My Experience with Invisalign
Yesterday was a happy day: I finished my treatments with Invisalign! I thought I would share my experience with you here on the blog, in case you are interested in getting Invisalign. Before I tell you about my experience, let me give you the backstory on my teeth.
When I was around 10 years old, I had traditional metal braces. I had them for about four years, right up until I entered high school. Prior to having braces, my teeth were very crooked. I look back at photos of me as a child and always joke to my mom and dad, “only a parent could love that face.” Luckily, a few years of braces straightened them out perfectly and I was in love with my smile.
Ditched the Retainer
After my braces were removed, I was very diligent about wearing my retainer every single night. After I brushed and flossed my teeth, I would pop in my plastic retainer before I hopped into bed. I kept this routine up all four years of high school. Then when I got to college, I got lazy and slowly stopped wearing my retainer.
It didn’t happen overnight; I just gradually stopped wearing it. Before I knew it, my teeth started to shift. There was one tooth in particular that really started to bother me, because it was in front, and my bottom teeth began to shift as well.
After I noticed the shifting, I went back to visit my old orthodontist. I wanted to know if there was anything I could do to help get my teeth back in place. He ended up making me a new retainer since my old plastic one didn’t fit anymore. It cost $750 and was a metal retainer. He suggested that I wear it 24/7, but let’s be serious: I was in college, and there was no chance I was wearing this metal contraption all day.
I wore it at night and it helped a little bit, but not a whole lot. I figured, “oh well, at least I tried,” and then…I slowly stopped wearing that retainer, too! I could really kick myself just thinking about how lazy I used to be with all of this dental work.
Fast forward to a few years ago. My teeth started to shift even more, but only I could really notice. My front tooth was slightly overlapped with the other, and the bottom teeth had shifted quite a bit. Everyone thought I was crazy for being so obsessed with my teeth because if you looked at me in photos, they still looked great to most people.
But being the crazy perfectionist that I am, I started to consider Invisalign. At first, it was just a thought that crossed my mind. “Maybe I’ll get Invisalign someday…but I don’t really need them…and I don’t want to spend the money.” Then one day I was at my dentist’s office for a routine cleaning. He was the one who said, “have you ever thought of getting Invisalign?” He didn’t realize I had braces as a child, so I told him I already went through orthodontia work and didn’t really want to do it again (mostly because of the cost). My parents paid for my braces when I had them in elementary and middle school, but I wasn’t so sure I wanted to pay for them now.
He said, “no worries, you don’t necessarily need them, but you don’t want your teeth to shift even more.” That really stuck with me. I knew that my dentist was probably looking to line his own pockets, but he did make a good point. I didn’t want my teeth to shift even more than they already had due to wisdom teeth, aging, and other factors.
After a few years of thought and research, I finally decided to go ahead with Invisalign in October 2017. I did a lot of reading, watched several YouTube videos, and talked to friends who wore Invisalign. I wasn’t concerned about actually wearing them, I was more concerned about the cost.
I’m not going to lie – they aren’t cheap (especially if you’ve already had braces once!). I scheduled an appointment with my dentist to have impressions made. We did that, and after about a month, he invited me back to his office to discuss the process and pricing. He estimated that I would need them for 7 months to fix my cosmetic issues and quoted me at $5,200.
I then scheduled another appointment with an actual orthodontist. I visited Get It Straight Orthodontics in Pittsford and the technology at that office is so advanced they didn’t even need to do impressions. A staff member took several photos and videos of my teeth from all sorts of angles, and they were able to discuss the process and pricing right then and there.
If I wanted to only fix my cosmetic issues (the overlapping tooth on top and the overcrowded teeth on bottom) that would take about 3 months and cost $4,200. If I wanted to also fix my bite (the shape of my mouth has gotten smaller and caused my bite to change, which therefore has made my gums recede), that would take about 6 months and cost $5,200. I figured that I should correct everything, so I went with the second option. I also asked to use AcceleDent, which essentially is a vibrating mouthpiece you wear for 20 minutes per day to reduce treatment time up to half. It also reduces discomfort up to 71%.
Keep in mind that everyone has different needs. I have friends who are currently wearing Invisalign but need them for 18 months and are paying more money. If you are interested, do your research and schedule a visit or two with local orthodontists to get a professional opinion and quote.
My Invisalign experience started on October 25, 2017. There were a few things I wasn’t expecting:
- Attachments – I knew I would likely need a few attachments on my teeth. These are little white bumps that are bonded to your teeth in order to help with the whole process. Turned out I actually needed 13 attachments. They weren’t that noticeable – only if you were really staring at my teeth or if I pointed them out.
- Lisp – The first few days I had a really bad lisp, which was such a bummer. I was very self-conscious and scared that the lisp would remain the entire duration of Invisalign. The dentist told me not to worry, and that it would go away after about a week. Luckily, he was right. It didn’t go away 100%, but it was hardly noticeable after just a few days.
- Eating & Drinking – As most people who have done research on Invisalign already know, you are supposed to wear your braces for 22 out of the 24 hours in a day. That means you should only take them out when you’re eating. This was a little bit tricky for me. I go to lunches, dinners, and happy hours several times a week. Needless to say, my Invisalign wasn’t in for all 22 hours…but I tried to stay as close to that time frame as possible.
- Round 2 – My first round of Invisalign lasted until February 22, 2018 (four months total), and the orthodontist said I would likely be done with Invisalign at that time. When I went for my appointment, he decided to go longer and order “round two” aligners to straighten my teeth even more. I went the entire month of March without changing my aligners which was a bummer. They needed to order new ones, and it obviously takes time to order, create, and receive them. So I went back the end of March and did another month and a half of treatment. In total, I had Invisalign for five and a half months.
I am completely happy with how my teeth now look. They are perfect again and I love to smile! I highly recommend Invisalign as it really does work. I also highly recommend Get It Straight Orthodontics. Dr. Giangreco and Dr. Calnon were both exceptional to work with, as well as the entire Get It Straight staff. See below for my results (both of my mugshots are so rough, haha)!
Have you ever had braces or are currently considering Invisalign? Leave a comment and share your story!