Experience with Invisalign
I'm in my
late 40's with three teenage boys (two are still in braces,
one has finished). My dentist has advised that I get
braces for several years. Although my teeth don't
look out of alignment, they don't meet correctly and are
crowded on both the top and bottom. My bottom teeth
overlap and I have an overbite. The crowding has caused
some unusual wear and potential gum problems. The lack
of meeting correctly resulting in a fractured tooth that
required a crown.
after years of encouragement and the very expensive crown, I
decided to seek an orthodontic opinion. I had the
regular impressions and photos taken. I did talk with
two different orthos before selecting one (our children's
ortho doesn't take adults). My ortho reviewed my case
and told me I was an Invisalign candidate. I could also
do metal and ceramic. I choose Invisalign because of the
of Invisalign in MY Opinion:
The Cons of
Invisalign in MY Opinion:
- They are
nearly invisible. After the first week, no one has noticed
that I'm wearing them. Family, friends,
co-workers are completely unaware that I'm having my teeth
corrected. I haven't had any wear problems of
conventional braces -- torn cheeks or tongue, mouth sores,
etc. I like being able to remove them for brushing
and flossing as well as "special occasions".
I remove them for all meals. I try to average
20 hours of wear per day. It isn't difficult.
As a plus -- my snacking has been reduced
substantially -- it just isn't worth taking them out to
snack and then brush my teeth to put them back in.
Like most folks who wear braces, I've brushed by
teeth in some really tacky places.
- The other
part of Invisalign that I really liked was knowing how
long it would take and how things would look at the end.
When you get the aligners back from the
factory, they are marked 1 of xxx number -- which
indicates the number of aligners for your treatment
(you wear each aligner for 2 weeks). It's easy to
calculate how long things will take. Naturally there
is some flexibility depending upon how quickly your teeth
move but my experience is that the estimate is right on
they send a computer simulation of how your teeth will
move during treatment so you can visually see what they
will look like along the way as well as at the end.
I was really motivated by the animation. My ortho
mentioned that it's different than conventional braces in
that Invisalign moves the back teeth first and finishes
with the front teeth. If you looked at my smile
today you wouldn't see any difference, although my bite
and how my molars meet is very different than just a few
months ago. I can hardly wait for my front teeth to
move so I can see some actual results.
are more expensive. For me, it was about $500 more
than ceramic. My ortho said that they might add a
couple of weeks to my treatment over conventional braces
but nothing substantial. My treatment time is one
was also a 6 week delay between impressions and receiving
the aligners. The ortho sends the molds, xrays and
treatment plan to Invisalign. Invisalign then
creates the computer simulation and sends it to the ortho
for approval. The ortho approves or modifies the plan.
This process takes time -- which can be frustrating,
after all, once we've finally decided to do it -- let's do
impressions -- conventional braces use a 30 -60 second
silly-putty stuff that sets up real quick.
Invisalign requires a mixture that takes 5 minutes
to set. Five really long minutes (each for upper and
lower) of icky stuff dripping down your throat. I
had problems which meant they had to take the uppers twice
-- 10 minutes is a really long time when you have that
stuff in your month.
lisp -- the first week or so, my speech was really
affected. People noticed that I was talking differently
and asked if I had dental work done. After
the first week, no one has noticed, although I still think
I talk a little weird. I think some of that it just
me being self conscious. I do alot of public
speaking -- no one seems to be aware of any change.
Some Invisalign cases like mine, require attachments to
various teeth. I have 4. These are small
"bumps" that are glued to the outside of your
teeth like braces. They put some stuff on your tooth and
harden it with the light. They help the aligners
rotate teeth. They are invisible and don't really
cause any problem. I don't know how it will be to
have them removed.
new set of aligners (which are changed every two weeks)
produces tooth pain. The ortho calls it
"pressure" -- baloney -- it hurts. I've
learned to change into new aligners at night after taking
two Advil -- by morning it's not too bad -- although I eat
soft foods for two or three days after moving to a new set
My ortho sends me home with 3 sets of aligners -- I
see him every 6 weeks for a progress check. Removing
the aligners after the first couple of days of a new set
is a trick -- they fit really tight and "snap
on". After several days they loosen and
things are easier, but it's tough until you get it figured
So far, I'm
pleased with the cosmetic look and comfortable fit. I
can also notice the changes in my teeth as far as how my bite
has changed. I'm looking forward to seeing changes in my
smile. My ortho has told me that I'll probably need to
wear retainers at night forever -- I can't count on my teeth
maintaining their new alignment without help -- he said this
was the same regardless of the treatment I selected.
Best of luck
with any orthodontic treatment. Personally, I'm very
satisfied with Invisalign.
Story: A Braces Story From Down