I am going to be doing a full series on my Invisalign experience and give you as much info and tips as I can along the way!
I actually have hardly any pictures of my teeth before (because I always got my 'good side' in pics :P) but you can see from these pictures that my right eye tooth is crooked! My treatment is only 6 months (YAY!) and I have 20 retainers in total (top and bottom) that MUST be worn for 22 hours per day.
The first thing i'll say is if you are thinking about getting Invisalign; go make an appointment right now... like literally after you're finished reading this blog post, pick up the phone! It's a long process between your initial consultation and actually starting your treatment; To put it in to perspective, my first appointment was in May and I started my treatment in September!
Here is my retainer in on Day 1 of my treatment!
My Invisalign Time Line
Making my initial appointments; I made 4 appointments with different orthodontists in my area. It's brilliant that most places offer the initial consultation completely FREE. I live in Malahide, so I looked up the closest places to me. Also, FYI every place had about a 3 or 4 week wait for an appointment!
I choose to go with O'Neill Dental in Swords. I loved the atmosphere in the clinic and the staff were all really friendly, knew their stuff and all had unreal teeth (the important stuff ha ha!) Basically, the initial consultation is just them explaining to you what Invisalign is, how it works, the cost and payment plans and if you're eligible to get it done.
That's the crap part- not everyone can get it done. :( I was eligible by the skin of my teeth (pun intended). The dentist said that if I had of left it any longer I wouldn't have been able to get them! So like I said earlier- GO MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT!
I went back in to O'Neill dental to get my teeth cleaned (compulsory before you start treatment), and also get a 3D scan of my teeth. This part was amazing- it's completely pain free and doesn't involve any physical mold taking like you have to get with traditional braces- no gagging involved!
The best way to describe it is like a big tooth brush with a camera on the top of it and it is hooked up to a computer screen. They take pictures of every single nook and cranny of your teeth and eventually a complete 3D picture of your mouth is on the screen.
I also got 'profile' pictures taken today- basically just how your teeth look, your bite etc. (My pics are gas I have fake tan running down my neck from all the teeth cleaning haha!!)
My 3D images were then sent to the USA where all of my retainers are made. They told me they will take about 4-10 weeks to come back. (Mine were actually back after 12 weeks so be prepared to wait!)
I also paid in full today.
The cost for me- getting both top and bottom retainers was €4,050. I paid in full so I received 10% off, working out as €3,645. This covers everything. All visits to the dentist, the retainers and you also get your teeth professionally whitened at the end.
There are also monthly payment plan options- they go through all of this at your initial consultation.
Although it is worth shopping around I think this is a pretty standard price for Invisalign. It's roughly €2,000 per retainer.
I went in today to finally get my retainers YAY! I was also given a DVD with a video of how my teeth will look during the process and at the end- which is really exciting.
Here is the not so good part- but it's worth while preparing yourself for it; A lot of people require filing between their teeth to make space for moment. This is called Interproximal Reduction (IPR) and lads... it hurts! I have a massive fear of the dentist anyway so I dunno whether this just added fuel to the fire but it was pretty uncomfortable. However, It only last's about 5 minutes and then it's done for the rest of your treatment! Also, don't freak out when you look in the mirror and see gaps in your teeth- these fill in after a couple of weeks!
You will also get your attachments today. These are clear 'buttons' that permanently sit on your teeth for the whole treatment. They basically create more pressure and keep the retainers in place. I have 15 in total- but everyone is different! Before you go in to get them on your teeth they will send you an image of where the buttons will be and they ask you to decide what kind of attachments you would like. You can either get ones that are matched to the colour of your teeth (which is included in the cost) or you can get clear attachments which are €150 extra. (in total not per attachment)
Here are where my attachments are. I went for the clear one and they are completely invisible!
So I think I pretty much covered everything. I am 5 weeks in to my Invisalign now so look out for my Top 10 Invisalign tips that will be coming up soon!