Having already booked and cancelled invisalign...
Having already booked and cancelled invisalign three times in the past 9 months I am over the moon to have finally made that decision, thanks to lots of tips and support from you all and a lot of looking in the mirror and old photos and thinking do I really want to reach 50 with these wonky teeth and lack of confidence when I smile, or spend 18 months doing something which will cheer me up for the next 50 years!?! I had my wisdom teeth & 5 other teeth out as a teen (hence the bottom teeth don't line up properly with the top teeth) but have never been happy with my teeth and they have got worse as I've got older, together with gum problems due to the overcrowding. When I saw the Clincheck yesterday I was happy to see that although I will have 18 attachments, I won't have them on my 2 front teeth. I don't know why, but the look of the attachments bothered me more than anything else - I'm sure it will be the least of my worries once I get going (22nd April). I'll need 26 trays, the dreaded IPR and refinements - about 18 months in total apparently. Will be back to regale you with the misery after the 22nd (no - I will be brave!)
So far so good...
The day finally came! Picked up my first 2 sets of aligners today. I thought it was best to expect the worst - lots of pain, saliva, mashed banana diet and a horrendous lisp. Well, I did have a bit of a lisp but it only lasted a few hours and apart from a bit of a sore tongue everything is good. Attachments on May 20th - I guess that's when it will kick in as my ortho said it is only 60% efficient without the attachments - I think he is easing me in gently. Happy days :)
Attachments & IPR - yay!
Hi all. It's been a long 4 weeks since I started but I finally went in for the dreaded attachments and got the bonus of having a bit of IPR too! The most uncomfortable part was having my lips stretched to beyond their normal capacity, but apart from that I coped (and I am a bit of a wimp). I was pleasantly surprised by how the attachments look, as I was expecting the worst. They feel very strange without the aligners on, but I'm sure I'll get used to it, and I'm really not in any discomfort - they feel tight and my teeth are a bit sensitive, but nothing that is going to stop me eating or sleeping (although I won't be attempting an apple or raw carrots for a while)! The IPR was a bit grim but it didn't take long and although it felt like I would have a 2 inch gap in between each tooth, I actually can't even see a difference. I've got my next 5 trays so go back in 10 weeks for the next 5 and a bit of IPR. I made the mistake of comparing tray 7 to tray 2 - I really can't see any difference at all :(
Those Pesky Attachments!
If I get my hands on the person that invented attachments I'm going to give them a piece of my mind! What the hell? Why are the attachments all different shapes and sizes, and how did my ortho manage to get them to look exactly like the pictures on the clincheck (well, I know how he did - with that hideous drill thing). Not that I'm trying to put anyone off - they aren't nearly as bad to look at as I thought, but trying to get the trays in and out is an adventure in itself (forget manicures for a while, girls). The famous invisalign diet begins - yippee, I will drop a dress size in a matter of weeks :)
Feeling a little bit guilty...but only a little
Well, I had my first proper party night out since starting invisalign last night - a 40th party in a restaurant, which I have been slightly worried about as I haven't seen most of the friends since I started invisalign. I thought I would just confess to having aligners and get it out of the way, but it was so loud and busy, with a live band playing in the background that I never got round to it, but I did really struggle trying to shout over the music with the aligners in - I felt like I was lisping and spitting all over the place - ewww! When the food came I went to the toilet and took them out, and that was that - I didn't put them in again until I got home about 3 hours later, because we had 3 courses and it was quite slow, and then we carried on drinking afterwards. So I felt a bit bad, but I did enjoy myself much more not trying to shout with the aligners in and wondering if anyone noticed them, and I have my aligners in 22 hours a day every other day.... so hoping I wasn't being too naughty - gotta have a life now and then? :)
Tray 9 - Ouch!
Hi all - haven't updated for a while as everything is ticking along nicely, but still nothing much to show for it yet - I can't wait to see some proper movement - surely it can't be long now?! I went to Orlando on holiday for 2 weeks which I thought might be a bit tricky with all the eating-on-the-go etc, but it was much easier than I thought - I just adapted and still kept the aligners in the required time. I picked up my next 6 trays from my orthodontist on my return, had a bit of IPR and was sent on my way - he's pleased with how things are progressing. I put in tray 9 yesterday and it's the first set of trays that have caused me any discomfort - my teeth have been aching for 2 days, but I take that as a good sign :)
Hi all - had my ortho appointment today and was really excited as I have finally made it to the half way mark - end of tray 13 out of 26 - and it's 12 weeks since I last saw him. Sadly it was a bit of an anti-climax. They now have a 'technician' who sees you first - she said she was going to polish my teeth, but they had run out of powder, whatever that is, so that didn't happen. Then she spent 2 minutes struggling to get my trays out (why didn't she just ask me?). Finally the ortho turned up, did some quick IPR and said he'd see me in 4 weeks to put on another attachment :( Then they messed up my appointments, as they booked me in for 2 weeks instead of 4. Why am I paying a small fortune for that, I thought?! Anyway, hopefully my appointment in 4 weeks time will be a bit more productive. Teeth coming along, but I am still impatient to see more changes... :)
Light at the end of the tunnel!
I visited my ortho today to have 3 more attachments on my bottom teeth and pick up my next 5 trays. Disappointed again to have the technician doing everything (not very well, either) and the ortho popping in for 30 seconds to do the IPR (apparently the technician isn't allowed to do anything that can't be reversed!). This is obviously their new system but I feel a bit cheated as I am paying a lot of money and would much prefer to see the ortho who I am confident and comfortable with. However, I'm thrilled at how much my smile has improved and am now on tray 16/26 - woohoooooo!
20 Trays down, 6 to go!
I saw my ortho today and picked up my last 6 trays - very exciting :) I asked him about refinements - he said my bottom teeth will be finished, but that invisalign isn't great at rotating teeth and there are 2 teeth at the top which he would suggest either 12 weeks of invisalign refinements (changing weekly) which would probably do the trick, or a fixed brace which would definitely work in 12 weeks. I really don't think I want a fixed brace though and he did say that I might be happy with the result before refinements anyway - I will make a decision when I go back for the impressions for the bottom retainer on 7th April. Whatever happens though, although I have had enough and can't wait for it to be finished (I can't wait to eat and drink whenever I want to!) I think it is definitely 100% worth it.
Finished - yippeeeee!
Had my 50 week appointment on Friday and decided that no, I didn't want another 8-10 refinement trays, or a fixed brace for 3 months, but would go for the 'shaping' of the stubborn tooth instead. Removing the attachments wasn't very pleasant, but the shaping was fine. They took the impressions for the bonded retainer wire to be fitted in 10 days and I will have the impressions for retainers and whitening trays then too. I am happy with the results - I never expected perfection (I'm too old for that!) but just wanted to feel more confident with my smile and I have definitely achieved that. My ortho said I only have to wear my trays at night now, which I wasn't expecting at this appointment, so I walked out feeling over the moon - it is so wonderful to be able to eat and drink exactly what I want when I want to but feels so strange not to be rushing to put the trays back in after every meal, and I still have the desire to go and clean my teeth! Also I think my bite has changed so my teeth feel a little strange in my mouth! The other slightly annoying thing is that when I point out to people that I've finished the treatment, they can't seem to remember what my teeth were like before anyway!! Never mind - I KNOW ;) I've uploaded a couple of before and after shots but will post a final pic once I've done the whitening... keep positive everyone - it is worth all the hard work in the end :-)))