Sunday, 16 June 2013

Invisalign - Update

Having now moved on to my third set of trays I thought that this would be the perfect time to update you all on my Invisalign progress!
(With flash)
Tray1:
My first appointment to fit the trays was very speedy. I was shown how to insert the trays properly to ensure they were perfectly in place and also how to remove them, which is the somewhat tricky part! Though the trays fit very snugly to my teeth they did not put too much pressure on them and I didn’t feel any pain at all. After a few tries I was able to get the trays in and out in seconds, though be aware that you have to hook them from the back on both sides, which is not the most attractive action. I was under the impression that they could be removed from the front (like a mouth guard) but in fact this could warp the trays so it is recommended you start from the back and work your way forward and inside out when trying to loosen them.
Apart from the strange sensation of having something in your mouth I didn’t find the trays uncomfortable. Though for the first two days there was a little bit of irritation on my lower gum I didn’t develop any ulcers and it went away pretty quickly. My mouth is quite sensitive so I was actually surprised that they didn’t cause any issues.
My main concern with the trays was that I did have a little bit of a lisp when I was speaking. As long as I remembered to over-enunciate my speech was fine, but when I started talking and forgot about the trays I did have a few awkward moments of not being able to speak properly. I am generally quite a self conscious person, and though most people didn’t notice the difference in either my speech or the appearance of my teeth, I did find it a little frustrating. Though to be perfectly honest I think people didn’t actually notice my teeth, but saw me ‘playing’ with them (not literally, but when something feels strange in your mouth you inevitably end up investigating it with your tongue). The dentist told me that most people’s speech adapts in about 1-2 weeks, though I felt like it took me a little longer (about 3 weeks) before my incessant chatter went back to normal.
(no flash)

Tray 2:
After 2 weeks I went back to the dentist to have a check up and to have resin attachments fitted to my teeth. My trays were examined for any cracks to make sure I had been diligent in removing them properly and luckily (despite being rather chewed in the back due to grinding my teeth at night and general stress) I passed the test and was allowed to take my next 3 sets of trays home. I was surprised to see the extent of the discolouration in the trays compared to the new ones, but I was assured that this was completely normal. Nevertheless, I mentally made a note to try and brush the trays a little more often to ensure the remained nice and bright for longer.
The little resin brackets were then fitted to my teeth using UV light to set them in place. As they are tooth coloured they are mostly not noticeable, except for the one on my incisor which stuck out a lot more than I had imagined it would. As always I am brutally honest with you guys and I have to admit that this did make me feel a little disheartened about my decision to have Invisalign. Some people don’t need the brackets and everyone has individual shapes and placement, it was mainly bad luck that meant that the angle and size of mine was quite prominent, and made it look like my tooth was sticking out very strangely. Ultimately the main reason for the Invisalign was a cosmetic enhancement, so the fact that this bracket made my teeth look worse was a bit upsetting, especially as I had my engagement party coming up in a few weeks and really wanted to look my best.
The beauty with Invisalign is that you can remove the trays, so for special occasions you could go without for a short period of time. However, the brackets are permanent and (at least in my case) will be on my teeth for the rest of the treatment.

As the weeks have passed I have definitely got used to the attachments, but the one on my incisor is a little bit bothersome (mainly because it is visible when I smile, while the others are towards the back and hidden). Once again most people haven’t noticed, so vanity aside it really isn’t as prominent as I first thought.
I can readily admit that I am my own worst critic and always over analyse everything, whether that be aesthetically related or the decisions I have made. In the end I know the results will totally be worth it and a little tab on my tooth for a few months is hardly worth worrying about, but I want this review to be completely honest. This is a long term commitment, so it’s definitely worth thinking about every aspect!
Apologies for the rather graphic photo! Many of you have asked me to put up photos of what the Invisalign looks like close up. You can also clearly see the brackets stuck on to my incisor and back teeth.
Finally, I wanted to address how Invisalign has affected my daily lifestyle and I can confidently say that it hasn’t! Other than running off to the bathroom to take out my trays before every meal/ snack I really haven’t found it to be a burden at all. A few times I have had to plan ahead eg. if I have a work lunch I make sure to remove my trays while on my way there to avoid any embarrassment at the table, but other than that it has been pretty effortless. I have partied in Monaco, drank far too much at a day at the races, entertained work clients, smiled for hours at our engagement party, exercised, slept and attended numerous conferences and events all while wearing my Invisalign and most people were shocked when I told them about it. So much so that one of my friends saw my first review on this blog and actually e-mailed me to say that she was so surprised as she is normally very observant, but hadn’t noticed anything at all. Katie, I couldn’t have asked for a better endorsement than that ;p.
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