Monday, 6 November 2017

Miles and miles to a better smile

Invisalign What are they?

Braces basically, or Orthodontic Appliances to be precise, often called aligners - Invisalign is a trade name.

Used to move your teeth - so to fill a gap, straighten them, widen your arches etc.

Custom made plastic guards (often called trays) that you wear for at least 22 hours a day.

The beauty is you can take them out, which for me is the big plus.  I intend to wear them of course but the fact that I could take them out appeals to the control freak within me.
(you do have to take them out for eating, some drinks and teeth brushing)

Traditional braces are metal, Invisalign are made of clear plastic.  They are not invisible but pretty much unnoticeable unless you are looking for them.

I also have had to have to attachments fitted to my teeth (very common).  These are tooth coloured little nodules/bumps which help the trays fit snuggly, which make my aligners slightly more noticeable.

Do people notice?  No one has said anything to me but yes when I point them out (which I don't do very often) then they can see them.

Invisalign - my choice

I've never had any orthodontic work done but have always had an overbite.

My front two teeth are crowns and the ones each side are veneers - I got them knocked out when I was about 11 (playing with the boys on the boys playground πŸƒ)

I have noticed, and this is something that tends to happen with age, that my overbite has got worse and I am now a proud owner of an over jet!

So at the age of nearly 50 I decided to get my teeth done.

My top teeth now:
And how they should look like at the end - wider arches and less sticking out:

The costs - money and time

It is not a quick fix.  If you decide to go down this route you need to be prepared for that - in my case about 18 months to 2 years until I am done.

It is not cheap.  I have managed to get some money back via insurance as my over jet does cause my bottom teeth to 'bite' into the top of my mouth (no ouch involved).

The total for me (without insurance) was about £3,000.  As I said a lot of money, fortunately my orthodontist takes all major credit cards!

What you get for you money

However much I say it,  £3,000 is a lot of money to spend on your teeth.

It has to be worth it for you, and you need to be committed to the process which is lengthy.  I could have easily said don't bother but I know how self conscious I was becoming about my teeth, plus I was told things would only get worse with time...

What you are spending your money on is an investment (in you) and something that is totally bespoke and made to measure.

Plus you will benefit from some pretty nifty technology and of course the time of your orthodontist as you will need to go along for regular check ups and adjustments.

Here is a breakdown of where my money has gone so far:
  • My first consultation, no that was free. 
  • A scan - a 3d scan of my teeth -no impressions
If you don't know what a dental impression is, lucky you!  It is when they fill a tray with a thick putty and then put it in your mouth and apply pressure to take an imprint of your teeth so they can later make a model.  Getting it out (especially if like me you have a small mouth/narrow arch) takes some force and they tend to do this twice.

I hate them, they make me want to panic, gag, hide etc.  A friend of mine even threw up whilst having one!

What I had instead was a 3d scan of my mouth which meant someone taking lots of photos of the inside of my mouth with a device about the size of an electric tooth brush - it was wonderful.

  • A panoramic x ray - again not like a normal one when you have to bite down on a bit of card and then everyone runs out of the room whilst they zap you with x rays.  This was a stand up x ray which just rotated round me - easy.
  • Home whitening kit - to get your old teeth looking as white as possible. 
  • 43 bespoke aligners trays.  Yes 43 trays which you change once a fortnight that means a whopping treatment time of  86 weeks.
  • ClinCheck - a simulation of what your teeth look like at the start, finish and every tray in-between.
  • Invisalign starter kit - a couple of retainers cases
  • Appointment to have the first tray fitted
  • Appointment at 6 week stage to have the attachments put on to some of your teeth (I have 8, 4 top, 4 bottom, don't worry they come off at the end).
  • Check ups with your orthodontist as required every 8 weeks or so.
  • Final appointment to have the attachments removed and issue of retainers to wear at night for about 2 years.

So your money pays for quite a lot really, but it of course depends on how much you want this and if you are prepared to do the long haul.

I will be writing a few posts about Invisalign to let you know how I am getting on.
It is early days but things are going well the trays are really easy to put in and take out plus I forget I have them in most of time and no lisping!

I am just about to put in tray number 9 but my journey has started and I should be all done by... early 2019!  If in the meantime you have any questions about Invisalign please drop me a line as I am sure I had them too..

πŸ˜„


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