And so I begin a series of blogs to track my experience with Invisalign.
There are many reasons to not want braces. In any form. They’re expensive. They interfere with day to day life. They look bad. Pain. Etc. etc. etc.
There are many reasons to want braces. Straight teeth. Ease of care. Confidence. No pain. Etc. etc. etc.
No pain? …That’s right. No pain.
Here’s my story – my backstory that is. It all started back in high school. My wisdom teeth came in… Two straight in – upper. Two compacted – lower. Those compacted teeth set in motion a domino effect. For years and years I experienced a wincing pain when I would eat ice cream, breath in air through my mouth, drink something hot, etc. My teeth were pushing against each other so much that my nerves were nearing susceptible to these outside thing’a’ma’things. Drat and Grr I used to think. Oh, and also, “AHHHH!” and “Hrmmmmmm! Ow!” I used to wear a mouth guard because I would grind my teeth – back in late high school/early college but the pain went away. More or less.
Years later after moving to Mount Vernon, NY I remember shooting pains in my lower jaw because of my teeth. It still hadn’t gone away. Nearly 10 years had passed and I still would experience pain. I wanted to say enough is enough but I didn’t have the money and insurance wouldn’t cover it. Heck, I was told by an orthodontist in Naugatuck, CT that he could remove a tooth and straighten everything. I considered that idea as long as it took you to read the next sentence. What?!
Boom! That was the sound of the economic meltdown of 2008.
After my second visit to the Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (Dr. Lawrence J. Weiss, DDS) in Scarsdale, NY I was advised that the price for a full treatment (upper and lower) had been reduced significantly. I asked what that meant and felt a glow burn brighter inside me. The time was right I thought… Maybe, just maybe! After some conversations with a staff member there I found out that I could get a 0% interest loan for 18 months and that the treatment had been lowered by $1,500. Batman doesn’t have enough utility pockets for that kind of cash. SWEET!
emma and I talked it over and soon the wheels were in motion. Papers were signed and faxes were faxed. My teeth were soon gooped up with a plastic vinyl substance to take the mold. About 3 weeks later I was called and told to come in to start the process. Mwahahaha.
Today was that day.
I will have more details next week but it appears that I have 16 sets for my teeth. Does that mean 16 for both upper and lower… I don’t know. Again, I’ll have more details next week.
Today I want to talk about day one using set 1.
At 9am the upper and lower fixtures were slipped on and I immediately felt a tug on me teeth. “Oh no. Is it going to be like this the whole time?” was my first thought. Well, it appears there is a little yes and no – for today at least. For the first three (3) hours I left the two fixtures in place. But I needed some food so I had to take them out… HOLY. PAIN! My guess is my experience will be similar to those with crowded lower incisors. The top fixture came off with, well, relative ease. It took some prying it did. The lower fixture was very difficult to remove. I pulled from the back but the incisors felt like they were going to come off with the fixture.
Of course they were not going to but it felt that way. Serious. Ouch.
The first time you remove your fixtures do it in the bathroom alone. You may drool and/or saliva may drip from the fixture. Sure, it sounds gross but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
Later on I removed both again for two additional meals. All three times I put the upper fixture everything was OK. The lower fixtures forced me to take a few moments pause. These plastic thing’a’ma’jobs are strong! Yea. Pain with a screming searing burning OW! on top – like a cherry not the upper teeth. =)
Twelve (12) hours later I’m sitting here writing about the day and feel slightly overwhelmed at the fact that I will be moving my teeth for the next thirty-two (32) weeks. Each set is used for 2 weeks. Will I be wearing an upper and a lower the whole duration? Soon enough I’ll know.
Oh. One final note. Before plunging in completely I read the ‘contract’ provided by Invisalign. For those that complain about anything not being advised to them before they got their sets I say this: If you had read it from cover to cover you would have seen everything is spelled out. If you had a question, as I did – I had many, your dentist will answer you. I asked about the white rice like things that may be attached to one’s teeth if it is necessary. He said he didn’t know if I would need them but gave me some indicators that has required their presence in the past. I made my own conclusions based on my teeth.
Today I was advised that I would have five (5) holders on my upper teeth and three (3) holders on my lower teeth. This surprised me but that’s they way it goes.
He asked me to come in next week to have the holders attached. He said he wanted me to get used to removing and reattaching the fixtures before the holders were put on my teeth. Ask your dentist to consider this if you need holders.
My teeth hurt and I know it’s a good thing. Tomorrow will be the first morning with my Invisalign. Will I sleep well? Soon enough we’ll all know.