Bridgets Invisalign Experience

  • By Helen Powell
  • 20 Jun, 2017

Where do I start?

Well I will start by saying you are never too old……

Sometime in late 2016…aged 55 I thought….that’s it I’m going for it. I hate my upper front teeth that are crossed and one appears grey too! It isn’t by the way; it’s just the position of it.

But before I start my blog, first here is my condensed ‘teeth straightening’ history.

As most people had, I had braces a long time ago, probably before the wheel was invented. My first experience was around the age of 11 when I wore a removable upper brace which, at a guess, probably took approximately 18months to complete the treatment. From memory I recall it wasn’t an altogether pleasant experience! Very achy teeth when it was in place and twice as achy when it wasn’t. In those days I wasn’t offered a retainer to wear to prevent my teeth shifting back to their original position and consequently that is what happened :(

Life ticked along quite nicely. Then I reached 18 and started to notice my two upper front teeth crossing. As I worked in a dental practice by that time with an Orthodontist on site, I embarked on another round of tooth removal and removable braces. Eventually I completed the course of treatment….but guess what? No retainers again….yep you guessed it….teeth shifted again, and I was virtually back to square one!

Fast forward quite a few years (37 to be exact)…I am still working in dentistry and I my two upper front teeth are still crossed. I would try and put it to the back of my mind which I did very successfully until the cameras came out! Then oh no… should I smile, not smile, lips open, lips closed….I hated showing my ‘grey crooked tooth’. It became a standing joke; so much so that I have got photographs where I am covering my tooth with my finger! The final straw was a photograph taken in October 2016 which we shall say was not very flattering! It was time for action, something had to be done.

My Invisalign experience was long overdue.

As I work alongside Mike at Briercliffe Road Dental Practice I was lucky to have an expert to hand. After having an informal chat regarding the possibility of Invisalign I decided to take the plunge and make my consultation appointment.

Next time: chat, X-rays and impressions

 


First appointment: Consultation

26th October 2016

I was so excited to be finally taking the first step to at long last getting my teeth straight and being able to smile without thinking.

Mike and Dawn (Mike’s nurse) took photographs, X-rays a couple inside my mouth and one that goes around my head (radiographs to give them their correct name!) and then impressions of my upper and lower teeth. The impressions need to be very accurate but Mike had them done in no time at all and I had no discomfort either, which is always a bonus. These are used to cast models which the technicians at Invisalign will then supply all the aligners (virtually invisible braces) which I will wear.

In a few weeks’ time I will see Mike again, when I will be able to view my proposed treatment via the 3D ‘ClinCheck’ treatment planner. Mike will be able to show me how my teeth will change and move through various stages and how the final result will look as well as finding out how long the treatment will take. Eeeek, I’m so excited to get started…..

Next time: Chat, treatment plan and the go ahead

 


Second appointment: Excitement mounts…

14th November 2016

This appointment was amazing really exciting! I got to see how my teeth will look when they are all lovely and straight. The models that were made of my mouth from the impressions Mike took last time have been used to formulate my treatment plan. But the best bit….the ClinCheck treatment plan is in 3D. Mike manipulated the computer screen to show how my teeth will move from stage to stage, from any angle and choose any image to view in detail. He explained in detail the required additional treatment, in order to make space for my teeth to move it will be necessary to trim between & place attachments on some of my teeth. Lastly he described how my treatment would progress and that it would take 36 weeks (fab, fab fab) I was thrilled with the proposed plan……let’s get ready to rumble!!!

Next time: Fit aligners

 


Third appointment: Well here goes….

21st November 2016

The day has finally arrived; today I start my Invisalign journey. It took me a long time to get to this point but I am so happy to get started.

Mike fitted my first aligners, one on the top and one on the bottom teeth which surprisingly felt fine. I showed that I could get them out and put them back in, slight struggle initially but hey ho. Mike and Danielle (Mikes nurse today) supplied me with the necessary information regarding keeping my aligners clean, eating/drinking, all the usual dentistry stuff. Gave me my Chewies (don’t get excited not the strawberry kind) pieces of rubber to chew on to ensure the aligners are seated correctly. Back to see Mike in a month.

Off I trot downstairs to see my first patient of the afternoon….will I be able to speak properly, will they be able to understand me? I needn’t have worried. I had absolutely no problem at all, my patients did not even realise I had anything in my mouth until I showed them. I couldn’t contain my excitement, I felt evangelical!

Three hours later….after my afternoon of speaking constantly (as I have been known to) I could feel that my lower lip was starting to feel a little sore. I do have a habit of chewing my lips so it was probably mostly my fault. I spoke to Dawn who gave me a little wax to put over the edge of my aligner to ease the area. Within a couple of days everything was fine again.

I went to work at one of my other dental practices the following week. When I walked in I said to the receptionist…

Me: “Well…can you tell?”

 Receptionist: “Tell what? Oh you’ve had your hair done”

Me: “No”

Receptionist: “Oh yeh you’ve had your eyebrows done”

Me: “No. I’ve got my Invisalign in!”

Receptionist: “No. Have you really? OMG you can’t tell at all. Show me”

She really could not tell I had my Invisalign aligners in and that is coming from a colleague with many years’ experience! If I needed reassurance about wearing them, that was it.

Over the next 3-4 weeks I got used to wearing my aligners. I was surprised how little discomfort I experienced. The most irritating thing was taking them in & out to eat & drink hot drinks, but it’s a small price to pay. I need to drink more water anyway, there is always a positive!

I’m a happy bunny.

Next visit: tooth trimming/attachments & supply more aligners

 


Fourth Appointment: Fitting attachments, tooth reduction (making teeth narrower) and aligners 3,4,5 and 6

20th December 2016

Well today’s appointment was longer as Mike did some tooth trimming & fitted attachments.

My case required that I have what are called ‘attachments’ fitted to some of my teeth, these act as pressure points to help the teeth move. Basically Mike uses a template to indicate where the attachments are needed. They are ‘tooth‘coloured which makes them less obvious. I am not going to pretend you cannot see them but they are barely noticeable as Mike matches the shade of the material to the individual tooth. Next Mike carried out some tooth shaving between the teeth to create space. This sounds worse than it is honestly, were talking 10ths of a millimeter. I was waiting for the pain or for my gum to be caught but I needn’t have worried. Finally I was given 3 further sets of aligners and to see Mike again in 2017….

Next appointment: review & supply more aligners



Fifth appointment: Aligners 7, 8, 9 and 10

13th February 2017

Happy belated 2017!!!

Everything is going well. My teeth are starting to ‘feel’ a little odd when I chew food which is a positive sign. No pain or discomfort either.

At the weekend I was at a friend’s house having dinner when a catastrophe happened. My aligners were in my aligner case as I was eating, when I heard my friend’s dog chewing quite loudly on something. What’s Harry (Harry is the dog by the way) chewing on I asked? “Oh it’ll only be his doggy chew” my friend replied. Dinner completed, very yummy I might add, I go to put my aligners back in. Yes you’ve guessed it….. Harry had gone in my bag, opened the carry case (I promise I am not making this up, his teeth marks are still visible in the lid) taken the aligners out & was just finishing off the last remnants when I intervened!!!! I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock. What am I going to tell Mike? I have worked in dentistry for many years and I have heard lots of excuses for lost dentures, lost crowns etc. and thought…. yeh, yeh, yeh, blah, blah. Well now it was my turn! Thankfully on Mike’s advice I have kept all my aligners so when I got home rather perturbed I just wore my previous set of aligners until I saw Mike the next day to confess.

Confession over, 3 Hail Mary’s later I was given more aligners and sent on my merry way.

It could only happen to me!

Next visit: review & supply more aligners

 


Sixth appointment: Aligners 11, 12, 13 and 14

28th March 2017

Hi there, well no more calamities to report thankfully. Everything is going really well and the spaces between my teeth are getting bigger which is a positive sign, steady progress and no discomfort. Mike checked the position of my teeth against the computer generated treatment plan and confirmed that things were tickety boo (my words not his!). I am so pleased when I have new aligners that they feel slightly tight, but it’s a ‘nice tight’, because I know my teeth will feel fine again very quickly as movement occurs. Each new set of aligner’s means one step closer to my new smile

Next visit: review & supply more aligners

 


Seventh appointment: Aligners 15, 16, 17 and 18

9th May 2017

Everything is going really well, I mean REALLY well. I can see my teeth have noticeably moved. I am so pleased. My family and friends have noticed too so it’s not in my imagination! This Invisalign malarkey is brilliant. Mike seems happy with progress so back again in a few more weeks. YAY!

Next visit: review & supply more aligners

 


Eighth appointment: Aligners 19, 20, 21 and 22

19th June 2017

Things are going well still. Eating and drinking as normal. Had a little blip on Friday, went out to a ball, Cinderella eat your heart out…..and forgot to put my aligners back in! Oops!! Consequently they felt a little tight after a few hours of not being worn but thankfully I’m back on track again now. Nothing more to report at this juncture so TTFN peeps...

Next visit: review & supply more aligners

By Helen Powell 20 Jun, 2017

Where do I start?

Well I will start by saying you are never too old……

Sometime in late 2016…aged 55 I thought….that’s it I’m going for it. I hate my upper front teeth that are crossed and one appears grey too! It isn’t by the way; it’s just the position of it.

But before I start my blog, first here is my condensed ‘teeth straightening’ history.

As most people had, I had braces a long time ago, probably before the wheel was invented. My first experience was around the age of 11 when I wore a removable upper brace which, at a guess, probably took approximately 18months to complete the treatment. From memory I recall it wasn’t an altogether pleasant experience! Very achy teeth when it was in place and twice as achy when it wasn’t. In those days I wasn’t offered a retainer to wear to prevent my teeth shifting back to their original position and consequently that is what happened :(

Life ticked along quite nicely. Then I reached 18 and started to notice my two upper front teeth crossing. As I worked in a dental practice by that time with an Orthodontist on site, I embarked on another round of tooth removal and removable braces. Eventually I completed the course of treatment….but guess what? No retainers again….yep you guessed it….teeth shifted again, and I was virtually back to square one!

Fast forward quite a few years (37 to be exact)…I am still working in dentistry and I my two upper front teeth are still crossed. I would try and put it to the back of my mind which I did very successfully until the cameras came out! Then oh no… should I smile, not smile, lips open, lips closed….I hated showing my ‘grey crooked tooth’. It became a standing joke; so much so that I have got photographs where I am covering my tooth with my finger! The final straw was a photograph taken in October 2016 which we shall say was not very flattering! It was time for action, something had to be done.

My Invisalign experience was long overdue.

As I work alongside Mike at Briercliffe Road Dental Practice I was lucky to have an expert to hand. After having an informal chat regarding the possibility of Invisalign I decided to take the plunge and make my consultation appointment.

Next time: chat, X-rays and impressions

 


First appointment: Consultation

26th October 2016

I was so excited to be finally taking the first step to at long last getting my teeth straight and being able to smile without thinking.

Mike and Dawn (Mike’s nurse) took photographs, X-rays a couple inside my mouth and one that goes around my head (radiographs to give them their correct name!) and then impressions of my upper and lower teeth. The impressions need to be very accurate but Mike had them done in no time at all and I had no discomfort either, which is always a bonus. These are used to cast models which the technicians at Invisalign will then supply all the aligners (virtually invisible braces) which I will wear.

In a few weeks’ time I will see Mike again, when I will be able to view my proposed treatment via the 3D ‘ClinCheck’ treatment planner. Mike will be able to show me how my teeth will change and move through various stages and how the final result will look as well as finding out how long the treatment will take. Eeeek, I’m so excited to get started…..

Next time: Chat, treatment plan and the go ahead

 


Second appointment: Excitement mounts…

14th November 2016

This appointment was amazing really exciting! I got to see how my teeth will look when they are all lovely and straight. The models that were made of my mouth from the impressions Mike took last time have been used to formulate my treatment plan. But the best bit….the ClinCheck treatment plan is in 3D. Mike manipulated the computer screen to show how my teeth will move from stage to stage, from any angle and choose any image to view in detail. He explained in detail the required additional treatment, in order to make space for my teeth to move it will be necessary to trim between & place attachments on some of my teeth. Lastly he described how my treatment would progress and that it would take 36 weeks (fab, fab fab) I was thrilled with the proposed plan……let’s get ready to rumble!!!

Next time: Fit aligners

 


Third appointment: Well here goes….

21st November 2016

The day has finally arrived; today I start my Invisalign journey. It took me a long time to get to this point but I am so happy to get started.

Mike fitted my first aligners, one on the top and one on the bottom teeth which surprisingly felt fine. I showed that I could get them out and put them back in, slight struggle initially but hey ho. Mike and Danielle (Mikes nurse today) supplied me with the necessary information regarding keeping my aligners clean, eating/drinking, all the usual dentistry stuff. Gave me my Chewies (don’t get excited not the strawberry kind) pieces of rubber to chew on to ensure the aligners are seated correctly. Back to see Mike in a month.

Off I trot downstairs to see my first patient of the afternoon….will I be able to speak properly, will they be able to understand me? I needn’t have worried. I had absolutely no problem at all, my patients did not even realise I had anything in my mouth until I showed them. I couldn’t contain my excitement, I felt evangelical!

Three hours later….after my afternoon of speaking constantly (as I have been known to) I could feel that my lower lip was starting to feel a little sore. I do have a habit of chewing my lips so it was probably mostly my fault. I spoke to Dawn who gave me a little wax to put over the edge of my aligner to ease the area. Within a couple of days everything was fine again.

I went to work at one of my other dental practices the following week. When I walked in I said to the receptionist…

Me: “Well…can you tell?”

 Receptionist: “Tell what? Oh you’ve had your hair done”

Me: “No”

Receptionist: “Oh yeh you’ve had your eyebrows done”

Me: “No. I’ve got my Invisalign in!”

Receptionist: “No. Have you really? OMG you can’t tell at all. Show me”

She really could not tell I had my Invisalign aligners in and that is coming from a colleague with many years’ experience! If I needed reassurance about wearing them, that was it.

Over the next 3-4 weeks I got used to wearing my aligners. I was surprised how little discomfort I experienced. The most irritating thing was taking them in & out to eat & drink hot drinks, but it’s a small price to pay. I need to drink more water anyway, there is always a positive!

I’m a happy bunny.

Next visit: tooth trimming/attachments & supply more aligners

 


Fourth Appointment: Fitting attachments, tooth reduction (making teeth narrower) and aligners 3,4,5 and 6

20th December 2016

Well today’s appointment was longer as Mike did some tooth trimming & fitted attachments.

My case required that I have what are called ‘attachments’ fitted to some of my teeth, these act as pressure points to help the teeth move. Basically Mike uses a template to indicate where the attachments are needed. They are ‘tooth‘coloured which makes them less obvious. I am not going to pretend you cannot see them but they are barely noticeable as Mike matches the shade of the material to the individual tooth. Next Mike carried out some tooth shaving between the teeth to create space. This sounds worse than it is honestly, were talking 10ths of a millimeter. I was waiting for the pain or for my gum to be caught but I needn’t have worried. Finally I was given 3 further sets of aligners and to see Mike again in 2017….

Next appointment: review & supply more aligners



Fifth appointment: Aligners 7, 8, 9 and 10

13th February 2017

Happy belated 2017!!!

Everything is going well. My teeth are starting to ‘feel’ a little odd when I chew food which is a positive sign. No pain or discomfort either.

At the weekend I was at a friend’s house having dinner when a catastrophe happened. My aligners were in my aligner case as I was eating, when I heard my friend’s dog chewing quite loudly on something. What’s Harry (Harry is the dog by the way) chewing on I asked? “Oh it’ll only be his doggy chew” my friend replied. Dinner completed, very yummy I might add, I go to put my aligners back in. Yes you’ve guessed it….. Harry had gone in my bag, opened the carry case (I promise I am not making this up, his teeth marks are still visible in the lid) taken the aligners out & was just finishing off the last remnants when I intervened!!!! I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock. What am I going to tell Mike? I have worked in dentistry for many years and I have heard lots of excuses for lost dentures, lost crowns etc. and thought…. yeh, yeh, yeh, blah, blah. Well now it was my turn! Thankfully on Mike’s advice I have kept all my aligners so when I got home rather perturbed I just wore my previous set of aligners until I saw Mike the next day to confess.

Confession over, 3 Hail Mary’s later I was given more aligners and sent on my merry way.

It could only happen to me!

Next visit: review & supply more aligners

 


Sixth appointment: Aligners 11, 12, 13 and 14

28th March 2017

Hi there, well no more calamities to report thankfully. Everything is going really well and the spaces between my teeth are getting bigger which is a positive sign, steady progress and no discomfort. Mike checked the position of my teeth against the computer generated treatment plan and confirmed that things were tickety boo (my words not his!). I am so pleased when I have new aligners that they feel slightly tight, but it’s a ‘nice tight’, because I know my teeth will feel fine again very quickly as movement occurs. Each new set of aligner’s means one step closer to my new smile

Next visit: review & supply more aligners

 


Seventh appointment: Aligners 15, 16, 17 and 18

9th May 2017

Everything is going really well, I mean REALLY well. I can see my teeth have noticeably moved. I am so pleased. My family and friends have noticed too so it’s not in my imagination! This Invisalign malarkey is brilliant. Mike seems happy with progress so back again in a few more weeks. YAY!

Next visit: review & supply more aligners

 


Eighth appointment: Aligners 19, 20, 21 and 22

19th June 2017

Things are going well still. Eating and drinking as normal. Had a little blip on Friday, went out to a ball, Cinderella eat your heart out…..and forgot to put my aligners back in! Oops!! Consequently they felt a little tight after a few hours of not being worn but thankfully I’m back on track again now. Nothing more to report at this juncture so TTFN peeps...

Next visit: review & supply more aligners

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