Set 15 Of my Invisalign Braces- and some ugly Pre Invisalign pictures!

I don’t know whether my orthodontist had in mind George Bernard Shaw’s quote “My way of joking is to tell the truth; that’s the funniest joke in the world” when he handed me the CD of pre Invisalign pictures taken of my teeth at my initial appointment, but if he didn’t, then he should have had. Digitally printed on the front of the CD were the words “Ugly photos” along with a picture of a goat in braces, and never has a title been more apt.Whilst it was kind of him to give them to me, (I think!), I’m not at all sure that it is kind of me to put them on here, but I will, with the proviso that if you have just eaten, please, please, don’t look at them. They are alarmingly, distastefully, graphic and ugly.

As well as giving me the photos, we spent a large part of my appointment talking about retainment and refinements, things that seemed so distant in the early days, but now look so promisingly close. I’m excited even to be thinking about such things let alone talking about them.
After the next couple of aligners I can get moulds for any refinements that I want on my top arch and then switch to retainment mode for the top arches until they arrive. I will continue to wear each of the remaining 17 sets of lower aligners as usual but only my last set of top aligners at night. I had to double check this with him twice, but apparently that is the case; nighttime wear only will be fine. He reiterated that I have three attempts at refinement included in his price so I am happy to use one up in fiddling with the top arch whilst the bottom completes it’s first run. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll want to change yet, but I already have a few ideas of things that I’d like to tweak, so no doubt I’ll have a long, perfectionist, type A list by the time we make the new moulds in a few weeks!
My orthodontist has said that I can also get my new crown to replace the ugly old one that is really showing it’s age lately and that we’ll do refinements around it. Initially, this was definitely what I wanted, however, one of my two front teeth is not quite in the position that I want it to be yet, and unless it moves fairly significantly in the next two aligners I think it will need to be worked on during refinements. As the new crown will be right next to it, I have the feeling that I might be better off leaving it until the end of the whole process and getting the crown made then to perfectly fit the shape of the final gap. I’ll make a decision on this in the next few weeks, but please,let me know what you think. Bear in mind that a new crown costs $1500. Gulp. I really don’t want to have to do it twice.
My orthodontist is a lovely guy and I usually enjoy the banter that his visits entail but I have to say that I enjoyed this one a lot less than previous ones. Not the fault of my orthodontist, rather that I had an attack of heart palpitations in his office. The last few months I have been having these a lot, when I bend down and stand up too suddenly, when I twist into certain positions, and also I now know, when I get tipped upside down, head above my feet, in a dentists chair.
My heart, for some strange, electrical reason goes into a crazy irregular pattern for 30 seconds -2 minutes. I have seen two cardiologists, one of whom specialises in electrical problems, and had numerous tests and they have assured me that it is nothing serious, but still it is unnerving and extremely unpleasant. Luckily, my orthodontist has had some experience of this and he and his assistant were very calm about it and just kept my head above my feet for the rest of my
appointment, meaning that it quickly stopped, but it was a little scary nonetheless. I plan to do all the rest of my appointments in a more upright position: I’m prepared to put up with a lot for my new teeth, but heart arrhythmias weren’t something I had planned for!
Set 15 has been going very smoothly, no pain, little discomfort and no other problems. There is a tiny gap between my tooth and the aligner along the bottom of one of my front teeth, but I showed my orthodontist and he was happy that it was normal so I think all is well. I must confess that I haven’t been wearing them the full 22 hours of late so whether this is my comeuppance only time will tell. I will try to be more disciplined over the next two sets. No really, I will.
Here are the hideous photos. Can I just point out in my defence that the water on them is from the things that hold your mouth back, whose name entirely eludes me. It’s not my saliva! Honestly.

Set 14/17 Upper and 14/34 Lower Invisalign Braces Comparison Pictures

Before Invisalign:

After 14 sets of Invisalign Braces:

Set 11 of Invisalign braces, widening my arches

I finally have photographic evidence that my teeth are really, really improving. I took my daughters to a function last week at which there was a professional photographer taking photos. Usually in such situations I just do my usual closed mouth, tight lipped, teeth concealing smile. However, this was a woman photographer and she was fierce! There was no way she was going to accept anything less than a full on toothy, Hollywood smile. So, in the interests of leaving there in one piece I went for it.

The amazing thing was that I saw the pictures on screen and my teeth look good. I mean really good, like straight, well proportioned teeth. Ok, they aren’t yet Hollywood perfect, but compared to how they were before I started Invisalign, they are fantastic. I think what has changed is that my upper arches are starting to widen and fill out my mouth. One of the reasons (and not the only one, believe me!) that my teeth used to look so terrible is that I have a Julia Roberts sized mouth, but with a toddler sized set of teeth. My arches simply weren’t wide enough to fill my smile. Thankfully that seems to be changing.
I have spent a lot of time looking at close up comparison pictures of my teeth, analysing them for tiny changes without realising that, actually, it is from a distance that the improvements are most noticeable. Even my husband told me this week “your arches definitely look wider. ” Of course, being a woman I had to ask him, “Does that look better?” to which I got the response “ummm, yes?”
The thing is whether he thinks so or not, I think they look better. It is a little strange though, to see this new look evolving. I have always seen myself as someone with bad teeth and to suddenly find myself needing to reevaluate that self image is exciting. Yes, I know it’s pure vanity, and vacuous, and all those other terrible things, but hey, let’s be honest, this whole $6300 dollar escapade is really just an expensive beauty treatment. I might be telling people that I’m doing it because my bite alignment might cause me jaw pain in later life, but the reality is… well, I made that story up to hide my embarrassment over how vain I am!
I am including below a comparison of my set 1 and set 11 aligners. There is definite evidence now of the widening of my upper arches. I can’t for the life of me see a lot of difference on the lower arches other than that the gap is beginning to open to allow my wonky tooth to move in. I’ll let you be the judges though.
All has been a breeze with set 11. Let’s hope it continues this way!