The Answers to All Your Invisalign Questions
(Including Those You Were Afraid To Ask)
By Jessica Kolupailo – Lakeside Family Dentistry Financial Manager
So I started this process 7 days ago and this is what I have experienced thus far…
First off, I must mention that I am nearing 40 years old and have always wanted to do something about my crowded teeth. As I got older, I thought that I should just stop letting it bother me because there was no way I was going to walk around with braces on now for the first time in my life. My upper teeth have been straight my entire life, however I feel that my teeth and smile have narrowed over the years and my overbite has caused malocclusion which has led to noticeable wear on my teeth. My lower teeth are what have really been bothersome my whole life. My very forefront lower teeth have been crowded together leaving me with troubles in flossing and wear on my upper front teeth. I have always been glad that I have an over-bite so my crooked lowers were barely noticed. Then, I began working here at Lakeside Family Dentistry and was introduced to Invisalign. I was instantly intrigued, but was skeptical thinking that my case was too extreme for Invisalign. I was told that I was the perfect candidate and should do something immediately about the wear this malocclusion was causing. The staff here took impressions along with pictures of my teeth and jaw from all angles and sent them in for review. Within a week, Invisalign sent back an electronic, what they refer to as a “clincheck.” This basically digitizes what my teeth look like now and how they will gradually shift with the Invisalign aligners. I got to see digital images of my teeth looking over-crowded as they do now to becoming perfectly straight. Along with this, my dentists, the amazing Dr. Boe and Dr. Mike, informed me that they would file down the angle on my front tooth making it more symmetrical and advised me to use whitening gel in my Invisalign trays to obtain the somewhat flawless smile I so desired. SOLD!!!
This is what my teeth looked like before…
…This is after the recontour of my front teeth and a little whitening gel.
NOW TO START WEARING THE ALIGNERS! I cannot wait until those bottom teeth are straightened out!
Thursday June 18, 2015 (The day of my first aligners were placed)
I was so excited! But had to come down to reality considering I knew I wasn’t going to get any instant gratification. This was going to minimally be a six month process.
Dr. Boe took about an hour to place these little attachments on my teeth. I always wondered what purpose those little things had and found out the answer. They help guide and rotate the teeth in the direction they need to go. Similar, but more effective than the brackets on traditional braces, here is a picture of what they look like (you’ll also notice that I have my bottom aligner on, but not my top in this picture).
At first, the attachments felt so bizarre and I was nervous that I was not going to get used to them. They rubbed on the inside of my cheek which was painful for the first day. It literally took me a day to get used to this feeling. It no longer bothers me. I feel a little self-conscious when people are looking at my mouth (on occasions when I don’t have the aligners in) because I feel like they are noticeable. I have been assured by my friends that they only noticed them because I pointed them out.
The only real downfall I am experiencing thus far is that I cannot graze on snacks throughout the day. Maybe this is a good thing!? If I want to snack, I have to take my aligners out, eat, and then floss and brush my teeth, along with the aligners before putting them back on. Nor can I drink coffee at my desk without going through this same ritual. UGH. This is going to be a long 6 months!
I also should mention that I talk with a slight “lisp.” This was very apparent for the first few days, but now that my tongue has become used to these aligners, my husband says that he barely notices the “lispy” sound anymore. I still get nervous when I have to speak to patients using a lot of words with “S” in them. My 8 year old little boy still makes me do the “Sally sells seashells by the seashore” tongue twister for his amusement. But overall, very pleasantly surprised so far!
Oh…and I almost forgot to mention that I am noticing movement already! My bottom aligners felt very snug in the beginning, but now that my teeth have shifted slightly, they are much easier to get on and off.
So that’s all I have to report for now. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at work (952)475-0989.
I will keep you updated with progress reports and photos.
Also worth mentioning…Lakeside Family Dentistry is running a special on Invisalign now through August 31, 2015. You can take $500 off. It is regularly $4500. Some exclusions may apply. If you mention me, they might also add in free custom whitening (worth $250)! 🙂