After 9 months of confinement inside their clear plastic Invisalign prisons my top arches are finally free; the only thing is, at times I have almost missed my braces!
After 17 aligners and 34 weeks I have finished the first run for my upper arches. I still have 17 aligners left for my bottom arch however, so I wear the lowers full time and the upper ones only at night. That in itself is proving to be something of a challenge. Whilst it was easy to remember to put my braces back in when I was wearing both sets- my teeth felt strangely naked without them- it is much harder to remember to put only one aligner back in. My teeth seem to have quickly adjusted to the naked feeling on the top arches; wearing only lower aligners is nowhere near as intrusive. That means, however, that I never get the sensation that used to remind me to put my braces back in and consequently I have been skipping a few hours here and there.
It was strange at first not to have to wear them after all this time. The only way that I can describe it is as similar to the time when I gave up sucking my thumb as a child, my mouth felt strangely empty and my tongue almost throbbed with some unmet need. However, that quickly passed thankfully and I am now fully happy with my 12 hours a day wear. My orthodontist has told me that that is the ideal balance between the need for retainment and the need for my top aligners to last intact until my refinements arrive.
Arggh, refinements. Those of you that have read this blog from it’s earliest days will remember my confident proclamations about how I didn’t require perfection, only improvement in my teeth. Funny how these things change. Whilst my teeth are enormously improved there are still a few minor tweaks that I now deem absolutely necessary for my orthodontic happiness. As discussed a couple of posts ago in my “invisalign set 15 -ugly photos”my front tooth is not yet in complete alignment, although it is pretty close. Similarly the left hand side of my upper arch has not widened as well as the right side and the length of the teeth is mismatched when viewed both from the front and the side. Fortunately my fabulous orthodontist agreed 100% with my assessment of this as well as picking up a couple of other minor points and thinks that we can fix it in about 6 additional aligners including an over correction. The great thing is that this will be done at the same time as my lower arches are still on their first run so won’t add any additional time to the process at this stage.
My orthodontist was happy with how things are progressing otherwise. We agreed that I wouldn’t get my crown completed until I have finished refinements on the upper arch in case when things moved it needed redoing again. I am keen to avoid paying the $1500 charge for a new crown twice.
Here are some pictures of my upper arch pre refinements. Feel free to let me know whether there are any additional tweaks that you think I need. Bear in mind that we are only talking about the top ones though, the bottoms are only halfway through…