Looking into Invisalign? I will share all the insight about my experience and how to make the most of your Invisalign treatment. How to pick the right doctor and make sure your results are fast and effective.
Never having had braces as a teen, I was always curious about Invisalign but never looked into it seriously. The process seemed pricey, uncomfortable and way too involved for someone with minimal orthodontic issues. Starting with a new dentist for regular cleanings, I was intrigued by the potential for Invisalign to improve my bite and the long-term health of my gums. Working with Dr. Patel was absolutely amazing and I am thrilled with my results. I want to sharing my Invisalign experience with you all in hopes that it helps you better prepare and know what to expect with your own orthodontic experience.
My Dental History
The only major issues I had with my teeth were extreme tightness and a bad nighttime grinding habit. Over the years my grinding (despite wearing a mouth-guard) began to negatively impact my bite, the profile of my teeth, and my gums. My gum health began to suffer due to my jaw changing and my teeth tightening even more. These issues along with my amazing orthodontic insurance benefits got me excited about the potential of Invisalign
Preston Dental Loft: Invisalign Services
If it wasn’t for Preston Dental Loft’s superior service and care I am not sure I would have taken the Invisalign plunge. The deciding factor was how empowering and educational Preston Dental Loft is. Dr. Patel took the time to sit down and have a full consultation with me including a 3D scan showing my potential results. That alone was enough to sell me, but she also uses cutting edge procedures and tools, which speed up the process and that really stood out. I wanted my experience to be fast and effective.
Speeding Up the Process
There were three things that Dr. Patel did which helped me speed up my Invisalign experience.
- Propel – is a process where a skilled orthodontist makes small acupuncture in the bone prior to your first tray to accelerate treatment. The acupuncture weakens the bone slightly to allow the teeth to move a bit faster while doing less damage to the teeth’s roots. I was fully numbed when Dr. Patel completed this treatment for me and was only sore for a few days. I really feel this started my treatment on the fast track.
- Acceladent – is a vibrating mouth device that is worn with your trays for 20 minutes each night. The slight vibrations speed up the movement of the teeth and ensure the trays are closely aligned with your teeth. I used my tool religiously each night and I truly think it helped impacted the length of my treatment as compared to friends who did not use this tool.
- Chew Toy – I don’t know what else to call this thing. My dental hygenist called it my “chew toy”. Its a small rubber piece with indents and curves to help your trays align achieve optimal placement and alignment with your teeth. When you first put in a new tray your teeth may need some coaxing to properly adhere to the tray. Chewing on this toy for a good 15-20 minutes when I put in a new tray helped relieve some discomfort and allow the trays to fit smoothly.
Invisalign Time frame
The timeframe for Invisalign treatment depends completely on the person and the unique dental goals. In my case Dr. Patel felt I was an ideal Invisalign candidate and thus we anticipated 6-9 months for my journey. Invisalign relies on the movement of your teeth and sometimes your time frame may have to adjust depending on how quickly your teeth are moving. In my case, I did have one setback at my mid-way checkin, but I was still able to finish early in under 4 months.
Since much of your timeline depends on the speed at which your teeth move, this is directly connected to how often you change your trays. Some of the techniques Dr. Patel used helped speed up my movement, meaning I could change my trays every 5 days. Some people I know had to wait 14 days each tray, which extended the length of the overall treatment. When you are interviewing dentists be sure to ask about timing and the techniques they can offer to sped up the process.
At the beginning I will admit my mouth was sore, particularly after my Propel treatment. As the weeks went on, I only had 1 day of discomfort or pressure when I changed trays. Overall the discomfort is just an annoyance of taking the trays in and out. Of course everyone is different but to my teeth just felt tender throughout and not actually painful.
What about a lisp. I was SO worried about how Invisalign would impact my speech. One suggestion from Dr. Patel was to spend the first day with your Invisalign thinking about talking when you talk. I found that when I was more mindful of talking, I didn’t experience any lisp. As my tongue got adjusted to the foreign object, I had no issues at all. Each time I changed the trays, I did have about an hour where I had to readjust my speaking. I promise it’s not as hard as it sounds.
Eating & Drinking
Since I was changing my trays every 5 days Dr. Patel let me drink coffee with my trays in. I did make a point to brush after coffee as much as possible and drink through straws. For eating the trays do have to come out and then you should floss and brush after. I will admit sometimes I cleaned with water if I was in a bind and then put the trays back in. I will say the trays got pretty nasty so I tried to clean them at least twice a day.
The important part is to ensure you are wearing your trays for 22 hours per day!
Invisalign Tips & Tricks
- Always carry floss, a toothbrush and toothpaste. You never know where you will be and want to eat or drink
- NEVER put your trays in a tissue. It is too easy to forget and have them end up in the trash
- Use the OrthoKey to easily remove your trays in public. It will make the process less slobbery and embarrassing, – though I promise hunger will outweigh any self-conscious feelings quickly. Using the tool will also ensure you do not dislodge any of your attachments (sometimes called buttons) which help secure your trays in the correct position on your teeth.
- Most people won’t even notice your Invisalign. I was so worried that everyone would notice, but I found myself having to tell people. We are our own worst critics. Don’t be afraid to smile and own the experience. Remember it’s temporary.
- Expert hygienists will also make sure your attachments are color matched carefully to your teeth. This ensures that when your trays are out, you can barely see the attachments. Make sure this is something you ask about.
Invisalign Before & After
At first it was hard to see the change, but within a few weeks I could already see major movement. My two teeth on the bottom show the biggest change. You can see how they went from being cramped and pointing in, to standing straight and even with the rest of my teeth.
At my final appointment we did another 3D scan to review how much my teeth moved and the results were amazing!!! It was so powerful to see the progress. We also made some minor cosmetic changes to the shape of my teeth to fit the new alignment. You can see we filed the top front two teeth to be a bit more even and we evened out a few of the other edges. This really helped pull the whole final look of my teeth together.
I am SO thrilled with my Invisalign results and the process for me was extremely smooth.
I just can’t get over the results. It feels like I have a brand new set of teeth!
My biggest advice would be to take the process seriously. It will take time and dedication but your result will absolutely be worth it. Also keep in mind that you will need to wear your retainer religiously following treatment. In my case I will have to wear my retainer 12-22 hours a day for 6 months and then every night for the rest of my life. It can be a pain, but I want my results to be maintained.
If you’re in the Raleigh area, I highly recommend Preston Dental Loft and if you’re not, just make sure you shop around. Find a dentist that understands your goals and can provide the highest quality of care and support during your Invisalign journey.
What questions do you have for me about the Invisalign experience?