Invisalign diary – Attachments, IPR & filling mishaps

Well, hello to people who may be interested in this dental themed topic of conversation (I know I am and love to Google other people’s experiences).

I wanted to write an update on my ‘journey’ so far with Invisalign as I’ve had the retainers for 5 months now, and time has flown by.

In my last post I hadn’t had my aligners fitted yet. So I’ll thought I’d fill you in on all the details chronologically and then give a brief overview of my thoughts on Invisalign to date.

Here we go…

The first aligner appointment

I was fitted with my aligners 2 months from my initial Invisalign appointment. My dentist gave me 4 sets of trays (to wear for two weeks at a time) and I did not have any of my attachments added initially (my scan said I’d have 14). The first 2 weeks were quite uncomfortable but mainly in terms of my mouth adjusting to having a chunk of plastic in there which did give me a couple of ulcers/bleeding. However, this did stop after a couple of weeks and it wasn’t that big of a deal. Nothing I couldn’t cope with. My teeth felt a bit sensitive but mostly when I was taking the aligners in and out. Oh, and they made my mouth water so much for those first few weeks, which was quite strange! Too much saliva! I have to say though, it was pretty smooth sailing really. (I don’t know if I’m a bit unfazed by dental pain though, as I’ve had some brutal wisdom teeth experiences/dry socket so anything is better than that.)

4 weeks passed and I was booked in for another appointment to check on my progress and to have my attachments fitted, ready for trays 3 & 4…

Attachments fitting

I’d read quite a lot about the fitting online and how uncomfortable attachments were: 1. To be added at the dentist, and 2. In your mouth afterwards.

In my experience – 1. Yes, it’s not the most comfortable thing getting a random chunk of god knows what added onto your teeth – but it wasn’t painful. 2. They feel like they shouldn’t be there, but you get used to the feeling of them quickly.

The only thing to note is that it does make your aligners feel a lot tighter, but I quite like that feeling as it means they are moving your teeth effectivly. Also, the attachments do make your aligners harder to pull in and out of your mouth as they literally do feel more ‘attached’. It takes a few days to figure out your own best way to remove them.

So with that completed, I then went about my life with trays 3 & 4 until my next appointment where I would receive trays 5 & 6 and have ‘IPR’. But oh no, things were going a bit too well..

Emergency appointment – a filling fell out!

The first two months were going well, probably too well. And so my mouth decided to cost me more money and therefore ‘more problems’ by disposing of a filling after eating a popping candy chocolate bar. Not really what you need or want when you’ve already spent thousands. Obviously I panicked. I Googled! It hurt too so it needed fixing, quick.

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Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

For most people I know Germany isn’t the first place you’d think to visit in the middle of summer, unless you’re going on a city break to Berlin, Cologne or Munich. However, if you are into skiing then you may have heard of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a Bavarian alpine village popular with fans of the sport in the winter season.

I had a week booked off from work earlier this year and wanted to go somewhere with mountains, maybe in the Alps. After a fair bit of googling and looking at fancy Swiss spa’s (and not being able to afford that type of holiday) we stumbled upon this little town. And so we booked ourselves into a very old looking hotel and rented a car so we could explore Bavaria.

We flew to Munich, and then proceeded to have a very drunken night out with some local friends. Very fun, but ensued a hangover I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. In this bleary state, we made the drive to the mountains.

We arrived in the summer when Europe was having that mad heat wave so first on our agenda for a day trip was Lake Eibsee, somewhere we could cool down! The lake lies at the bottom of Germany’s highest mountain (Zugspitze), and I have really never seen anywhere like it. If you like walking you can walk round the whole lake which takes a couple of hours, stopping off every now and again at different sections for a picnic or a dip…

Serious Jurassic Park vibes..?

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Invisalign diary – My experience so far

So lets start from the beginning…

Years ago I had read about Invisalign online and liked the idea of it, (well as much as you can like the idea of any braces). If you’re thinking what on earth is Invisalign, they’re essentially a set of clear removable aligners that can straighten your teeth. Read more about them here (try and see past the 90’s web design, this is actually the most informative website on it I found!) 

As a kid or teenager I never had braces, my teeth were not considered ‘bad’ enough. However, they’re not totally straight either. Sometimes I don’t mind them, other times I don’t like them – you know what it’s like. I enquired about Invisalign it at my dentist and they recommended that if I wanted to straighten my teeth I should have traditional braces, so I totally put the idea to bed there and then. I just knew that personally I’d be too self conscious about it.

Fast forward to earlier this year and a couple of people I know recently had Invisalign or consultations. I’d also watched a couple of YouTube videos where different people had good results so I was curious, again. I also felt that if I was going to do it at all I’d rather go ahead with it while I’m younger and I don’t have a commitment like kids. But first there were a few things I wanted to know:

1. I didn’t even know if Invisalign would work for me I had also assumed it was mainly for people who had already had traditional braces but their teeth had slipped back over time. I didn’t know if it could move the teeth I needed moving.

2. The cost – it’s not cheap The cost is definitely prohibitive especially as someone who lives in central London where dentists tend to be rather pricey anyway. The costs also seem to vary a lot, and most dentists say ‘from £x price’.

3. Timescale – I also assumed it would take about 2 years. When I looked at other peoples blogs/stories online I just came to that conclusion and that was a bit off-putting to me, because I didn’t think I disliked my teeth enough for 2 years of any treatment.

4. No idea what dentist/clinic to use. I’ve had some private cosmetic dentist work done before and I trust my dentist but they are expensive, especially for Invisalign. They also hadn’t done as many Invisalign cases as a lot of other clinics in London (you can look this up on the Invisalign website). There’s so many places in London that do specialise in Invisalign and orthodontic work, with good and bad reviews. It’s hard to know where to even start.

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Margate – Twenty nine

A few weeks ago I went to an exhibition called The Great British Seaside at the National Maritime Museum. It featured lots of Martin Parr and the best and worst of the UK’s coastal activities… It was a pretty good exhibition and it made me want to get to the seaside for my birthday this weekend. I’d never been to Margate before, but seen lots about it online so it was top of the list.

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