Invisalign for a 27 Year Old Who Never Wore Her Retainer As a 14 Year Old, Tale As Old As Time... - Regina, SK

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I first had traditional metal braces taken off...

I first had traditional metal braces taken off when I was 14, after about 2 years of treatment. I don't know that I had a perfect Hollywood smile at the time, but I still loved my smile. Of course, after giving up on my retainer after probably only a few months - likely due to not caring for it properly and finding it gross, and seeing it as an inconvenience - slowly but surely, my teeth shifted to their current "janky" state, for lack of a better word. (You better believe I'll be getting a lingual retainer on at least my bottom teeth this time around, an option that wasn't available to me then!) Although I'm not self conscious enough to avoid smiling or anything, I've come to really dislike having photos taken, and after contemplating Invisalign for several years I've found myself in a financial position where I can afford to shell out $3900 after insurance. Overall my teeth aren't horrible, certainly not as bad as they were before I got braces the first time around, but my left lateral incisor in particular REALLY bothers me as it's quite receded. No time like the present.

I made my first consultation appointment in early July, and about a week after that was brought in to take molds. Another week (I think) after that, I came in to review my ClinCheck, and another two weeks after that I was back in the dentist's chair to receive IPR in 8 places, have 12 attachments put on, and get my first three sets of trays. In my initial consultation and when the molds were taken, my dentist estimated that my case would take at least a year to a year and a half, so I was THRILLED when my ClinCheck showed only 18 trays which means by mid-April my treatment should be over. I'm cautiously optimistic though, because reading online it looks like almost everyone opts for refinement trays. I'm not expecting absolute perfection, but I guess we'll see how I feel about continuing treatment once I get to the end of my initial trays. I'm curious about decreasing my time in each tray to 10 days - that would take a few months at least off my treatment, which I would obviously love. When I asked my dentist about shorter time in each tray, he seemed pretty adamant about 14 days, but he's a (relatively) new Invisalign provider with about 20 cases so far so maybe he's doing things a little more by the book. I guess I'll survive.

Overall the attachment/IPR process was not horrible, although for about a week my top right gums were quite tender where the dentist had to take .5 mm (I believe the max) from a couple of teeth. How bizarre does it feel to floss with absolutely no resistance, just going straight to the gums? Ugh. It's already starting to feel better/less weird now and although it was quite disconcerting to have that huge-seeming gap, I know over time it's going to close up. What I was REALLY encouraged about with my ClinCheck was that it looks like by tray 5 I should begin to see some pretty significant movement of my major problem tooth. 8 weeks to go til then!

As I write this on August 27th, I'm 12 days into my first tray and will be switching into my second on Monday the 29th. I wouldn't say the trays feel loose, but they're definitely not as tight or uncomfortable as the first few days and I definitely don't recoil when I snap them off or on anymore! I didn't ever have the major pain that some experience, where I was needing heavy painkillers or anything, but I definitely found the first few days quite uncomfortable and I had a little bit of regret about starting the whole process. I was very self conscious about my speech (the lisp is minimal now, ha) and the way they looked; I still feel like they push my lips out in a highly unflattering way, and I personally feel like they're quite visible with the attachments. I'm finding the floss/brush routine after every (okay, almost every) meal a minor inconvenience at best - honestly, I was pretty relaxed about flossing before, so I'm starting to have a newfound pride/pleasure in keeping my teeth so clean all the time. It could be my imagination but I feel like my teeth are slightly whiter since starting to brush them 2348098 times a day. I haven't lost or gained any weight, but I do snack less, especially in the afternoons at work - it's now clear to me that my afternoon snacking was always out of boredom! I have been consistent about keeping the trays in for at least 20 hours a day, but I think striving for ~22 hours is going to be a losing battle for me; I hope this doesn't impact my progress too much. The trays are looking pretty clear/clean to me still and they don't stink - sometimes in the morning and always at suppertime I'll soak the trays in a mixture of lukewarm water/Crest whitening mouthwash/a retainer cleaning fizzy tablet and will usually brush them afterwards with a baby toothbrush. The first few days I was just rinsing them out with cold water every time I took them out, but this mixture is working for me.

RATING AFTER TRAY 1: A minor inconvenience, but overall not a huge impact on my life so far!
Dr. Dennis Dodds

Dr. Dodds and the dental hygenists have been great so far. Though he is a dentist and not an orthodontist, he has "installed" (?) traditional braces many times on simple orthodontic cases until he moved onto Invisalign. He has treated about 20 Invisalign patients so far. In my small city of 200,000 there are few Invisalign providers.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 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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