Starting the Invisalign Journey
This week I had an appointment to pick up my first trays for my Invisalign journey. I was quite nervous about them – especially given I dropped so much money on this process that I would have to go through with it even if they were slightly painful or worse. find more information here @ https://cochranorthodontics.com/invisalign/
When I arrived at my appointment with the Orthodontist, where I am being treated, I was surprised to find a “Registered Dental Assistant” there to greet me. My initial thought was “ok, where is the orthodontist I met who gave me the sales pitch?” Well, the answer, I later found out, was that he wasn’t there. Despite his big sales push that general dentists should never be allowed to do Invisalign work, he isn’t even around for the first appointment.
That said, the dental assistant was nice and talked me through the basics of my Invisalign program. She is actually going through getting Invisalign herself so it put me at ease knowing she not only was telling me about what would happen but she was experiencing it as well. Still I was a bit unhappy that the orthodontist wasn’t even around for the first appointment just for show.
In any case, the appointment didn’t take long at all. I was informed that the important part – the “prescription” – was all done by Dr. David R. Boschken who is my orthodontist. I understand, they’re trying to keep costs down (hence why I was able to get a reasonably good deal at a reputable establishment) so I’ll go with the flow. What matters most is that this works and doesn’t cause harm. I am still faithful that I made the right choice.
So the appointment was fairly uneventful. My first set of trays – which I was told were kind of practice trays as they wouldn’t be moving much – were to be put in with my hands (never set in place by biting down on them) and I was warned of all the ways I could lose or break my trays (don’t ever, ever leave your trays in a napkin, she warned.) Then I was shown an animation of my teeth moving into place over the next 12+ months. One thing I noticed on the animation was these blue squares on a bunch of my teeth. Uh oh, what’s that?
Apparently that is the attachments – which – if they were mentioned to me at all in the sales pitch, were mentioned as quickly as possible without any emphasis. It seems this is a common theme among Invisalign dentists and orthos — they show you the invisible, thin plastic trays but fail to show you the giant tooth colored bumps of cement that are going to be glued to your teeth for the next year or more.
I didn’t count all of my attachments but it looks like a lot. The need for them makes sense – these plastic trays can put pressure on teeth but only in certain ways, whereas traditional braces actually attach to the teeth so can pull or push better – however I wish I had a better idea of what I was getting myself into. In my mind this was a great solution because if I needed to take the trays out for a picture – say when I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding this November – no one would have any idea that I had Invisalign in many years to come. But, nope, I’m getting two big attachments on the teeth next to my center two, along with many others.
The attachments will be installed at my next appointment in three weeks. I’ve read all sorts of fun horror stories about the Invisalign attachments/buttons (scratching up your gums and just looking strange if they don’t match your teeth perfectly) so I’m a bit nervous. I’m not going to ask for them not to use the attachments though because that would be silly and a waste of money. At the moment I’m giving my full faith and confidence to my orthodontist and letting him call the shots. It would be nice if he showed up to call the shots or ease my concerns re: the shots, but you know, minor details.
I’ve now had the trays in for about two days. I think the description I read elsewhere of a firm grip on your jaws that’s somewhat claustrophobic is accurate, as is the tale of how one Invisalign user rubbed his tongue on the edges of the trays out of habit until it got rough and sore.
If you don’t know anything about Invisalign – here’s a quick overview of how it works: Basically you get a bunch of trays made up for you (in my case there are 24 of them) and then you change them out ever 2-3 weeks until you’re done. Then if things don’t move as your dentist or ortho wants, you get refinements, which basically means more trays to focus on problem areas. Then you’re done and you wear a retainer for the rest of your life while you sleep to keep all this hard work you paid for.
While you’re using Invisalign you have to wear the trays about 22 hours a day, give or take. You basically take them out to eat and that’s it. This is unfortunate since I have a horrid lisp while wearing the trays but I’m hoping I get used to my new and – uh – improved speech. At least it makes my boyfriend crack up.
Invisalign definitely isn’t invisible. People are going to notice you have them.But so what? They’re still better than braces. My boyfriend explained that it looks like I’m walking around with crest white strips on my teeth. So, yea, there’s that.
At the moment one of my lower teeth feels sore from pressure (the good kind of pressure) and my tongue feels sore from being ripped up on the tray edge. Ouch. I’ve been really good about wearing the trays so far and following a religious cleaning routine where I brush and floss after every single meal or snack. My dentist is going to love this.
Also, a side benefit of these things is prob going to be weight loss. It’s just too much of a hassle to eat and it probably will be more of one once the attachments are glued on. So I’ll be able to hit both my teeth straightening and BMI wedding goals. Hurrah. Stay tuned for more updates along my Invisalign journey. I’ll post pictures soon as well.
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