I’ve finally officially started! As a background, I’ll tell you about my experience from the very beginning. I had braces when I was ages 10 to 12, and never felt like I got a perfect smile. My orthodontist at the time was always making refinements, and even at the end, my teeth weren’t perfectly straight. As a result, I had little to no motivation to wear my retainers, so of course they reverted back to their old positions a bit.
My top teeth were pretty good, until I had a fall in my early twenties and chipped my front tooth. I went to a dentist that my friend worked for (not a cosmetic dentist… hey, I was young and stupid), and the bonding the used was the wrong color and positioned a little in front of my other front tooth.
On top of all that, I still have a baby tooth as a result of a missing adult tooth that never pushed it out. It’s toward the back of my mouth so you can’t really see it, but the roots are pretty much disintegrated and it will fall out soon. I’ll need to get an implant as a replacement, but once that happens, I won’t be able to do any more orthodontic work since implants don’t move likes teeth do.
So between the time crunch on the baby tooth falling out and my potential marriage in the next few years, I decided that now was the time to dive in and correct it. I really only considered Invisalign– I liked the results I saw online, appreciated the flexibility of being able to remove it for special occasions, and the subtlety of the device so that it wasn’t too obvious at work.
I went in for a consultation; they took x-rays and provided me with general information, my case was $5500, including all orthodontic work– all appointments, refinements, retainers, and trays were included. If you are looking into this, I encourage you to find someone who has a flat fee like this. I hate hidden fees, and the only way I’ll have to pay more here is if I’m not compliant (don’t wear the Invisalign trays).
I went back to the orthodontist on July 9th to get my scans, sign the paperwork, and pay the money. My insurance doesn’t cover orthodontic work, but I was able to use funds from my HSA to cover some of the expense. They offered monthly financing for the remainder, but I opted for a 0% interest credit card that I have the funds to pay off; This allowed me to take advantage of the pay-up-front discount.
During this visit, they took scans of my teeth, which used software to then create a 3D image of my mouth… so cool! The technician was able to move it around and show me all angles.
About three weeks after my scan, my trays came in and they texted me, instructing me to make a call for an appointment. They were closed for a week for vacation, so I was a little late in scheduling and managed to get an appointment for August 10th.
When I got in, they had the ClinCheck ready on the computer screen, where I could see the progression of my teeth with each tray. I have 28 trays, being changed every 2 weeks (although I’m going to see if I can switch to weekly changes at my next appointment).
So now that I’ve gone over the beginning, I’ll go over the first few days.
Day 1: The first few hours were fine! It felt like a tight retainer, but no real pain. Around 4 hours afterward, I started to feel the achiness in my teeth and gums. I went to the Taylor Swift concert that night (woohoo!!), and was able to have white wine and sprite with them in, since the technician I was working with said clear/light liquids were fine.
Days 2 & 3: Holy wow!! That got uncomfortable quick!! It’s not as bad as braces were, but definitely enough pain and ache to make me want to spend the weekend relaxing in bed. By day 4 (today), I was able to go without Tylenol and while I can still feel the aching, it’s definitely more tolerable. I have heard that the first trays are the worst, so I will let you know as I continue through the process.
By day 4 I can already sense the movement in my teeth. I can tell that my lower teeth are being pulled in closer to my tongue, and am surprised I can feel a difference this quickly.