My Invisalign Experience - Starting 4/26/12 - San Antonio, TX

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As a child, I was unable to have my...

As a child, I was unable to have my overbite/overjet corrected mainly due to financial reasons. Now, at the ripe old age of 27 :) I have decided to stop putting it off, and finally decided to do something about it. I had gone for consultations years ago, but was told I was not a candidate for Invisalign due to my overbite being as bad as it is. But this time at both consultations I explained to the orthodontists that ultimately, I want the best result, so I was willing to wear metal (traditional) braces, if that's what it takes. The first told me that they would have to extract 2 top teeth, and use a palatal expander and traditional braces. The 2nd orthodontist told me that either traditional braces OR invisalign would give me the same result for the same price, and I would not necessarily have to have any teeth removed with either. However, traditional braces would take over 2 years while Invisalign is an 18 month plan.

Apparently, Invisalign works "quicker" because you switch the trays out every 2 weeks, while traditional braces are only adjusted every 3-4 weeks. I weighed the pros and cons, but it just made more sense to me to do the Invisalign. So, after a month of waiting impatiently for my trays to come in, I've FINALLY got my first set in!!! I got them yesterday, and I will admit that the first time taking the trays out was very uncomfortable and a little frustrating. My sister heard me grunting and whimpering in the bathroom trying to get them off, and was having a field day teasing me about it. It's not necessarily painful, I can just feel pressure on my teeth while you pull the trays off. However, it's getting easier every time and I seem to be getting better at taking the trays out.

My sister has been very good at telling me how much worse it is to wear wires (she has had traditional braces for about a year now, due to having a much larger overbite than mine) due to the irritation, wires breaking, not being able to eat certain foods AT ALL, etc. etc. BUT I have noticed a few very minor annoyances with Invisalign. (All of which I read about before I chose to do it, but I'm just saying... it DOES happen :)) One of these is that I work as a nurse, who very rarely gets to sit for a full 30 minute lunch break. Finding time to take the trays out, eat, then brush and floss before putting them back in is definitely going to be a challenge. But the way I see it, I would have to brush and floss with wire braces anyway, so this kind of "forces" me to do it. I could totally see myself getting lazy with wire braces (not brushing after each meal/snack/etc) since I could easily eat on the run. Along with that, carrying a toothbrush with me has been a pain in the butt, especially when I dropped mine on the nasty hospital floor at work the first day! Good thing we have toothbrushes for patients... hee hee :) Also, although no one can tell from looking at me that I have my trays in, (unless you get up close and personal!) but I have noticed a slight lisp, especially when pronouncing certain letters, like "S". Answering the phone at work with "SICU thiS iS Amelia" sounds funny, so I've adapted by changing my wording. Or just avoiding answering the phone. HAHA!

As far as the GOOD things about Invisalign... number one is that according to my sister, I'm not in NEARLY as much pain as she has been with the wire braces. My teeth have been a little sore from the pressure, but I don't have to worry about getting ulcers from the wire rubbing my cheek, or anything like that. Nothing a little 800mg of ibuprofen can't handle :) I grind my teeth in my sleep, and my orthodontist thinks it's a great idea to have the trays to protect me from any more damage because of that. I don't have a mouth full of metal, and I can easily take the trays out if I want to eat popcorn, jolly ranchers, you know... the "no-no's" for traditional braces. Also, I've never been much of a water drinker, but water is about the only thing you CAN drink with the trays in. So I've been forced to drink LOTS more water than usual, instead of my regular Dr. Pepper. Not to mention the "Invisalign diet" (if you haven't heard... a lot of Invisalign users lose weight because of the fact you aren't snacking as much throughout the day!). So maybe I'll be a little healthier after these 18 months. Plus, I'll have a great smile! :) Anyway, overall I'm really happy that I chose Invisalign. So far, anyway.

Today is day 2; by the end of my 18 months I'll have 36 trays and have to have attachments on a few teeth, plus I'm going to need elastics at some point. I'm attaching pictures only because I was VERY hesitant about Invisalign correcting an overbite AND overjet of this magnitude, plus a couple of crooked teeth and crossbites here and there. So maybe this will help some of you in similar situations. I must mention though that I think the ONLY reason I felt confident with Invisalign vs traditional braces is that my orthodontist is trustworthy (and is also treating my sister... has been for about a year now) and is an Elite provider of Invisalign (in the top 1% of North American providers). I'll be sure and post updates here and there, and I'm more than happy to answer any questions as my treatment progresses!

Ok, so I've had my trays for about a week and a...

Ok, so I've had my trays for about a week and a half... and so far, so good!!! I've only had one person ask if I had a retainer, so they aren't very noticeable! I haven't had any pain since the very first time I took the trays out, but I know when I have to switch to a new set on Thursday I may need some ibuprofen :) There are a few things I didn't think about before starting Invisalign, like... going on a first date and having to worry about brushing, etc. I didn't realize how awkward it would be brushing my teeth in a public restroom, but my date and I laughed about it and he mentioned maybe sticking a water bottle in my purse and brushing in the stall. haha! That, or I bought some Wisps... they're new mini-brushes by Colgate that don't require water. Or I could always not wear my trays for a few hours... but I really want to stick with wearing them for 20-22 hours a day. Also, I've noticed a film on the trays sometimes, so I did some research and found a product called Retainer Brite. They're tablets that you soak the trays in for 15 minutes or so, but you can only order them online, so I've got some coming in the next day or so. It seems like that would be a lot easier than brushing the trays... at work I can pop them out, soak them, eat my lunch and brush my teeth, and I'm good to go :) Hopefully. Anyway, I've got an appointment next Wed. to have "buttons" placed which are supposed to help certain teeth rotate, so... I'll post how that goes!
San Antonio Orthodontist

Dr Luecke and staff are SUPER friendly and are very helpful! Only reason I didn't give all 5 stars is because I've only been going there about 2 months, but so far, so good!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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