20 September 2016

Thoughts After Invisalign

Portrait of Mademoiselle Demarsy by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1882

Sixteen months ago, I blogged about starting Invisalign treatment to straighten my teeth and shared a few things about the process that I hadn't expected. The experience has had its ups and downs, but last week I finished my treatment and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. Still, at the end of my Invisalign journey I have a few more unexpected things to share--some bad and some surprisingly good:

1. There will be delays. My treatment took 26 trays, and I had new impressions of my teeth taken and more trays made after sets 10 and 20. It was supposed to take only a few weeks for Invisalign to make the new trays based on the new impressions, but each time it took over a month for mine to get back, and the same held true when I was waiting for my retainers. Having to wear aligners designed for two weeks' use for almost three times that long was frustrating, as the plastic began to wear away leaving the aligners rough and frayed in spots.

2. There may be sensitivity. I had some tooth sensitivity at the beginning of my treatment due to extra brushing between meals, so I began using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. I was able to to switch back to a regular toothpaste fairly quickly and thought the problem had been resolved . . . until I had my attachments removed. When my dentist sanded off the little bumps added to my teeth to help with movement, I experienced awful sensitivity. If I had known this might be an issue, I would have used a sensitive toothpaste in the weeks leading up to my final appointment.

3. The discomfort does get better. I was surprised by how uncomfortable my initial trays were, and I worried that the discomfort would return at the same level with each new set of aligners. Thankfully, this wasn't the case--none of my later aligners were nearly as uncomfortable as the first. I did occasionally take a pain reliever to minimize the discomfort when starting a new set, but sometimes I could snap on the new pair with hardly any increase in pressure.

4. They really aren't noticeable. I thought I might be a little self-conscious wearing my aligners out and about, but I honestly never was. No one seemed to notice them, or if they did, I didn't notice! Despite the attachments they were, true to the name, pretty invisible.

While there were some aspects of Invisalign that I didn't like, I'm still so glad that I went through with the treatment. Even with delays, it took less than a year and a half to take my teeth from twisted and crooked to straighter than I thought was possible--and that's certainly something to smile about!

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