More Invisalign Impressions and Refinements…

What a relief!

I had been dreading my latest appointment with my orthodontist. After the terminal crack in my 31st Invisalign aligner his assistant had told me on the phone that he had some “new ideas” for my teeth that he would talk to me about at my next appointment. I’m not sure exactly what I had thought those new ideas might involve, but I was certainly fearful that it might be metal braces, elastics, possibly even headgear and all manner of torturous orthodontics- my imagination is a wonderful thing!

I know, I know, metal braces aren’t torture devices. The trouble is though that I am horribly, horribly vain, (hence the braces in the first place) and I find Invisalign so easy and so invisible that I can’t even bear considering the possibility of a mouth full of metal. I know that I agreed at the start of treatment that I would wear metal braces on three of the teeth on my lower arch for a short period, just to pull one tooth into line but I really don’t want to go beyond that.

Fortunately, my orthodontist didn’t even mention metal braces. Instead, he took new moulds for a second set of Invisalign refinements which should completely finish my upper arch and get us a lot closer to finishing the lower one.

A mould of someone’s teeth- not mine

Before I had my first moulds taken 18 months ago I had read on an Invisalign forum about the horrors of the impressions process: the gagging, the vomiting, the residual taste left in your mouth afterwards- all manner of terrors. I know that getting moulds taken is a part of the process that a lot of patients work themselves into a frenzy about- I know I did the first time- but in my experience it really is nothing to be fearful about. My post about taking moulds for Invisalign has a full length description of the process for anyone that has yet to go through it, but if you have neither the time nor the inclination to read it I am happy to report that it is a remarkably painless experience.

For the sake of a balanced viewpoint I did question my orthodontist this time about whether there really are patients that vomit when they get their moulds taken or whether the people writing on Invisalign forums are just getting a kick out of terrifying the uninitiated. He assured me that he doesn’t get actual vomiters as a rule, but that he does get the odd patient who feels like they might gag. In his opinion it is largely psychological- in other words some people are very fearful about the impressions process and it then becomes self-fulfilling- their panic makes them feel like they can’t breathe, which combined with the moulding material in their mouth makes them feel that they might vomit. He was happy to reassure me though that the vast majority of his patients cope with impressions quite happily. He did offer the tip that it was best to avoid getting moulds taken when you have a cold though as this can make it harder to breathe and increase your gag reflex.

The moulds made, I now just have to wait until the next sets of aligners are ready which should be in about 4 weeks. In the meantime, I have to wear my Invisalign for only 12 hours a day. My orthodontist told me this and then added “if you can manage that”

I was a little surprised by this last comment; I have after all been wearing them 22 (ahem) hours a day quite successfully for the last 16 months; twelve hours a day would be a synch. However it then dawned on me that what he was saying was I could wear them 12 hours a day if I could bear to wear them that little.
Apparently, (and of all the things that he has told me about orthodontics this is the hardest to believe) some people get so used to the feeling of their aligners that they can’t bear to be without them!

What is wrong with these people!! I love my Invisalign as much as the next person, but I love them because they are doing a fine job of coaxing my bedraggled teeth into a cosmetically enhanced order. I don’t literally love wearing them. Apparently though, some people do. Their mouths have become so accustomed to the feeling of wearing the aligners that they can’t bear to wear them only 12 hours a day. Like thumb suckers they have become almost dependent on them. I’m happy to report that although I talked about my need to cultivate a few more vices earlier in this blog, aligner addiction wasn’t what I had in mind. Something tells me that I’ll cope admirably with the need to wear them only 12 hours a day.

12 thoughts on “More Invisalign Impressions and Refinements…”

  1. The gagging isn’t mental. I just had my molds done. Did fine with the bottom. The filling for the top that goes in the puddy was too much. It poured off the back and if it does it hits your pallet. Then you gag. I sat through 4 times of getting the top right. Gagged once. It’s not scary and I wasn’t nervous.

  2. i am a newbie with Invisaligns. i am on my 4th or 5 th tray now. i have not really seen too much movement in my teeth. My “buttons” come off all the time. i have no problems sleeping with them but during the day, at times i do “gag”. i have a terrible gag-reflex. when i had my molds made , i did throw up twice. i felt so bad! i am hoping these will straighten my teeth, i could never wear regular braces.

  3. Hi Jessica,
    Thanks for reading my blog!

    Firstly, yes you can just get braces for one arch, so you could just treat the tops, but usually dentists find that treatment works better if you work on both together so that the teeth line up properly.
    I’m afraid I don’t know how much it would cost- it really depends where in the world you are. You can ring different Orthos in your area though and ask for an approximate cost.
    As to how long you would have to wear them for, it really depends on what you need treated. Simple cases can be less than six months, very complex cases like mine can be two years or more.
    No, it doesn’t hurt. They are made from moulds of your teeth so they fit your teeth perfectly.

    If you need more information read through the rest of my blog where I go into a LOT more detail about all of these things.
    Thanks for reading!

  4. Hi, I was just wondering if you had an problems with your Invisalign like dry/sore throat? I got my aligners back last week and i’ve already had the dry/sore throat which a few people have reported back from invisalign. How come your dentist has said only have them in for 12 hours? I really can’t bare wearing them longer than I have to cause it just seems like such a chore.

  5. Hi, I am a thirteen year old girl who is considering getting those invisalign ‘braces’. The problem is, I don’t know if they are suitable for me. I don’t want to go through the embarrassment of wearing proper braces though. I think all my teeth are perfectly fine, except for one of my front teeth. I don’t want to go through all the treatment of braces just to fix one tooth! What should I do? I have a lot of questions to ask…

    First of all, is it possible to get just one set of it, just for my top teeth, not for my bottom teeth? If so, would it be cheaper? How much would they cost for me? I only have one tooth which is jutting out, which is really annoying and embarrassing…
    If I am only trying to push one tooth back in (one of my front teeth), roughly how long will I have to wear them for?

    Lastly, does it hurt??? Do they mold them onto your teeth somehow? I would ask a professional, but no one seems to know anything about these!
    I’m really hoping that you can help me, you’d save my life! Thank you SO MUCH!

  6. I’ve enjoyed following your progress and the amazing results you have achieved with invisalign. I really think that success depends almost entirely on your commitment to wearing your aligners for the recommended hours. I’m on to tray 27 of 28 tonight and although I’m always a little nervous of changeover day I secretly enjoy the pressure a new tray brings as it means my teeth are moving. It has been such a gradual change over the past 12 months that people are only just starting to comment now that my teeth are almost straight. At the start my orthodontist said that I would probably need normal braces for a short time to complete the transition from straggly to straight teeth but he is now more inclined to think that invisalign can do the whole job. I was one of his first invisalign customers and I can see that his confidence in invisalgin has grown. Like you I can cope very well when my trays are out and have to temper my excitement at the prospect of naked teeth in the not too distant future. BTW Does anyone else notice how many models and actors have messy teeth these days. Just my luck that bent teeth will be all the rage just when mine turn straight. Having said that, after 48 years, I’m happy to miss out on that trend.

  7. Hi there Brad,

    I haven’t had any real problems with a dry mouth or sore throat because of my invisalign- I have occasionally had a sore throat when I have cleaned them with Steradent and not rinsed them properly.
    I have read on various forums though from people who say that they either get too much or too little saliva. Usually it seems to be a temporary problem as your mouth adjusts. I have read that keeping a bottle of water with you all the time helps. Also, trying to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth.
    I am only wearing my aligners for 12 hours because I am waiting for my refinements. These are extra aligners after you finish your first course. As they take a few weeks to come I need to only wear my last set twelve hours a day until the new aligners arrive as this will make them act as a retainer until then.
    Thanks for reading

  8. Hi, I was just wondering if you had an problems with your Invisalign like dry/sore throat? I got my aligners back last week and i’ve already had the dry/sore throat which a few people have reported back from invisalign. How come your dentist has said only have them in for 12 hours? I really can’t bare wearing them longer than I have to cause it just seems like such a chore.

  9. Hi there,
    No, originally I was going to have an extraction, but after a terrible dentist made a mess of it I refused to have it done. So my lovely orthodontist just worked around it instead which has made the whole thing much harder for him! Usually these days you don’t actually need extractions. I would get a range of opinions and Invisalign consultations if I were you. Then you know what the different options are.

    Good Luck!

  10. Love your blog! Thanks for the honest opinion. You’re teeth is looking amazing. I am really thinking about getting invisalign too. I wanted to ask you if you had to have some teeth removed before putting the aliners in to provide more space? I’m just really scared of having teeth extracted.

  11. Hi Amber,

    I suppose gag reflexes are like seasickness… if you don’t have it you can’t really understand it! Let’s hope that your dentist does such a fantastic job this time that you breeze through it. Maybe as you’ve been dreading it so much the reality won’t actually seems so bad. I like the tip about sitting up- I can see how that would feel better. Something other nervous readers might like to mention to their dentists.

    Yep, I have to say I’m LOVING the aligners out in the day business. In fact I’m merrily gorging on a family pack of peanut M&Ms as I type!

    Thanks for reading- I love your blog..

  12. I’m having my second set of impressions taken tomorrow, and am absolutely dreading it. I was totally blase about the first set – I’ve never really been afraid of the dentist, and had impresions taken for teeth whitening years ago without any issues – but really felt like I was going to gag when the moulds were in, and had to start making panicked hand signals to the dentist! In the end he got me to sit up in the chair rather than lying back, which I found helped, but it was still awful enough that I’m dreading going in tomorrow! That said, I do think it’s largely psychological – I’ve been dreading this for days now, which I’m sure makes it seem much worse than it actually is!

    I totally agree with you about the people who prefer having the aligners in all the time, though – I’ve read about this as well, and even although I’m only on my third set for my lower teeth, 2nd for the uppers, I just can’t imagine ever feeling like that – I look actually forward to being able to take them out for meals!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *