Today I'm talking teeth. If you're squeamish, maybe look away now....
At the age of 6 I broke my jaw, and what followed was years of dental work. I had a crossbite, my top jaw was too small for my bottom jaw and when I was 12, I underwent surgery to remove a back molar and attach a gold chain to one of my teeth that wasn't growing in the right direction in my mouth. It didn't all quite go to plan, bu fast forward to when I was 17; after years of train tracks, for the first time in my life I finally had a smile to be proud of.
That didn't last long, though. It's only in recent years that I started to notice my teeth moving, but looking back at photos I can see that even at the age of 18 they weren't as good as they had been.
So around this time last year, after various pipe dreams I decided to take serious steps to fix my smile and get Invisaligns. And while it's not quite perfect yet, I'm at a halfway point and thought I'd share my experiences with you. To break this information down, I've used a mixture of questions I've been asked alongside those that were running through my head when I started doing my research. Today's post covers the basics, and there'll be a follow-up post later this week, with more specifics of my personal experience of Invisalign.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a system of clear retainers, designed to be discreet and virtually undetectable in the mouth. There are various companies offering a similar service, this was just the one that I knew most about.
How do you decide where to get it done?
I used the Invisalign website to search for a provider. They've got a really useful page where you just put in your postcode and it brings up all the dentists in the area that are qualified in Invisalign. That's another factor, too - how qualified the dentist is. The results are ranked according to how experienced they are, and luckily for me there was a diamond provider nearby.
How much does it cost?
This depends on the treatment you're receiving. After meeting the team at the practice, I knew that they were the ones I'd be going with so I didn't really shop around. When I signed up, they were offering treatments at set prices of either £3100 or £1800 depending on how much work needed to be done. I fell into the £3100 bracket, but got a £500 discount and was able to sign up for interest-free finance. It is expensive. But I've got quite an animated face and my teeth are always on show. My smile is important to me and I was beginning to feel really self-conscious about the way it was looking. It's hard, but for me the price is worth it.
What does that cover?
Included in the price is retainers plus teeth shaping and whitening at the end. I'll need to buy retainers at the end to wear at night, but this isn't part of my payment plan. In all honesty, that's the one bugbear - you can't really do Invisalign without being prepared to wear a retainer for the rest of your life, and it's a little annoying that this isn't included in the original price.
That's the starting point for Invisalign - if you want to know the more practical details of my experience, check back on Friday for part 2!