Invisalign Braces Set 23 – Update With Pictures

I know, I know, I’ve been a bit slow with the updates lately. I have no real excuse other than a serious bout of the flu. I’m in the southern hemisphere (i.e it’s summer here) and I have had both the swine flu and seasonal flu vaccinations (fortunately we have a large stockpile of swine flu vaccination here, it’s available free and on demand) but somehow I still managed to succumb to a 2 week bout of illness. Yuck. I managed to keep my aligners in for most of it, although there were a couple of days where I simply couldn’t function without a lozenge in my mouth as my throat was so raw and painful to swallow; so on those days I’m afraid I was a little remiss.
Fortunately I’m now back on form and back on track with my invisalign, so I promise I’ll try and update more regularly.

As you can see from the pictures there are no massive revelations at this point in my treatment, but things are slowly moving into place. I am now on 3/9 of my upper refinements and on 23/34 of my lower aligners.

As you can see from the first picture the movement of my crown has now caused a very ugly black line along my gumline next to the crown. Fortunately my aligners actually mask this to a great extent so it isn’t nearly so noticeable when they are in, but it is, nonetheless, a bit ugly. The profile view of that crown is improving (see third picture) but still isn’t nearly perfect as the front tooth still needs to move back into place a little more. I have six aligners to go, so we’ll see what happens. I’m still really looking forward to getting the crown replaced (although already having nightmares about the actual procedure!) I know that the cosmetic dentist also said that he needs to raise my gumline above that tooth, which I’m trying not to even think about at this point for fear of never going back to another dental appointment again. If you have had a gum raising procedure and can offer any kind words of encouragement, please, please do. Frankly, I’m terrified!

My upper refinements as mentioned in a previous post are focusing on two areas, my front right tooth that needs rotating and the molar that is too long and not in position on the left side (right side in these pictures). I was told that my nine refinements are really six aligners and three over-corrections; if my teeth look done after the first six trays we can stop. Something I have been wondering about is, what happens if one area looks perfect after six aligners and the other doesn’t? Do I have to over-correct one area to get a finished result on the other? I’ll ask my orthodontist at the next appointment and let you know.

My bottom arch isn’t looking too different from straight on but I am happy to report that a real gap is opening up inside my mouth for my stray tooth to move into (see my clincheck). I can also see that the bottom arch looks less “witchy” when viewed from the front. One of the things that I disliked so much about my teeth pre treatment is that the the bottom row were both very visible when I talked and also very pointed and crooked, giving me a look that could easily scare small children! (see my sidebar for the before pictures) This far into the treatment I am happy to report that they are becoming much more uniform and whilst not straight, will no longer qualify me for a walk on part in The Wizard of Oz.
teeth nov 09 set 23side view set 23bad side set 23
As ever I would love to hear your comments on my treatment. Feel free to click on the “comments” link below and let me know your thoughts on how things are going.

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.