2 days in Invisalign braces..and counting…

I didn’t get the chance to post yesterday, and in hindsight that is probably a good thing as I was ready to throw my Invisalign trays in the bin at one point. However after almost 48 hours they are definitely getting easier. The biggest challenge from my point of view has been getting them in and out. Frankly, it’s a bitch. I have read other blogs of people “popping” them in and out, but that seems pretty far off at the moment. However, I must confess I have found them slightly more manageable this morning, which is probably partly improved technique and partly the fact that they are definitely loosening slightly as my teeth move.
Yesterday was New Years Eve, and we spent the day at Wet ‘n’ Wild theme park on the Gold Coast, probably not advisable for your first day in braces. One of the things that they told me at my fitting appointment was that you need to remove them for swimming. Depending where you live in the world, this may or may not be a huge inconvenience. As I live in Queensland, Australia, where the temperature was 29 degrees celcius at 10pm last night this is something of a pain as we spend half the summer in our pool trying to cool down.
I was nonetheless able to wear them for most of the day- I took them out for 15 minutes for breakfast, managed to keep them in on all the water slides at wet ‘n’ wild, simply by choosing the more sedate ones that don’t throw you underwater at the end. Lunchtime was something of a challenge and I ended up trying to surreptitiously get them out in the corner of one of the outdoor eating areas as the queue for the toilets was about 100 deep. I managed it after a few frustrating minutes, although to say it was a struggle would be something of an understatement.
In the evening we went to watch the 8.30pm firework display at South Bank Parklands in Brisbane. There was a huge party in the beach area, with everyone in the water dancing and swimming. Ordinarily it would have looked fun, but I wasn’t up for trying to take my braces out in the dark on a public beach, so we watched the fireworks and went home about 9. By that time they had been in all day, and I actually managed to get them out relatively easily, so we could jump in the pool and begin drinking Champagne. I kept them out for a couple of hours so I could be social and drink through the evening, but about 11pm I got in a panic that my teeth would have shifted back, so I went through the whole brushing, flossing rigmarole and got them back in to toast the New year in with a glass of water….the things I do for vanity! At least I am hangover free today though..
It did occur to me that as I have rather overindulged over the Christmas period and managed to gain 7 pounds in about 4 weeks, it might actually be a good thing if I continue to find taking the trays in and out an ordeal. I have already lost 1 pound in the first 48 hours, so if this continues it would be a very welcome side effect. If they could somehow also help me build muscle tone too…
I just wanted to write something about how they are affecting my speech- or rather- how they are not affecting my speech. For the first 2 minutes of wearing them I felt very slightly lispy, and each time I put them back in after eating it takes me a minute to readjust, but other than that, I have not noticed myself lisping at all. I have quizzed my husband on this and he says he can hear no difference whatsoever in my speech, so that is reassuring. All this from the man who declared on the way to my fitting appointment
“Just what every man has always dreamed of.. a wife with braces”
He was joking, but I haven’t quite let him forget it yet!


Photos of my teeth before Invisalign

 These are the pictures that I took on the day of my impressions prior to any Invisalign treatment. I will attempt to obtain the pictures that my orthodontist took at my impressions appointment and post them. For now I thought these might be a useful reference. As you can see from the first picture I have rather a large overbite, and can actually insert the tip of my index finger easily between my top and bottom teeth.
The photo above shows just how out of line my midlines are although my dentist has told me that we won’t be able to get these perfect. We are aiming for good enough. You can also see in the pictures above my old discoloured crown, on the tooth to the immediate left of my two front teeth. I cannot have this replaced until Invisalign is finished, it will then be replaced and the gumline lifted. Yikes.
The final pictures of my arches show the stray tooth across the bottom of my mouth. This wasn’t actually nearly so wonky before the failed extraction, and is the tooth that is causing all the headaches for my orthodontist.


Impressions and records for Invisalign.

I was dreading this appointment. I have been scanning other people’s blogs endlessly over the last few weeks, and had read some fairly revolting descriptions of how awful having impressions taken is. By the time I got to the my appointment my heart was racing, especially when I found that I had arrived half an hour early, so I had to wait in reception, slowly winding myself up into more and more of a panic. I have a pretty well developed gag reflex- even the numbing gel that they put on your gums before they inject you when you are about to get a filling tends to set it off, so I was quietly confident that I would have problems.

My initial consultation had been in an office with a stylish chaise longue, but for this appointment I was led instead to a room that had both the look and smell of a traditional dental surgery. I thought I had long conquered my childhood fear of dentists, but obviously there is some residual fear because being in this room only added to my anxiety.

I was handed a pair of sunglasses and put into the dentists reclining chair. He tilted it until I was in that position where your head is lower than your feet, something which I despise (is this a new thing? I’m sure as a child you tilted back but your head was still above your feet) Still I managed to do a pretty good job of hiding my fear and chatted away nonchalantly.

First of all he had a quick check around my teeth, and confirmed that nothing untoward had happened since I had seen him last. He then got out a large syringe of chocolate flavoured gel- it had a similar consistency and look as a thick toothpaste. He put this onto my teeth and left it there for one minute. It didn’t drip, move or in any other way bother me other than the inconvenience of having to keep my mouth open for a whole minute. Having said that the chocolate flavour was more like that of chocolate flavour bubblegum. let’s just say you wouldn’t intentionally swallow any.

Following that he took out a blue plastic mould shape that was roughly the shape of my top arches, and pressed some blue stuff into it that had the consistency of firm dough or plasticine, and a taste that was a chemical copy of berries. He warned me that he would be putting a LOT of pressure on this mould whilst pressing it against my top arches. He kept reiterating that it would be a lot of pressure, but in all truthfulness although he pressed firmly, it wasn’t that hard.

He kept his hand in my mouth whilst the stuff formed the shape of my teeth, all the time holding it firmly in place. He then removed it, and on top of the blue plasticine mould that he had created squirted in a softer green gel, I have forgotten what flavour this third course was. He pushed this back onto my teeth, again holding firmly and held it in place for a couple of minutes.

There was one point during this process when I felt that the gel was starting to come out of the back of the plastic tray. However, it cerainly wasn’t liquid enough to run down my throat, it simply touched the back of my mouth, and didn’t make me want to gag at all. I did find that my mouth became dry and I needed to swallow a couple of times which was slightly difficult with the ortho’s fingers and the moulds in my mouth, but it wasn’t impossible. I was more concerned about accidently catching him with my teeth as he had give me dire warnings about what would happen if I bit him, and whilst he had a twinkle in his eye I didn’t wasnt to test it!

When it was time to remove it he warned me that there would be a squelching noise, and some suction, and there was. Secretly I had been terrified that my crown at the front which is very old and will be replaced as soon as this process is finished, would come out with the gel, but fortunately that didn’t happen, or even feel like it would.

He then had to repeat the whole process on the bottom arch. I found this even easier for some reason. It somehow felt less intrusive to have someone applying a lot pressure to the bottom rather than the top jaw. My orthodontist had warned me that as I have a stray tooth which is growing sideways across the bottom of my mouth he might need to take several attempts at making a mould of this, however he got it in one, declaring himself a genius! I hope he’s right- if my case is as complex as everyone suggests, he may need to be.

Then it was time to take the photographic records. First of all shots were taken straight on and in profile from a normal social distance. I then went back to the chair, where plastic wishbone shaped implements were used to hold my lips back out of the way. A mirror was then placed on top of my tongue to allow him to take pictures of the top and bottom arches, and I was done. None of this was in any way unpleaseant. It wasn’t exactly nice, but it was perfectly fine.

At one point in the process, the otho mentioned “when I was at a meeting last week I was talking about your case” which filled me with a little trepidation. I’m not sure whether to be glad that he is seeking other opinions, or worried that my case is so complex that he needs help. We shall see!

I will try and get copies of the pics he took to post on here when I next visit for my fitting appointment in December. In the meantime I have taken a few of my own- I’ll post them on over the next couple of days as a starting point reference. Apologies for the quality, hopefully I will improve.

One thing that surprised me is that the next appointment is for fitting. I have read about other people getting to view their clincheck (computer simulation of how your teeth will look during and after treatment before the aligners are ordered.

I will just have to rely on the good judgement of the ortho I suppose, although in truth, contol freak that I am, I would rather have had final veto first!


How much does Invisalign Cost?

I thought it might be useful to let you know how much I am paying for my Invisalign as one of the most frequent questions I am asked is “How much does Invisalign cost?”

How much does invisalign cost

How Much Does Invisalign Cost

The total price (in Australian Dollars) for my Invisalign treatment is $6150 for the braces treatment plus $200 for records. I believe that they bill the records separately in order to maximise the refund from health funds as bills are itemised. I am hoping to get about $2700 back from my health fund out of the $6150 total.
Payment is $1300 at the time first impressions are taken, plus the $200 for records. Another $1550 is due at the first fitting, followed by fifteen monthly payments of $220. After that there are no additional costs even if treatment is not yet finished.
Notably, there are very different figures according to the country you are in. In London, for example, costs can range from £1500 to £5000 but insurance covers very little as a rule. Orthodontics in the UK can be covered by the National Health Service but they never cover Invisalign. If you have serious orthodontic issues and are under 16 you can have treatment with metal braces free, however this is not available for adults or for cases that are purely cosmetic.
In New York much higher figures are often quoted. Private health cover is more common here and you need to check with your own provider what is and isn’t covered.
Please do help other readers establish the price of invisalign in their area by commenting below with the costs of your own treatment.
Convert these figures to your own currency here
Click to see my latest post about my Invisalign braces

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