My Teeth Are Straight From Invisalign!
Before and afters
I have been self conscious about my teeth for a long time so I decided that Invisalign could be an option for me. I met with an orthodontist to discuss my options before getting my Invisalign treatment. I had been saving for a few years since I still live at home I was able to put away a good amount of money. When discussing my options with my ortho, I made it very clear that I did not want to have traditional braces as a 25 year old woman. I thought that it would make me look a little bit silly, and I would probably get a lot of weird looks as to why I am so old and have metal braces.
Another reason that I decided to do Invisalign now instead of wait any longer is because I am on my parents insurance plan and once I turn 26 I no longer can use their insurance. I assume in the future I am going to have a position where I will have my own insurance but I am currently in graduate school working a part time job that has no benefits. The total cost for the Invisalign orthodontic treatment came out to around $6,000. So the cost out of my pocket ended up being around $5000 and my insurance covered $1000. I was able to put a down payment down of $1000 and then am on a monthly payment plan on the remaining balance which came out to like $175 a month or so, which for me was totally doable.
My treatment plan was slated to be 21 months, which is a little longer than getting metal braces but the good part is that it is very hard for people to notice them in your mouth because they are made of clear plastic. If they come up close the Invisalign tray is noticeable but not too many people get that close to notice.
The day that I got them put on the orthodontist had to do a bunch of work. This was a reason that I went to an orthodontist to get this done instead of doing a different company where everything was done on your own. If I was going to go almost 2 years with these on my teeth I wanted it to be done properly. Since my teeth up top had a crowding issue, they had to do a bit of drilling in between the teeth in order to make room for the teeth to move. It was a very strange feeling, but what they do is drill and then use a dental floss that is like sand paper and basically "saw" in between your teeth until they hit your gums. This process allows the space. I had to do this for a good portion of my upper teeth and a little bit on my lower teeth. I did not get Novocain for this part so it was a little painful.
One thing that I would also like to point out is that you will need to use rubber bands if the ortho is also trying to fix your bite. A metal like rod was connected to the back of my mouth near my wisdom teeth and that is where the rubber bands were used to adjust my overbite. Rubber bands are applied throughout the 21 month process. You don't always have to wear them. They are really easy to put on when you have to so don't worry about it. They will have you practice with the removal tool at the office. When you get your first Invisalign braces on you will feel a intense amount of pressure on your teeth.
I was really worried about how much pain I would be in because I read about a few peoples Invisalign experiences and they explain a throbbing pain each time they put a new set of aligners on their teeth. I would have to agree that it is not a pleasant experience the first few days of each set. I found myself biting down and clenching my teeth together because the clear aligners created so much tension against my teeth. Usually the first few days I would be taking the aligners in and out to try and ease the uncomfortable feeling but you are supposed to keep them in for 23 hours a day and I usually would save that 1 hour for eating.
When you would eat it would be very painful to chew anything that was hard. I would try and chew with my back teeth because the front ones would be so sore. Since it was always so sore, and my aligner trays had to be in for 23 hours a day I would only eat 3 times a day with no snacking in between. Also, since it was important to brush your teeth after each meal it was difficult to try and snack on something and then run to the bathroom and brush my teeth, especially if I was at school.
Each 2 weeks I would switch my plastic trays and I usually went through the same process. With each new set I usually would have a small lisp while I adjusted to the new pressure on my teeth. It would take me a little time to wiggle them onto my teeth, and it would be quite painful like explained before. Once I would get them into a good spot I would bite down on a cotton roll that the orthodontist gave me in order to get them into their final spot. I would then throw my previous set out so I wouldn't confuse it with my new tray. Even though I am in pain for the first few days after I change the aligners it is awesome to see the visible difference of my teeth. You can actually see them straightening each 2 weeks.
It seems like each 2 weeks the new trays have a purpose to try and adjust a certain section of your teeth. I found that with different sets I would feel pain in different areas. I would always change my set at night so I could sleep while my teeth started to get adjusted to the new mold. This was a good strategy but a lot of times I would wake up in the middle of the night with headaches. I would assume this is from Invisalign since I never really got them before.
My orthodontist would spread out how many trays they would give me in between each appointment. From getting them on until my next appointment after that they gave me 6 trays total. Throughout the rest of my Invisalign journey it was spread out pretty similarly. In the middle of the process when I was applying rubber bands to my teeth I think the time between appointments was a little shorter.
You continue on this process until your treatment time is up. I ended up having really great results and think that the pros really outweigh the cons. The biggest con is by far the difficulty in chewing food. Since your teeth are always in a bit of pain it is really hard to chew sometimes. I guess this con is paired with a pro though - because I lost 15 lbs. while on the "Invisalign diet" of eating small amounts only 3 times a day. Other cons I had were cankor and mouth sores from the plastic rubbing against my cheeks, a slight lisp, and of course very sore teeth. When you finish Invisalign they will give you a permanent retainer that you wear at night so your teeth don't shift.
The Invisalign process had its ups and downs but it was a very great thing for me. I am beaming with confidence and love my new straight teeth. If you are out of high school and don't want to be walking around with a mouth full of metal, I highly recommend Invisalign!