I am a 33 y/o with a "gummy" smile, (ie,...
I am a 33 y/o with a "gummy" smile, (ie, small-looking teeth), an overbite with front tooth spacing (childhood thumb-sucker), and a grey front tooth (trauma caused the discoloration, root canal did not fix the color). These are my issues that I plan to have fixed within the next year and half.
**The front-facing picture makes my front left tooth look more white than it is.
I am starting with invisalign and I will attempt to bleach during the treatment. Then, I will get crown-lengthening. Lastly, I will get veneers. I have already done the Invisalign consultation and had the molds taken. My dentist has just 'approved' the treatment plan and I am expecting the trays June 3rd. From the day they took the molds, it will be approx. 1 1/4 month until the actual trays are in my possession. I have already been told that, yes I need "buttons" (vast majority of patients do), but I will also require a few months of rubber bands (only on the right). Yuck, but I'm am going to do this the right way or not at all since I have waited so long. I have done my research: I will take advil before the first appointment and tray placement and continue to do so with the first days of subsequent trays.
2 days after I get the trays, I will be going on vacay to Punta Cana, DR. Very excited and looking forward to seeing a dentist there to get the whitening gel and to see if I will need internal bleaching for the one tooth, and if I do, I will get it done there to save a few bucks. Can't wait to update!
Not sure about this...
I received a call from my dentist's office because I asked how many trays I would need so I could know how long I'd be in them. The office personnel told me 45. I asked if this was total, and she said she thinks it's total (top and bottom). After speaking with the dentists she clarified that it would be 45 on top and 10 on bottom. OMG, that's 22 months of wear!!!! I was estimated at 12-14 months. I'm so bummed. I'm contemplating quitting Invisalign before even starting. I'm wondering, "is my dentist not experienced with Invisalign, that's why she mis-estimated me?", and "will traditional braces be a quicker/better option?"
If Invisalign will do what is promised then I will go ahead and get it because the 22 months will be worth it. I have only spent $100 so far on this journey, so I won't feel bad if I go in for the initial tray fitting and do not receive the answers I want to hear. I thought my case seemed pretty straightforward, just help my front 4-6 top teeth to recede, but I guess not. Will update soon. Any advice?!
I should have my trays in about a week! Acceledent?
So, I was feeling pretty fed up with my dentist. When the young lady (office mgr, I think) would call me to give me updates, I would have questions that she told me she would have the doctor call and answer. Such as: how long do I have to wear the rubber bands, why is my treatment going to take so long, and am I going to see the 'clincheck' video? Well, when I would receive a call back it was from the mgr and not the dentist. And even while I had the mgr on the phone and the dentist was IN, she would put me on hold, get the answer and the mgr would return on the line. Therefore, I hadn't seen or talked to the dentist since getting the molds made of my teeth.
So, I decided to call the office and ask if I could come in for a face-to-face chat. They were able to see me later that day. The dentist was nice as ever, but I had a feeling that I was being a bother to her. Since I had done my research (here on RS and elsewhere), I was prepared with questions. First one being, "Can I see the clincheck video?" She obliged, but stated that since I agreed to wear rubber bands (office mgr called me to ask if I was willing), she has OK'd the treatment plan with Invisalign. I would have liked to see the video first to see the movement, attachments, and such. I don't know about others but seeing the video was a very exciting, and hope-producing, moment for me... but what if I hated it and there were too many buttons for me to handle or something else weird going on: like my top right (farthest) back molar not being included in the trays because there was some distortion when the mold was taken.
Today is the day!!
In about 12 hours I will be headed into the ortho's office to get my trays! I went out today and bought mouth rinses, denture cleanser, soft kids' toothbrushes, and whitening toothpaste (not for the trays, for my teeth). Also, I purchased some whitening gel online to use in the trays. As many others have, I'll be posting photos and hopefully share some insight for others that may want to begin this journey... not sure I'll have anything new to discover since there are already so many great reviews here, but I'll do my best.
Tray 1 of 45...
30 May 2014
Day of treatment
Got my first 4 sets of trays today, and wow, these are major. There's a bit of pressure, a bit of pain, and a whole lot of noticing that they're there. I don't think I'll have a big problem running my tongue over the edges and it becoming sore/raw, but I can report on that later as I may do it subconsciously. As I may have suspected before, I think I'm a masochist. The pain increases when I bite down, especially in the back, but I can't stop doing it. If it hurts more it's working better, right? In any case, I'm sure this will all subside once it's not so new. I am going to have these lovely trays for 2 years, so I'm sure the excitement, tenderness, and back teeth pleasure/pain will subside at some point.
On another note, I got all 6 attachments put on today, PLUS a traditional metal bracket. So, no few weeks to get used to the plastic in my mouth for me before assaulting me with the noticeable attachments. No big deal really. I am happy to have begun my treatment and joined the others here that have gone through the same experiences. It's almost an honor. And, I can't wait to see the progress.
On a good note, my lisp doesn't seem SO bad. It's less my tongue against my teeth, it's more the air across the edges of the tray. It doesn't bother me because the people I know (family, coworkers) know I'm getting invisalign and I have no problem telling any new, inquisitive people why I sound the way I do (if they're so rude to even ask, I know I wouldn't ask).
I've taken 2 ibuprofen before I lay to nap before work tonight (11p-7A). And, I'm probably going to have soup as my meal during my shift (no worries, soup is seriously one of my top 3 favorites food) cause I could expect that this tenderness is going to get worse before it gets better.
Just about 20 hours into my first tray.
These things are ANNOYING!! Pain's not the worse, it's just the fact that they're there that bothers me. UGH!
Since I have not know having the trays without the buttons, I don't see the big deal about them. Yeah, they kinda suck when you have to remove the trays to eat because they can be cumbersome and affect your bite, but hey, you could have metal brackets on your teeth... deal with it. I hate the damn lonely bracket on my back tooth. Wish it would have been put on if I'm not going to be using the bands yet.
I have turned down 2 snacks during my shift over night. Woo-hoo! Let the weight loss begin! I also ate some crunchy cabbage with no pain issues. It is uncomfortable when you put them back in. Having them off to eat for a break would be nicer without the aforementioned buttons.
It takes me about 5-7 minutes to brush my teeth and trays after eating. I am hoping to get a system going and cut that down to 2-3 minutes. Suggestions?
Ow! It's really hurting.
I can handle the pressure of my teeth moving, but I cannot handle the bottom of my tongue being rubbed raw. Ouch! I just filed down the bottom tray's inside edge along the front teeth, but I'm not sure it's helped. I don't rub my tongue along there on purpose, it happens uncontrollably when I talk. Would this be a reason to get the wax? Does wax go in spots or can I put a line across the inside of the bottom, front rim?
Starting Acceledent Today!!!!!!
Found a provider that fit me in today, I just brought the unit home and it is charging as I type. YAY!!!
I'm on day 4 of my first aligners and the uncomfortableness is subsiding a bit. Just a bit. Tenderness on my teeth/jaw is way down, but my tongue is still being rubbed raw. I filed down the area down that was a nuisance (myself), didn't help much so I got some othowax. Fixed that area, BUT now my tongue is purposefully avoiding that area and rubbing a different area when I talk. So my 'lisp' is a little pronounced, but NO ONE has noticed. I have asked a couple people if I sound different, but they say "no". Honestly, I think they're being polite, but who cares, it doesn't really bother me.. but the pain does. UGH!
When I went to pick up the Acceledent, the office lady (Janet) took my tray in the back and REALLY filed down the aggravating part. Viola! Sooooo much better. She even asked if I had other trays with me because she would do the same for the others (I didn't). What a doll! Anyhow, I spent all of 15 minutes with her. The entire procedure (basically) went like this.
1) Called and asked if they sell Acceledent to pt's not receiving ortho treatment from them. They said "yes".
2) Asked if they could see me a unit APAP. They said "yes, come in anytime."
3) Went in. She presented the unit. Janet explained Acceledent (nothing I hadn't already read about) for a few minutes. I smiled and nodded.
4) I told her about the pain the bottom tray was causing. She asked where exactly, I took out my tray and showed her. She donned gloves, took the tray 'in the back', performed magic, and returned with the rinsed of tray which I immediately inserted. Felt OK; I told her it felt great. I would have to wear it for a bit to see if the problem still exists (see above, it doesn't.. yet).
5) Paid the cost. Janet asked if I had questions; I didn't. Left the office with cards in hand (in case I need to reach them in the future with questions).
That was it. I was in such a rush to get home and try the darn thing, but it has to charge for 8 hours. So here I sit, no bottom tongue irritation. AWESOME!! I will have to take this current tray to my reg ortho office to have them emulate the cutting/filing that Janet performed on the next couple sets of trays. Still irritated by the metal bracket in the right back. No filing can help that. :( I still don't understand why my dentist put it on TWO months before I see her again (and I MIGHT get the rubber bands then). There was a irritating 'hook' on the top right canine (for the band, as well), but I clipped that sucker off with a nail clipper. Problem solved.
**In case you're wondering I paid $1,000 for the Acceledent unit. Asked for a 'paid in cash' discount (usually 5%), but got shut down. I was told they're basically making little to no profit on the units. Fine by me. I was happy to have the unit today. AND, I was reading that Acceledent could cost (at most) $1,500, so in my mind I am $500 richer!!! Hope this will be a successful endeavour/investment.
I couldn't wait..
The Acceledent unit has been charging for about 1-2 hours. Decided to try it... Just for a few seconds to see what I am getting myself into...
Ok... this thing (seriously) feels like I am just biting on a vibrator (whatever kind comes to mind for you is the one I am talking about). And my eyeballs shake a bit, and I was NOT using a lot of pressure/bite force.
IS THIS JUST AN OVERPRICED VIBRATOR?!
Last night of vacation. Day 11 of tray 1.
This is my last night in DR. Since I have to stay in to pack for the early morning check-out, I thought I'd give a little update. First, I couldn't wait to start Invisalign and I did 5 days before leaving for vacay. Kind of a bad idea. The other option would have been 2 days before, which would have been worse with the pain of newness and all. Being on vacay has not been good on my invisalign wear. I definitely have them out more than the recommended 2 hours. I'm probably having them out close to 3-4 hours each day. It is very difficult to take them out and put them in at an all-inclusive resort. I am drinking and eating way more than usual. (Ugh! probably gained 5 lbs.)
I have used the Acceledent 5/6 nights here though, so I figure that makes up for it. I will be switching my trays tomorrow night once I am home. That would be 12 days of wear (2 days more than recommended). I will begin wearing the sets of trays for 10 days, then after my check-up, hopefully only wearing them for one week!!!
I don't feel as though my teeth are any whiter or cleaner since I am drinking with them in more than I should. Yes, I swish with water, but it's not working. I am actually looking forward to getting home and getting back to a usual routine.
As other's have said, the buttons (and lonely bracket) no longer bother me or scrape up my mouth. I suspect that my next set of trays will need to be filed/adjusted once I'm home though. Overall, yes I know that the trays are in my mouth, but they are not uncomfortable... not that they're all that comfortable either, they are much better than the first few days of trial and error. I haven't even needed any wax!
I don't feel as though my trays are gross. I soak in 50/50 listerine/water when I brush and I don't put them in without brushing, even if it is with plain water. That's the prob with vacay, I eat and leave them out until I am back at the room instead of putting them back in right away. I am on vacay damn it, I am not carrying a toothbrush AND toothpaste around in my mini/travel purse.
I'm sure I'm missing some info in this update (or maybe not), but I will update once I'm back home and on track!
3rd set of trays, day 2. Dry mouth remedy.
So, it's been a while, and I wish I had amazing news, but the best I have (I guess it's pretty good) is that I've found these mints online that are such a HUGE help for when I have dry mouth. If you have invisalign and suffer from dry mouth, I'd highly suggest looking them up: XyliMelts.
OK, not for the rest. I have not had much discomfort when switching trays. I am not sure if this is because the trays aren't forcing much movement, or if the acceledent is just that good. So far I am pleased with using the acceledent. I have not seen my dentist for a check-up yet, but I have switched trays every 10 days, seemingly with no issues. I am looking forward to seeing her after the fourth set of trays to see if I can start changing them every 7 days. If that is the case, I will be the happiest invisaligner there ever was!!
I have not used wax on either the trays or the 'lonely bracket' since the first set. I am very pleased with that. I do still notice a whistle/lisp here and there, but I'm not sure that anyone else does. Doesn't bother me if they do. As others on here have stated, I am proud to have gotten invisalign and I have no problem telling or showing people that I have them (if they so inquire). People are generally impressed and think it's cool. There are people with (what I think are) nice teeth even inquiring stating that they have thought about getting invisalign as well.
So far, so good. Nothing but SMILES!
Tray 3, day 2.
In case you were wondering of the 'progress'... There isn't much since I'll be in these bad boys for 45 trays. I am really just posting them for my own comparison. (:
Tray 5/45. Rubber bands started. Using Acceledent and whitening gel.
15 Jul 2014
2 months post
I went to see my ortho last Friday. She said everything is moving along nicely. I was on day 9 of tray 4 on the day of the visit. I was switching trays every 10 days. She said I could go ahead and start tray 5 that day, instead of Saturday. She also said I can go ahead and start switching trays after a week. So exciting! Hope everything progresses as hoped so I can stay on the week long tray change. Also, I have started having to wear a rubber band on the right side of my mouth. I do notice that it's there, but it's not really a bother. Apparently they can lose elasticity throughout the day and need to be changed 3 times a day. Working nights I tend to yawn a lot which I feel loosens the bands prematurely, so I change them more often.
I go to see my ortho again in 4 weeks at the end of tray 8. I am hoping that by then I will see some changes in my smile/bite. The only difference I see is that my teeth are overall whiter. Not by a ton, but I notice it which is all that matters, right? I have been using 44% carbamide peroxide gel on my front left tooth only. I don't use it everyday, but it does seem to be lightening well. I will try in the future to use it more often so that once (if) it lightens to the shade of my other teeth, I can begin using it on all of my teeth. I'm really in no rush because I am still in these trays for at least 10 months.
So far, according to my ortho and progress seen, the Acceledent is working! I have not been using it daily as I should, but according to my "fast track" report I have used it 80% of the time. 20 minutes a day doesn't seem like a lot of time, but it's kind of a hassle since I can't use it in the shower and I don't want to use it at work or (obviously) when I am out with friends. There are some days where I could use it twice but since that doesn't seem to have any effect I generally don't, but I will start. I don't want to get complacent with 80% especially since I want to be able to switch trays weekly.
If anyone cares, I will update again after the next ortho visit...
2 years later...
I needed revisions. TIMES THREE. I am awaiting my third set now. My bottom teeth have been aligned for a long time now. They needed no revisions at all since they were never really the problem. I have to admit, I have not been the most vigilant of tray wearers. And d/t traveling, I have not been to my visits in a timely manner. I think I will have about 15 or so more top trays before I am done. I am hoping to be done by my birthday in June 2017. I still use the acceledent, but not as often as I should. I must say, this has been a very long, arduous journey and I am ready to just call it. I am very happy with my results thus far, and would like to see the final result, but it's taking so much longer than expected and I am discouraged. I paid in full though within about 6 months, so I am gonna ride this thing out.
Sorry for the long delay between updates. If anyone has questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
I will tell you this... The length of time I have been dealing with this invisalign is mostly my own fault for becoming lax on wearing time, acceledent usage time, and making follow-up appointments in a timely manner. That said, I would recommend acceledent to anyone considering getting the treatment.