Review of Invisalign – Invisible Braces

I grew up with beautiful teeth and my smile was the envy of many teens that had to wear braces for years to achieve the look I naturally had. That changed after a combination of the loss of wisdom teeth, gum disease and pregnancy (the hormones of pregnancy often wreak havoc on gums). My teeth gradually shifted leaving a large gap in the front. My beautiful smile had left me. I had only one choice, at age 38 I would have to get braces.

The thought of a mouthful of metal at my age sent shivers down my spine but I would do whatever it would take to get my smile back. I scheduled an appointment with an orthodontist. He agreed, I needed braces. But first, he needed to treat the underlying cause of my wandering teeth, gum disease.

After about a year, my gum health had returned to a state well enough to tolerate braces. I had heard about Invisalign and hoped I’d be a good candidate for the invisible braces. We discussed price and found that Invisalign was only $400 more than traditional braces. The orthodontist took x-rays, photos and made a mold of my teeth. The makers of Invisalign would have to evaluate these documents to determine if their system would work for me. A few weeks later, my orthodontist called and let me know they’d approved me for treatment with Invisalign.

After giving my okay, the makers of Invisalign used my bite impressions and a 3-D computerized modeling system to create a set of custom aligners for me. I needed 11 trays for the bottom teeth and 37 trays for the top teeth. Every two weeks I would get the next aligner in the series. This meant that my bottom teeth would be complete in just 22 weeks (about 6 months) but my top teeth would take 74 weeks (over a year).

When my set of aligners arrived at the orthodontist’s office, I came in for a fitting. He glued invisible dots of adhesive to a few of my teeth that acted as holders for the aligners. At first, the aligners felt tight in my mouth but after a few hours of wearing them, I felt more comfortable. They looked great, at about a foot away you could barely see them, they truly were invisible braces.

The receptionist also wore Invisalign braces so over the course of treatment we compared notes. She had a tough time with a slight lisp at first. I never experienced lisping or any other complication. We complained a little about having to brush our teeth in public but all in all, we both were thrilled with the ease and the results.

Each new set was tighter than the last but it was a gradual adjustment so I never had any pain. I had to wear them around the clock. The aligners are removable so eating is not a problem and you could take them out for special occasions. Teeth brushing became a constant part of life. Anytime I’d take them out for a meal, a snack or a drink, I would have to brush my teeth before replacing them.

The time flew past and every couple of weeks I’d see the progress made. Before I knew it, my smile had returned. And best of all, the invisible braces made it my little secret.

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