray 8

Finally! Starting to see some improvement in the crowding on the bottom! With this tray I have experienced some tenderness/soreness in my upper molars. Not much but enough to know something is moving up there! Guess this is when people start getting excited. I know I am!!!!!

My top front teeth are now hitting my bottom front teeth, so eating is slower as I can't stand to hit my teeth when eating! All very normal according to Dr. Tom. My top front look pretty good and when I compare tray 8 to tray 1, I can really see a difference. I always thought it was just my bottom teeth that were in need of straightening. Guess the trays don't lie do they?

Try 9

Wow! Almost half way done!!!! I am so thankful my dentist checks each tray with me. This tray had a weird point on the top tray. He was able to buff the point off. After he buffed the point off he said he should have taken a picture of the bump to send to invisalign. Because I usually see my dentist every two weeks, when I read that others are given multiple sets of trays, it makes me really appreciate the fact that my dentist checks everything out so carefully.

I continue to see improvement in the bottom teeth which makes me excited! Things have gone so smoothly for me so far.

I was given tray 10, which is my halfway point as I won't be able to get into the dentist in two weeks.

Tray 10 and a cool little device

Yippee.....tray 10, if all goes well I am half finished!!!!!!! Or is half full!!!!! This set of trays actually felt loose when I put them in. Tray 9 still felt a bit tight the entire two weeks, so it felt weird that the trays went in so easily. Usually I have trouble getting the bottom trays in the first 3 days and this set has just popped right in.

Also, I use an electric toothbrush. And I carry a manual toothbrush for those times I am away from home. Recently I found an amazing small Sonic electric travel toothbrush, at the container store. It was about $15.00. The best thing about the toothbrush, is it is small enough to clean the trays! My trays have never looked so good. no more ichy plaque/gunk build up Most of the time I just use water or mouthwash on my trays. And with this smaller toothbrush, it fits easily inside the trays.

Niffy Little Toothbrush

Here is a picture of my regular electric toothbrush and my new little Sonic travel brush. The brand is call Sonic Slim and runs around $15.00. I checked the internet and one can purchase them in a number of places.

Half Way Photo

I go in for tray 11 tomorrow but thought I would update on the half way point. All continues to go smoothly. I am eager for even more movement on the bottom teeth. Flossing is so much easier so I know there is movement!

Everything New Again

Guess I got my first surprise, as when I went to get tray 11 yesterday, instead I got molds and impressions taken. Looks like my dentist wants to make sure everything is on target. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed that I wasn't given tray 11, but was told my case has two different sets, instead of one set of 20 trays.

Wow...what a difference when I saw the molds. Even though I didn't think the bottom teeth had moved that much, it was shocking to see how they actually looked compared to the first set of molds. I also do better with regular impressions than the kind of clay molds.

The good news is that I will probably only have one or two more trays on the top. It will be interesting too see how many trays I will have on the bottom. The dentist is guessing 9 or 10. Just wish I didn't have to wait about 10 days to get the new trays! I am so excited to get through the process!!!! He might have told me that impressions would be taken at the half way point, but if he did, I obviously wasn't listening. He did tell me there might be a bit more IPR. It sure feels strange to be in these trays longer than normal!!!!!

Tray 11 Finally

After 5 long weeks in tray 10, I finally got tray 11. Sure makes one appreciate new trays every two weeks. Again, not much pressure and a minimumaal amount of soreness on two molars. I am so excited to see progress with the over crowding on the bottom. As I only saw the dental assistant this time (my new trays came in on a day when the dentist was not in the office), I still don't know if I will need additional IRP for the second set of trays. I will ask to take pictures of the molds when I go in for my next appointment, as when I saw those I was amazed at the changes!!!!

Tray 12

Much to my surprise and pleasure I am finished with the top trays. Guess I will wear tray 11 on the top until I finish my treatment. I am not thrilled to have to wear the same tray for another 4 months, but will cope. The dental assistant told me that she would put them in the sonic cleaner at each visit if I wanted help keeping the top tray clean. I will look at that option the next time I go in for a new set of trays. Guess there is a strong advantage to going in every two weeks to get new trays!!!!!

Tray 12 on the bottom has another one of those weird curves that makes it difficult to get in and down on the back. Usually the issue is on the right side and this time the issue is with the left side. Hopefully that means the molars will start moving in!!!!!

Again, another uneventful set of trays.

Tray 13

After battling with the 12th bottom tray for two weeks, it was wonderful to just pop the new tray in and have no issues. This tray is extremely tight and my back teeth are a bit sore....but the end is near and I don't mind a bit of pain.

Talked to my dentist about passive trays and he says he prefers to keep the attachments on and just use the older tray. His theory is that if anything goes wrong, we wouldn't have to put attachments on again and that way it keeps the people at invisalign happy! I can't complain as I have had excellent care from my dentist.

We also chatted about dentist versus ortho....his theory is if the case is complicated the orthodontist should take the case. My case is pretty much straight forward with the only issue being over crowding.

I am so thrilled with the results, and especially with his care for my treatment, I would highly recommend him to anyone in the Coachella Valley who is thinking about invisalign!


Tray 14

Same old story....again Tray 14 has been uneventful. I am eager to be finished and can see improvements with each new tray now. Finally my bite is better. My front teeth have been hitting each other making chewing challenging.....but things are getting better and the back teeth are almost touching again. It is getting exciting to think I only have about 10 weeks a perfect invisalign world of course!


Well that picture didn't load well....will try again!!!!

Tray 15

I feel the end is near! I just had a dental cleaning and wow!!!! What a difference the better oral health made for my cleaning. Usually the cleaning takes almost an hour and this time it was over in about 30 minutes. I had a few stains around the attachments, but that was easily removed. Since I only drink water with the trays in, I am always a bit surprised by the stains on the attachments. But from what I have read on this site, I guess that is not unusual.

I look forward to talking with my dentist to address the small black spot, between my two front upper teeth. Since I have no more trays on the top, I was hoping the spot would go away, but it hasn't. Sure would like to address that before I finish the bottom. I would hate to have to do a set of refinement trays just for the top!

Tray 16 and 17

Time just got away from me and I didn't update. Things have continued to be so smooth. I can't believe that I am about to finish tray 17. Tray 17 definitely moved things in the back as I have had a bit of soreness, especially when I remove the bottom tray. I am getting so excited as I begin to think about finishing my invisalign journey!

Tray 18 and 19 and the final #20

Oh vacation time....and no time to update. But with the last two trays, I just haven't seen much change. This concerned me so I spoke with Dr. Tom and he agreed. So he has done IPR with trays 19 and 20. So with tray 20, I am seeing some movement, but my bottom teeth are not where I feel they should be. I know they are moving because the bottom teeth are very sore. I see the dentist in two weeks and if I am not happy or he has not seen any movement, he is going to put a dimple????? in the tray. Never heard of that and I didn't ask. If that doesn't work, then it looks like impressions again....yuck....and refinements, not necessarily a bad thing. My teeth look better, but they don't look anything the model or chin check. Will try and get a photo on soon.


Well...dimples have been put in tray 20 in hopes of moving two teeth. I think one of the two teeth that have not moved into the trays is moving, the other is not moving. Don't know what this means at this point. Maybe more dimples or impressions and revision? Either work for me. Photo to come soon.

Dimple update

Well...small changes so far. Guess my next appointment will be impressions and revisions unless something else can be done!

another angle

More IPR and Dimples

With today's appointment I had one tooth reshaped and some additional IPR, along with more dimples added to the bottom tray. We will try this for another two weeks. I know there was a lot more pressure on the stubborn tooth when the tray was put back in. Time will tell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


What a change and so quickly!!!!! That one bottom tooth has moved right into position. It is a bit tender and sore, but I am so pleased!!!!! Guess it just needed some more room to move.

Almost There!

For the past few weeks, each time I have had an appointment, Dr. Tom has done something different. Looks like the dimples, IPR, and tooth reshaping is working. He is going to take molds next week and we will talk about anything else I might want done. I am so close to finishing and very pleased with where I am now! Just a bit more to go!!!!!!


Well...molds, impressions, bite checks.....all point to revisions. My teeth look great but my front teeth are hitting a bit making it sometimes challenging to chew. So, on Monday, I will review the chin check with my dentist and if we are happy, I will have a few more trays. Not sure of the numbers, but it really doesn't matter to me. This has been a smooth journey for me and I am very happy that my dentist wants to make some minor changes. He said if I was happy we could stop here, but he really wanted to correct my bite before I went into the retainers.


Where has the time gone? I am now finished with refinements, which consisted of 6 trays. Today I see the dentist and we will decide if this is the end and retainers are ordered.

Unfortunately, about a month ago, I woke up with a swollen make a long story short, I ended up losing a back molar to a cracked tooth ( cracked all the way to almost the bottom of the root and it had a small cyst attached to the bottom of the crack). It was weird, as I had no pain, just a fat face. So I am currently in the process of getting an implant. Of course, I was devastated! To go through this was a total surprise to both me and the dentist. I couldn't have asked for better care through this process....both the invasilign and now the implant process. Guess I won't complain about my one and only crown now.

Final Picture

I am very pleased with the results


After waiting 6 months for my implant process to finish, I was finally fitted with my Invisalign retainers!!!! This process of straightening my teeth was so worth it. I am thrilled with my results. Had I not lost a tooth during my Invisalign journey, my process would have been much faster, but the wait was so worth it!!!!!
As far as whether one should choose a dentist or an orthodontist, I couldn't have been happier with my choice of using my dentist. Dr. Tom was the best choice for me!!!!! I really appreciated the fact that I saw him every two weeks so he could check my progress. He told me early on that if my case would have been complicated, he would have sent me to an orthodontist.
Sherman Oaks Dentist

I just love this dentist. I recently switched from another dentist in the same office after a negative experience with a crown. Dr. Tom is the best, not only is he a skilled dentist, but a very good listener! I never feel rushed at my appointments and he values my time by not making me wait.

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