With the New Year comes the start of my Invisalign treatment plan. At the time of writing this I am now 2 weeks into my treatment. But before receiving my goodie bag full of future aligners we had one final job to do to lay the groundwork - lose two teeth.
Firstly, I just want to say that Invisalign does not require the removal of teeth. Each case is bespoke and tailored to each individual smile. I just happened to have a slightly overcrowded mouth due to bad orthodontic treatment as a kid.
The days leading up to my extraction, I have to admit I was slightly doubting whether to show up. I kept thinking having two teeth removed would dramatically affect my appearance. I kept wondering whether I should have got a second opinion. But I kept reverting back to my ClinCheck treatment plan Ollie had produced for me keeping me focused on my end results. Having this visual plan of how things will look settled my mind.
Extraction day came and went in a flash. Clinical Assistant Katie came and took me down to see Ollie. With the obligatory strong hand shake that Ollie always gives, we made a start. The extraction took no time at all. One tooth was pretty difficult to remove, with the second pulling out pretty much straight away. There was very little pain involved, I barely even felt the injections to numb my gums. I have had worst experiences getting fillings from my normal dentist. Over the next 2 weeks I had to allow my gums to heal using hot salty water to speed this up under the advice of Ollie.
Now I’m missing 2 teeth. The day after extraction I started a new job so was prepared for all the reactions from my new team noticing my empty gums. However, no one said anything. I even met up with my previous work mates the following week, some of who knew I was getting this done, and again no one said anything. In fact, not one single person has noticed the gaps in my teeth which has made things a whole lot better and far less embarrassing for me.
2 weeks had passed with my gums healing up very nicely. Then it was the big day. Invisalign day. Once again, the obligatory strong Ollie handshake before I jumped into the chair and away we went. Ollie explained what was about to happen and he got cracking. With help from Katie, they began to add the many attachments to the necessary teeth. These are added so the actual aligners have something to hold onto and encourage movement of the teeth. I'm not entirely sure how they installed the attachments as I found this a little uncomfortable so didn't pay much attention. I had my eyes closed and toes curled for the majority of this time. Once complete, Ollie showed me his good work and I couldn't believe how discrete the attachments were. I could barely see them. And there are plenty of them too. I knew I would be having a lot and I thought they'd be rather intrusive. I was wrong.
Last thing to do was to try out my brand new, completely bespoke Invisalign aligners. Ollie guided me on how best to put them in and how best to remove them. I then practised how to do this myself. It was pretty difficult at first but I'm steadily getting used to it. Once you get used to how durable the aligners are then it doesn't take long at all. Here is that goodie bag I spoke of earlier…
Two weeks into my treatment plan and things are going well. It has not disrupted my life dramatically...yet. I'm still eating what I want, however not always when I want. I'm now sticking to just eating at mealtimes and not snacking simple to save me the trouble of removing the aligners to eat. So I guess that's another positive to Invisalign too. Although I have been pretty starving at times.
Just like the extraction, no one has commented on my aligners. They either don't want to say anything or they just haven't noticed. The day after receiving Invisalign my best mate who knew I was getting this done didn't notice and one week in I had to tell my brother, who I live with, that I had been wearing it all week. He still didn't believe me when I smiled. He couldn't see it at all. That is one thing that’s surprised me with Invisalign. Suzy did say it is visible up close but I'd have to disagree.
In my instance Invisalign really is invisible!
While I write this blog I'm minutes away from moving onto aligner number 2. I have a total of 50 altogether so it's a slow process for me but hopefully each new aligner will seem quicker and quicker.