Starting Invisalign in my Latelatelate Teens. Urbana, IL

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So, I finally am able to afford orthodontics and...

So, I finally am able to afford orthodontics and went ahead with Invisalign. Since I work in a customer service type job, I didn't want a mouth full of metal braces. My case is pretty mild - some crowding and my canines have a bit of a crossbite. However, my dentist said he thinks it will take about 18 months. They will probably have to shave some tooth enamel eventually, but I am THRILLED that there has been no talk of having to remove any teeth, especially my wisdom teeth - all four came in perfectly, and at most, have just slightly crowded my teeth.

At my biannual cleaning a couple weeks ago, I mentioned I wanted to start Invisalign and my office was very helpful and prompt about getting me in today - the dental hygienist (who was a doll!) took iTero scans. It was pretty easy and took about 40 minutes. Since I don't have too much crowding, the gal said it went quicker than it normally does. The dentist took some photos of my bite, teeth, and just my general jaw shape. It seemed that Invisalign requires these photos more than anything. They said they'd get the scans sent off and that they would call me in 3-5 weeks when my first set of aligners come in; they will also put on attachments. They didn't say how many I'll need, but I'm not too worried.

I hope this review helps others who are wondering to expect at their first appointment, as that is what I was most anxious about. :)

By the way, the cost of the aligners, attachments, and retainers is only $3500 for me. Apparently, the insurance company I'm with has a contract where it only costs my office $3500, instead of the $4500 it would cost without ANY insurance. If I were a year younger, my insurance would also have had covered about another $1000, but oh well. I like living in a small town!

Getting Impatient!

Grrrr. Tomorrow is three weeks since I had my teeth scanned. I want my aligners.

Hahaha, oh whatever. These things take time. :)

They're in!

My alligners are in. :)
I'm super annoyed because my office cannot get me in until next Wednesday to get my attachments on and all that, but oh, well. It's gonna be 5 weeks from the scan to when they're in my mouth!


Got attachments put on and my first set of aligners today at 10AM!

Oh, boy. It hurt bad. It's feeling a little better now but before I took some Tylenol... Ouch. I have 13 attachments, none on the very front teeth, which is nice. They matched it to my tooth color somehow! You really can't see the bumps at all, and with the aligners in, my teeth just look a little shiner. My dentist shaved off .2mm in quite a few places, and I like .3mm by one of my canines. You cannot see that gap, at all, especially with the aligners in.

I have 9 aligners for the top and 11 for the bottom. I'll probably need refinements, but I can totally live with that. 5-7 months is the estimated time of completion. I feel like I can already feel them shifting; they darned well better be 'cus it feels like they're just twisting out of their root, lol. My smile looks so much better, I think, with the enamel removed. My teeth are a little less wide now and I like it. But seriously, my teeth aren't that bad and I'm so excited I'm getting them "fixed".

My BF is soooo awesome. He made me tea while that Tylenol kicked in and he's super happy I'm finally starting. He's so proud, haha. :) I don't think my office uses AcceDent - didn't know what it was when I asked. Was told to just brush the aligners when I brush my teeth. Hmm. Let me know if you have any questions that I haven't though of!

Day four!

So, the past couple days have been a little miserable. Between my cheeks/tongue getting used to the inevitable rubbing of the plastic wear and the actual shifting that is occurring... Ouch. Orajel did the trick for my sore mouth, as did a warm salt water rinse. I'm finally getting used to these things. But, I will not lie, the first few days I was in tears. :( The first night I woke up at 3:30AM and couldn't get back to bed.

I have been leaving them in for at least 22 hours/day; I usually eat two meals a day so it's not too hard. After I eat l, I'll floss, use mouthwash, brush my teeth, and brush the trays. No problems with staining or breath yet!

No one has noticed them yet that I haven't told. :) My weird talking is slowly diminishing as time goes by. Yeah, for the first little bit I was seriously questioning why I had done this to myself, but that feeling has gone away. WOOT!

One week in!

Very little pain. Trays are feeling loose and I think that is a great sign.

I've been bad and have been drinking iced coffee through a straw in the morning before/at the very beginning of my 7AM shift. I always get my teeth brushed, for the second time, by about 10AM. No overt staining that I care about and I'm not prone to cavities, but I still wouldn't reccommend it. I just "need" my coffee. ;)

Gonna be switching to my 2nd tray Tuesday night before bed! Very much so looking forward to it.

Tray 2

Switched to tray two ten minutes ago and am headed to bed with 600mg ibuprofen in my belly. :)

Tray 4

Not too much to say. I'm definitely seeing some changes. No cavities or anything like that. :)

Tray 9/9 and 9/11.

Wow, I can't believe how fast my treatment has gone. Once you get started, it just becomes second nature. I'm not going to lie, I pop my trays out to eat, rinse them and my mouth out with water, and pop them back in. I do a thorough brushing in the AM/PM. I think it's caused my teeth/trays to be a little more dingy, but not necessarily dirty or gross, honestly.

The changes: two bottom canines are basically where they should be, two top incisiors are smaller and more proportionate, my general bite feels better, you can see more of my teeth/smile. I LOVE it and am so thankful I got Invisalign. I technically am on the last tray from my top teeth, and 9/11 for my bottom, but I'm planning to do refinements, so at least a few more. There isn't pain associated with the trays anymore - just a bit of discomfort the first night from how "stiff" they are. No more sore spots on my cheek or tongue!!! I notice my mouth/lips are more dry than usual, but not something Clinique lip balm can't fix (that stuff was expensive but a darned godsend my first week).

I have a little lisp when I have the trays out, actually. I think it is because I'm not used to talking with my repositioned teeth without the trays. Not too noticeable. On that note - I've had one person notice my Invisilign and ask about it. Plus, she and I work together in a pretty close proximity. No patients have commented about anything. They truly are invisible braces.


So, I finished 11 trays, and finally got my last six refinement trays. No cavities, not much excitement!

Very unhappy.

I'm just very upset right now about my whole experience with Invisalign.

First: do not do Invisalign if you have depression - you won't have the will to stick with it (or bathe or brush your teeth or go to school). For the past 8 months I've been wearing my last six refinement trays because I'll end up not using them for a month, then starting back up.

Second: when I got my refinement trays, my dentist did not readjust the attachments at all. There were two on my lower right canine and one had fallen off, but I never mentioned it because I trusted my dentist. I figured if he needed to make any revisions, he would.

Third: my dentist left his practice right before I got my refinement trays. Dr Yudong Xu DMD MS, the new dentist, gave me my long overdue refinements that I had neglected to pick up because of personal reasons. I'd worn the last tray I had as a retainer basically. He handed me the six refinements and said, "Make sure you like your teeth because we will probably be fitting you for a retainer after you finish this set." I kinda felt blown off. He definitely did not even peak in my mouth, didn't look at the attachments, nothing. Since Dr. Cusak left, they've also changed dental hygienists and they are no where nearly as nice as the previous ones. Not happy with the service at West Main Dental now.

Next, I learned that I should have never trusted a dentist with orthodontic treatment. My teeth are much better, but no where near where the should be, I think. I'm just SO frustrated. I didn't do my job thoroughly as a patient, but nor did my dentists. The Invisalign did as well as if could, given the limitations of the dentists.

I will be going to Dr. Shafer, an elite Invisalign provider and orthodontist, one week from today. Already the receptionist has been loads more helpful and nicer than the previous one at WMD.

Dr. Shafer

WOW. So far, he and his team are outdoing themselves. Even though I was about five minutes late, one gal took me back to a private consult office. She took pictures, obtained a history, and went over my particular concerns. She then set me and my husband up with a informational video to watch while we waited on the doctor. After about ten minutes, Dr. Shafer came in and I moved over to the examination chair. He was incredibly personable, very through, and worked incredibly well with his assistant. He went through my teeth one by one and talked about overjet, overbite, underbite, etc. It sounded like I had a lot wrong, but he then sat is back down and went through everything. He again went through all my teeth with my husband and I as he scrolled through the pictures taken of my teeth. He immediately identified the areas that were of my greatest concern and how we would fix them.

My central four top incisors will need to come down a bit and my right canine will have to come in. That's literally it. He said probably about 10 alligners more then maybe a few refinements; so, 6-9 months is his estimate. I asked about possibly doing braces and he was shocked. He said I absolutely would not be a candidate and that it would be much more expensive to start over with braces than to finish up Invisalign. Actually, apparently there is a five year window in which your Invisalign treatment can be finished (and adjusted) without accruing those "gigantic lab fees" at the beginning. The cost is estimated to be between $1200-$2000 to finish my treatment.

I then went to the clinic area, which is open and has about 4 stations to work in. It's pleasant and your positioned as to where you don't see anyone else. My hygienist and I had to wait <10 minutes for the doctor to free up. He wasn't clear on what he wanted to do at first - it ended up that we did some filing (IPR?) and he recontoured my two central top incisors so they no longer look like bunny teeth. As he was doing this, he said, "I bet she'll love this!" and I was then super curious. I LOVED it. The edge of those teeth do feel a little funky now, but that is to be expected. He also took off a few attachments. Then that was that! No pain.

His assistant then did iTero scans - it took maybe 15 minutes; muuuuch less time than at my old office. I'll be back in three weeks and they should have the trays and whatnot. I'm so stoked. :)

I keep dragging this process.

I would have been done probably one year ago if I didn't have depression. It's just hard to be responsible if you're having an episode. Oh well! Down to the last six weeks starting yesterday.

Refinement 5/7 vs before


I ended up going to Dr. Shaffer in Champaign for my last six trays and he and his team were amazing. Big update later!
Dr. Micheal Cusack

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 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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