Lilone's invisalign experience

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lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Lilone's invisalign experience

#1 Post by lilone »

I have a journal on here somewhere but I wanted to start a new one to reflect my new experiences. I decided against braces in favour of Invisalign about a year ago. The ortho who was going to do my treatment had some trouble working with Invisalign due to inexperience with the system and after about 8 months of trying to manipulate the impressions, she still didn't have a clin check. She very kindly refunded me my money and suggested another ortho with more experience. That ortho didn't have any appointments available for 5 months so I opted to travel for 2 1/2 hours in order to attend the practice of Dr. Tan, who is active on this board. I felt that it would be worth the travel since he is obviously very knowledgeable and cares enough to answer people's questions on here. Monday was my first visit and I'm really glad that I made this decision! They clearly know how to run a good business. From the moment I walked in, I felt appreciated. This is a very different experience from my first round of ortho where it felt like strange, scary things were being done to me and I was just the hassle that came along with the teeth that brought them business. This time I came in and noticed right away that there was a "welcome to the practice" sign for their new patients, with our first names and last initial posted. Just a small detail, but one that made me feel like I mattered, which is a very big deal to me.

To be continued shortly...

smilehope
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:34 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#2 Post by smilehope »

Hi there, how brave to give it a second go! Are you going with Invisalign or braces this time?
1st Feb 2012 - extraction both upper 2nd premolars
Braced 9th March 2012 - lower metal fixed and upper removable plate
5th September 2012 - bite plate gone, upper ceramic fixed fitted
Estimated treatment time 18-24 months

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#3 Post by lilone »

Thanks for the reply, smilehope:) I am going with Invisalign instead of braces. I am not aiming to perfect my smile..I just want to straighten the anteriors. I will still have a class II bite and retrognathic lower jaw but I have a comfortable bite and those things don't bother me. I'm not interested in jaw surgery for something that is really only a cosmetic issue for me (no TMJ issues) and I don't mind my chin as it is. I feel confident to try it again since I know that my ortho really knows his stuff when it comes to invisalign.

To continue from above, on Monday I went in for my consultation. At first I was a little thrown by the open concept since I hadn't been to a practice like that before (they are semi private) but no one really looks at anyone else anyway so I calmed down after a bit. I definitely felt the old phobia kick in but it went away quickly since everyone was so nice and accommodating. I felt 100 percent comfortable after speaking to my ortho because there was no pressure and he was really listening to me. My goals and wishes mattered and I am a part of the process. He explained everything and wasn't rushing off anywhere, although he had many other patients in there as well. It just seemed like everyone who works there wants to work there. They seemed to be enjoying themselves which is not all that common, in my experience, so it almost felt like being part of a club (right down to team t-shirts that all patients get).
Since I was very comfortable with my choice, I decided to go ahead and get an IOC scan. It was so cool! The device looks like a library check out wand and they place it against your teeth and take pictures with it. Once a picture has been taken, the machine creates a digital image of your teeth. All the parts are placed together and at the end you have a perfect digital mould that can be turned around in every direction. It is so accurate that you can even see the gums. From my understanding, this will be sent out to Invisalign and then Dr Tam will make his specific requests and ask for certain teeth to be moved certain ways. In about a week he'll get the clincheck and in about 5 weeks I'll get my aligners! Not just the aligners but a goody bag as well. I'm strangely excited about the goody bag. I didn't see everything in it but I could see that it includes an electric toothbrush. It's nice to get freebies.
So that's about it from my first appointment. At the end, I got a free yogurt as you do at each visit (again...I'm impressed with the business plan. It's the little things that count) and I was on my way. Roll on 5 week wait!

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#4 Post by lilone »

My ortho has sent me my preliminary Clinchecks! It is very exciting. Patients don't usually see the ClinCheck until it has been finished and sent off but Dr. Tam sent them to me before hand so that I could feel fully a part of the process. My last experience with braces was not a good experience and resulted in a phobia which took a long time to overcome. I am really thankful that he is willing to go out of his way to make me have a good experience. I'm just really glad I chose a practice that seems to feel that I matter. It seems like something you should be able to expect, but believe me, that was not my past experience.

Anyway, this ClinCheck is amazing! From my previous consultations I was certain that my teeth could not be straightened without more extractions (I already had bicuspids extracted for my first round of ortho). I didn't want this, so I had been aiming for straightening of the front 4 just to make my smile nicer. I knew I would get a compromised result and I just wanted it better than it is now. I was so surprised when I received the first ClinCheck and my teeth were all straight and looking gorgeous! Really beautiful! I would put the ClinCheck up but I don't know how to attach it...if anyone knows, just let me know. It is still possible that he may make a small change of two before he sends it off but I think it looks amazing. It's such a pleasant shock that I can't wait to get started so that I can be finished. My family dentist seemed frustrated by my unwillingness to do traditional braces with extractions so I can't wait to walk in there with a lovely set of chompers a couple of years from now...all done with Invisalign! Bring it on!

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#5 Post by lilone »

I'm going to attempt uploading this clincheck. It is not necessarily the final version but it is close.

OK, not working...It says that the extension wmv is not allowed. I thought I had seen other clinchecks up here though. Anyone know if I'm missing something?

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#6 Post by lilone »

I go to pick up my Invisalign today. I'm so nervous for some reason. I woke up at 6:30 and it is Saturday. I'm just nervous about the lifestyle change that starts today and will last for the next few years. No turning back! I'm most nervous about eating out and about the lack of available washrooms at work during lunch time. I have a limited amount of time to eat because I often have lunch time yard duty. Every time I go to use the staff washroom after eating, someone is in there (and someone is waiting when I come out) so I often have to head out to duty without having gone and then I have to wait nearly two more hours until last recess. This is a pain for my bladder as it is, but it is completely not doable for my Invisalign. I'll have to find a solution.

As I was lying in bed this morning wishing I was asleep, I thought of something that I never connected before. My childhood ortho was also my family dentist. He never gave me a bottom retainer of any kind. He did, however, glue one on to my older sister's teeth and she never had braces (always had perfect teeth). Mom and Dad were surprised when she came home and told them (as her appointment was just for a cleaning) but she said that he explained that he wanted to keep her teeth straight while her wisdom teeth came in. I am just now, 20 years later, starting to wonder whether he got us mixed up???!!! Did he think SHE was the one who he had treated with braces? It's hard to imagine that this could be the case but why did my sister get a retainer having never had braces and I didn't get one? Weird.

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#7 Post by lilone »

I'm back from my appointment! When the assistant first put the aligners in they felt super tight and felt like they were digging into my gums on the back but this only lasted for a few seconds. It is certainly an odd feeling having them in and I had to consciously stop myself from pulling them out without thinking because it feels like I have something on my teeth...which, of course, I do! I had a 2 1/2 hour drive home so after about an hour in the car I was used to them. I stopped at my friends house for a visit on the way home and she had no idea I was wearing them until her husband brought some food out and I told them. She said she couldn't tell at all and was surprised that I don't have a lisp. I'm very glad that my speech isn't affected since I speak so much as a teacher....though it could have made our class story about Sammy Snake rather interesting! Anyway, after eating some food and having a cup of tea, I put the aligners back in and they felt super tight again so I don't think it takes very long to the teeth to settle back to their most comfortable setting. I'll really have to watch that they don't stay out for long when eating.

I am tempted to try whitening since I haven't got any attachments yet but I am a little nervous about it. If anyone reads this who has whitened with Invisalign trays, please let me know how it went and if it degraded the trays or made them cloudy at all.

All in all, a good start!

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#8 Post by lilone »

I'm on day number 3 and I already have a few things to report. Unfortunately, it isn't anything fun. First, a word of warning: Don't try whitening while in Invisalign. I've heard of people who were fine with it but it really isn't worth the pain if you aren't one of those lucky ones. I decided I'd give it a try since I wanted my teeth to be whiter when I get my attachments. I have noticed that attachments are much less noticable on white teeth and even though they match the colour to your teeth, the less-white ones just look dirty. I have a tea habit and it shows on my teeth so I thought I'd get some "nite white" and give it a try on the bottoms only in case something went wrong. I'm glad I stuck with one jaw. Even though I wiped it off of my gums, it really really irritated them. My gums were red, swollen and even seemed to be dissolving or shrinking away from the tooth. It looked like I had gum disease even though I know that I don't. Definitely not a nice reaction! Even worse is to have that happening and then have to put your aligners on over it since you can't be without them for more than two hours a day! I gave my lowers a break for as long as I could and then went to sleep with my aligners in. By morning it was much better. They are almost back to normal now but not quite. I hope they do fully return to normal and that the trauma of having aligners on them won't make any recession permanent. I really should have known better because I tried whitening once before with store bought trays and it bothered my gums as well. Maybe I'll invest in Zoom when I'm finished because clearly the tray whitening is not for me!

My other issue is that I have a horrible sore throat and have lost my voice entirely. I have no other symptoms of cold but I'm assuming it is a virus anyway. I know many people complain of sore throats after starting Invisalign but this is beyond a bit of a sore throat. I can't even squeak. There is just no voice left! I'm going to make sure I'm very meticulous about washing my hands before I remove my aligner every time. Perhaps that is the reason so many get sick with Invisalign? Anyway, just to be sure I also plan on brushing my new trays before putting them in, even when I'm at the ortho. Not worth risking this again!

On a brighter note, the top trays are really comfortable and don't irritate me at all. The bottoms are still rather annoying because of the whole whitening debacle. Hopefully that won't last long though. I haven't had any trouble meeting my 22 hours a day so far and am actually closer to 23. Weekends might be a bit more of a challenge though since I only think to eat when I'm not busy...and then I crave every snack in sight!

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#9 Post by lilone »

Today is the day I switch to my second tray, however I have already switched the tops. I cracked the top aligner removing it one day. At first it was so small that I didn't think it would be a problem but after a few more times of removing it, it became clear that the crack was going to be an issue. When it got over half way down the aligner I called my ortho and was told I could move to the next tray on the tops only. That was three days early. I don't think it will cause any problems since I was super diligent with my 22 hours up until then and I haven't felt tightness with the second tray. It is much more comfortable than the first was when it was new. I think there must not be any really big movements happening with these first ones.

In just over two weeks I will be getting my attachments. I am not looking forward to it...at all... to be honest. I know I still have two precious weeks but I'm anxious already. For starters, I'm worried that if I managed to crack a tray without attachments, I'm even more likely to have problems once they are on. Also, at the moment I find these things quite comfortable and utterly un-noticable. I told my students about them when we were doing a procedural writing task on brushing teeth. None of them had noticed in the previous two weeks and they still couldn't tell after I told them I was wearing the trays. When the attachments come, though, it will no longer be invisible. People will know something is up and they may look at my mouth trying to figure out what it is. I really don't want people looking at my mouth. Also, I'm afraid of attachments falling off when I am overseas on my summer holidays. If an attachment comes off and I won't be in the country for a few weeks, will it delay my treatment? Silly worries, I guess, but worries nonetheless.

Oh well, I still have two weeks to enjoy things as they are. It has been an easy experience to date and I hope it stays that way.

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#10 Post by lilone »

So, the attachments are on. They aren't that horrible, honestly. I find them very noticeable myself but I got through the whole day at school yesterday without my students saying anything. And if they noticed, they would definitely have mentioned it since they are 6. One time when doing "I spy" with a class, the colour was red... and a student guessed "the blood on Ms. O's face". Sure enough, I had a pimple in the middle of my forehead. These things don't go unnoticed! I fully expected to hear "What's on your teeth?!?" within the first few minutes of the day but not one child noticed. Maybe a giant splint that is currently on my arm detracts a little? Whatever works.

Anyway, they are much tougher to get out, but not frustratingly so. I had a system by the time I left the ortho office. It will be enough to stop me from bothering to take them off at recess to grab a bite to eat, though. I do worry a bit about losing weight since I am technically 20 pounds underweight as it is. I don't think those medical charts really allow for genetics though...I think I'm just about right for me but I definitely don't want to lose anything. I find that I need to allow about 7 or 8 minutes for brushing/flossing teeth and that doesn't leave time to actually eat on those 15 minute breaks.

Just to give anyone thinking about Invisalign an idea about the attachment process, it wasn't as daunting as I expected. I had a very nice assistant who walked me through what she was doing, step by step. This made a big difference for me, since I am a recovering dental phobe. The worst part was the lip retractors, but anyone who has braces has to experience that at some point. I personally hate the indignity of sitting there spred-lipped while little bits of drool accumulate. This is where it helped to have a nice assistant because she just kept chatting gently and working away and it made it seem like a normal thing (which, to her, I guess it is). Then she put little blobs of the attachment material in a template and placed it over my teeth. She cured it with a light and then used a drill like thing to shape the bits. This took a while and it was hard to keep my mouth open for that long. She used some bad tasting stuff at one point but it didn't last long and I got to rinse afterward. All in all, not traumatic. I still wish that Invisalign had the technology to do the whole process without needing attachments since those first three trays were easy peasy and utterly invisable. But I will survive the attachments as well. They are really not such a big deal.

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#11 Post by lilone »

I switched to tray number 5 on Thursday and found it interesting how I could feel the exact teeth that are the focus of these particular aligners. I can really feel these ones on the bottoms...particularly the right lateral and canine area. This is great because the lateral is pushed back further than the rest and it will be nice to see it on the move.
One small roadblock I encountered today is that one of my attachments is gone. I don't know when or how it happened but my top left canine (which is very rotated) is now attachment-less. I know it was there yesterday. Anyway, I'm a little concerned about how this might hold up my progress since I can't take off work this week coming since it is the last week of school for the kiddies. Unless they have appointments after 5 available this week then it will have to wait until the one following. Then comes Canada Day weekend. So, at best, I will probably get in there in about 10 days. I don't know if that translates into needing an extra week in these aligners? I hope a whole extra week/10 days won't be necessary since it is only the one tooth that is affected. I have an extra 4 days to work with because the office is on holiday the week that I was due to come back in. Maybe those 4 extra days will be enough. Fingers crossed!
Anyway, life with attachments isn't too bad. I got used to them very quickly. The only downfall is that they STAIN. Ugh. I'm surprised at how easily they stained because I thought they were composite material, like fillings. Composite fillings don't stain yellow after a bowl of Lipton's soup and a few cups of tea. I'm hoping that when I go in to get this one attachment replaced, they will polish the others up so they will look ok again. I am definitely more self conscious about it then I expected to be but they really make my teeth look dingy and yellow. No more bright yellow soup for me! And I will start drinking my tea through a straw...maybe that will help.
Otherwise, things are good! Invisalign is not nearly the inconvenience I thought it might be. I still have a backpacking trip across England to deal with, though, so I might change my mind on that one!

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#12 Post by lilone »

I recently returned from two weeks of traveling and I'm happy to say that my Invisalign was not at all an inconvenience on the trip. I was very pleasantly surprised! As it happens, the routine required for traveling is really conducive to Invisalign....much more so than summer lounging and family reunions, as it happens (I had two family reunions in July and they were each a food grazing nightmare). Just the fact that you are eating out for every meal means that you have a set time in the restaurant or pub. All restaurants have a washroom, of course, so I just waited until a few minutes after my meal was ordered and then removed the aligners in the washroom. My meal would usually come within minutes of my return and I would enjoy my meal, pay (if I hadn't already), and then return to the washroom to brush and put my aligners back in. If you get the timing down right after ordering, it really doesn't require having the aligners out for long. It possibly helped that I was in England so a lot of my meals were at pubs. In a pub, you pay when you order so there is no worry about waiting for the server to bring the bill before leaving the table. Once you are finished the meal, you are on to busy touristy things that don't involve eating and keep your mind totally off food until it's time for the next meal. There was really very little time for snacking so I found it easy to get in my 22 hours. Sometimes I wished I could leave them out a little longer to enjoy some drinks in the evening but I generally decided I'd allow myself one drink and then put them in and have water for the rest of the night. I appreciated it more the next morning, anyway.

The only minor "obstacle" was the plane. I was a little hesitant because there is a sign in the washroom that says that the water is not for drinking or for culinary purposes. Unsure of how bad the water actually was, I brushed without wetting the toothbrush first and then just rinsed it under the suspicious water briefly when I was finished. I gave the toothbrush an extra good rinse with fresh water later. I normally would have had a snack later in the flight as well but I decided it wasn't worth the hassle so I just passed on that. Didn't really need it anyway.

So all in all, very happy with how easy it was to travel and maintain my routine. Plus, you can't see the attachments in any of my pictures...yay!!!

jem
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#13 Post by jem »

Hi Lilone,

Glad your trip to England went well. Our English pubs are great but sometimes the toilets (washrooms) leave a bit to be desired and are not the sort of places you want to brush your teeth. I try to remember to take my travel brush with me if I am eating out, but do not feel I want to brush at some places, so rinse as best I can and brush as soon as I get back home or to my office. I hope that beer is not considered too bad for rinsing!

Jem
Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=42194

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#14 Post by lilone »

Too funny, Jem! I guess I lucked out and picked the best pubs because I didn't come across any dodgy washrooms...although one had the ladies up a VERY steep and narrow set of stairs that looked like a death trap to any "tipsy" lady with heals on!

lilone
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Re: Lilone's invisalign experience

#15 Post by lilone »

I am now on aligner 10 and the movement is getting to be more noticeable to me. The biggest visible difference is with my front tooth that was sticking out but I can tell that everything is on the move. Flossing is super easy because there are spaces between all the teeth. It does mean that more food gets trapped there as well.

I believe I am getting IPR the next time I go in, which is in about two weeks. I hope there is enough space between my front teeth because they don't seem to want to separate. On my clincheck it looks like there is a noticable space between them at this point but I still feel contact. I'm biting on the fronts constantly to make sure they are staying properly seated and they seem to be so maybe they aren't meant to be without contact yet. I have no idea which teeth are going to be IPR'd.

Time is going by very quickly! On one hand, I'm really glad since I can't wait for this whole thing to be finished and for me to have my great teeth. On the other hand, I will be 37 when I finish and I DON'T WANT THAT to come quickly! I wish the time commitment wa a little less but I know it will be well worth it and I have the rest of my life to enjoy the results.

All in all, a great experience so far. Ten down, 34 to go!

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