Two years ago my dentist began offering...
Two years ago my dentist began offering Invisalign, and convinced me that it would fix my cross bite, crowded teeth and overjet on my lower incisors. I moved away from that dentist and my new dentist has tried valiantly to make them work, but the truth is that Invisalign doesn't work for cross bite or overjet. At the end of two years, my teeth look straighter, but my bite is open on the right side and the insides of my incisors touch before any of the rest of my teeth. Chewing is difficult. My new dentist referred me to an orthodontist. I will be fully banded in January, probably for at least another two years to fix the problems left by Invisalign.
Here's my mistake-- after 16 years at my first dentist, I trusted her. This was stupid. She was new to Invisalign, and the company is clearly unethical and making claims to the dentists that an experienced orthodontist would see right through. I should have done some research. If I had, I'd have gone to the orthodontist first, and I'd be done now instead of starting over.
I hated wearing them, they never feel clean even after you soak them in hydrogen peroxide. They made your mouth dry and lips chapped.
Invisalign-- Poorer and in Need of Real Braces After Two Years-- Update
Here's some photos. I went to see Dr. Terryl White, in Sterling, VA for my new 3-m self-ligating braces. Installation took about three hours, altogether, including x-rays and documentation of my existing smile. There was a long stretch in there I wasn't very keen on, laying in the chair with my mouth open, lip stretchers in place, and the nasty taste of etching agent on my tongue, but then orthodontia isn't for wimps.
I am posting photos of my last Invisalign trays in, my first day of ceramic braces, and today's photo, before I get the new wires tomorrow. As you can see, there's already improvement. My front teeth are uneven because I chipped one against the bottom teeth-- this was why I started Invisalign; it was braces or keep chipping my teeth due to the overjet on the lower incisors. Dr. Gloria Lee has cautiously adjusted the longer tooth so it's not so obvious as the disparity will only get worse according to Dr. White, and I'll need to get my front upper and lower incisors restored when all of this is over.
I like Dr. White; his practice is well-run and he has great assistants.
A little more info
Prior to Invisalign, my teeth were crowded, I had a crossbite and overjet on my lower incisors, but my bite closed properly and I did not clench my teeth while sleeping. It's the clenching that caused the posterior open bite. Because I couldn't close my bite, my dentist referred me to an orthodontist after struggling to try to get Invisalign to try to make it right for me. After two years of Invisalign, my teeth sort of look straight, but there is still overjet in the lower incisors and the lower molars lean toward the inside of my mouth instead of going straight up and down.
The ceramic self-ligating braces are much more comfortable than Invisalign, which always made me feel like my teeth were suffocating and gave me terrible dry-mouth. I no longer wake up with cotton mouth and have to get a sip of water in the middle of the night. If I had it to do over, I'd have gone straight to an orthodontist for wire and bracket braces. If I had, I'd be done now, instead of contemplating going to my fortieth high school reunion in braces. (It won't stop me. People seem to deal with it fine.)
It's September of 2015 and after nearly four years, I am done with the braces and have only four more months of daily retainer wear before I can wear retainers only at night. It's been a long haul.
To recap: I don't recommend that anyone see a dentist for orthodontics. Find reviews and carefully choose an orthodontist and let him decide which method will work best for your teeth.
The total price, all said and done is really scary. It was $5200 for Invisalign, which failed. It was $6000 for self-ligating braces. Add the additional $4800 for veneers (four front top incisors) and $400 for gingivectomy (so my gums match and my teeth look even) and subtract the $4500 that my insurance paid, and you still have enough for a good used car.
My veneers were done by Nicholas Papageorgiou DDS, PC in Ashburn, VA. I highly recommend him. He is very careful, and his staff are pleasant and thoughtful people. I highly recommend White Orthodontics in Sterling, VA as well, and I couldn't be more pleased with the results of the braces.
I am including the photos, and I hope they're in order when they appear.
If anyone has questions about the experience of getting braces put on or removed, or the process of getting veneers, leave me a comment. Neither experience involved pain, and the self-ligating braces move so slowly, they never made my teeth sore.
What my teeth were like before I started
Just an update to show the "before" teeth. I started the whole thing because my bite was so off in the front I was chipping my front teeth, so it was braces or dentures, and I want to have my own teeth forever. I see above that I didn't remember the price of Invisalign correctly, I was off by $300.