Invisalign Review By High School Student: Before & After Pictures
My name is Matt, I'm 23 from Glenns Falls, New York and I recently finished my invisalign treatment. I will tell you a little about my journey and hopefully help anyone struggling with crooked teeth.
When I was a kid I thought I was the lucky one because all of my friends had to get metal braces and I was fine because my adult teeth seemed to be growing in relatively straight. Of course at the time I didn't know, but my parents were also very relieved because it would have been a tough expense for them since we were a family of 6. My dad worked/works for a landscaping company and my mother was a stay at home mom to watch the 4 of us. I am the third child - two brothers and one younger sister.
I began helping my dad out with his landscaping business when I was about 14 years old. I was also a student athlete so I would usually help him on the weekends or before/after practice during the week. This was a good way for me to make some money and I think my dad was happy to instill some toughness into me at such a young age. He always used to tell me that, "we have a job to do - we get paid for that job - so it is important that we always go to work and get that job done." I don't ever remember my dad missing a day of work, so I guess thats what gave me my drive to always work hard in school and athletics.
Throughout all four years of high school I played varsity football. This leads me to one of my theories on how my teeth began getting more crooked throughout high school. I would always have a mouth guard in which I would bite down on - so that combined with getting hit a lot and biting harder is one reason I think I started to lose my "perfect teeth." The shift mainly happened in my upper teeth as you can see in my photo.
My other theory is that my wisdom teeth began to grow in and started to force my teeth to shift. At the time, my dentist said my wisdom teeth were no danger to me so I did not get them removed (in college I got all 4 out). I was fine with it when I was 16, and was in no way getting traditional braces when I was already trying to fight off the daily new pimples on my face. Pimples plus braces equals no fun in high school.
The summer before my senior year, while I was working for my father, I decided to look into what could be done for my teeth. This was the summer of 2012 so my only real option for clear braces was invisalign. I know that recently Smile Direct Club has come out and probably would have been a better option for me because of the price. But since this was my only option I decided to finance my invisalign aligners. The invisalign cost ended up being a little under $100 a month which was somewhere in the $5000 range total.
In order to get the invisalign trays I went to my dentist to take a mold of my teeth. He did some x-rays and took a mold of my teeth and sent it to invisalign. He told me that it would take about 2 weeks to get the aligner trays.
When I went back to the dentist to get my trays he told me that the treatment time would be around 1 year. I would be given 26 new sets and each 2 weeks I would hopefully be able to move on to my next set. That first day though the dentist only gave me 4 sets and told me he would have me back in 2 months from then to see how my teeth were shifting.
The first set that he tightly squeezed on my teeth, I was in a lot of pain. It seemed like a ton of pressure was being put on my teeth (especially the top) and it was kind of unbearable at first. He told me that this was normal because my teeth were getting used to the clear plastic mold. After an hour or so he told me I would get used to it and it would start to feel like less pressure on my teeth. If I still felt uncomfortable he advised me that it was okay to take some ibuprofen. He said each new set of trays would most likely begin with this uncomfortable feeling.
In the beginning it was a little difficult to say all words. I did seem to have a small lisp but that eventually subsided as I got used to the clear aligners. My mouth also did get some blisters, or canker sores, because of the ends of the plastic rubbing against my cheek. I was instructed to brush my teeth after every meal to make sure nothing was stuck in between my teeth to throw off the aligners. I have to be honest sometimes I broke this rule because its impossible to carry a tooth brush everywhere you go.
After 2 months I came back to the dentist for a check up and everything seemed to be going as planned. I was quite excited with what I was seeing and he seemed to be as well. He told me not to get discouraged if after a couple more months it is tougher to get a new tray on my teeth. He told me as we progress that we may have to do 3 weeks per tray since the beginning should see more shifting than later on (however this is not with everyone).
He was right about the wear-time as I got further into the treatment. I had his personal email so we would send some messages back and forth. At about month 4, it def started to get a bit tough to put the new set on my teeth. I told him this and he said just to start wearing each set for 3 weeks now instead of 2.
This seemed to help even though each new set was absolutely super tight and would always be followed with some sort of pain reliever. But I was in a routine and everything was going pretty smoothly.
At 8 months I went back for another check up and the dentist gave me my last batch of plastic trays. Him, myself, and my mom were very pleased with the outcome so far. He told me we would see each other when the 26th set was on my teeth, but made sure to tell me that I should use that last set as a retainer when I completed the treatment. I could wear this set at night instead of all day and it would make sure to keep my teeth in place. He also said it would be helpful because most people tend to grind their teeth in their sleep and this would always protect against that.
I ended up getting accepted to Siena college with a good size scholarship and attended the school the fall of 2013. I was just at the end of my entire treatment at that time since some of the trays I would wear for longer than 2 weeks.
By the end of my treatment I couldn't have been more happy with my results. My crowded teeth were now straight teeth. This gave me a lot more confidence going into college and made me happier in general. Its strange how a small cosmetic fix can do that but it really did.
For anyone who is older and wanting straighter teeth while avoiding regular braces, the invisalign program is exactly what you should be doing. Like I said earlier, there are other options now that would work as well - but my main point is clear > metal wires any day of the week. I hope my review and great results helps at least one person out there and convinces them that invisalign isn't so bad, but rather life changing!