My Invisalign journey, part 2
The other week I was talking the basics of Invisalign; what it is and how I got started with it. This post is getting down to the nitty gritty. The logistics of having Invisaligns and my personal experience.
What's the procedure?
At my initial free consultation, they took x-rays and moulds of my teeth. Before I signed up to anything I received an animation of how they expected my teeth to move and look at the end of the treatment to make sure I was happy. Once I'd signed all the paperwork, the moulds were sent away to Invisalign in America to have my retainers made. Within a few weeks they were back with the dentist and I was ready to go.
Every few months I go back to receive my new retainers, which pop in and are worn continuously for two weeks at a time. I remove them for eating, and can only drink water when they're in. For the best results they recommend you wear them for at least 21 hours a day, but in all honesty I've become a bit lazy with that and I probably wear them a little less. I brush them morning and night, at the same time as my teeth, and keep a little wash bag of essentials with me to brush my teeth after eating if I'm out and about. I've got a little case that comes with me everywhere so that I can take them out if I need to.
Do they hurt?
A little. I'd read reviews online where people were really overexaggerating on the pain front....it's not that bad. A few of my retainers have felt a little scratchy and unfinished around the edges, but now I file any rough parts before I put them in to avoid cutting my mouth. In terms of the actual pain of my teeth moving, it's more like discomfort. My teeth feel tender and it can be a little unpleasant to eat for the first few days, but after that it's fine. I tend to put a set in at night so that my teeth have done a fair bit of adjusting while I'm asleep and unaware of the dull ache.
Are they really invisible?
As invisible as they can be! The bottom left photo shows the Invisaligns in, whilst the top right is my teeth without them. I work in a school where children can get right up in my face and I've only had two children and one adult realise I'm wearing them....all of whom were standing incredibly close! With regards to speaking, I can hear the difference but no-one else has said anything. At times it can mean I have a slight lisp, and if I'm tired or under the weather I find my speech suffers as I concentrate less on speaking properly.
How long will it all take?
They predicted 18 months at my initial consultation, but when I found out I'd be given 23 sets of retainers I was hopeful that I'd be done within a year. At my last appointment I was expecting to pick up my last two, however I was given another 15 sets. At first I was disappointed, but my dentist assured me it was just him being a perfectionist to give me the best result. And I guess that's why he's a diamond provider! I'm not paying any extra for this, and I'm happy to wait a little longer to have the best smile I can possibly get.
Would I recommend Invisaligns?
Without a doubt, yes! I've got a few friends who bit the bullet and signed up after they saw how well I was getting on. It's a big financial commitment, but so worth it. I'm not even finished with my treatment and I can't believe how good my smile looks.
I think that's covered everything for now! My next appointment will be in September, where hopefully my teeth will be perfect and I'll be able to get started with whitening. I'm a little nervous about that, so I'll be back with a final post to show of the results and summarise the whole experience.