I felt like lunchtime totally snuck up on me today. I was buried in catch-up work today and was ready for a little break when my stomach started growling.
I made myself a quick salad, topped with leftover London broil, tomatoes and pomegranate dressing.
Sides included a cup of strawberry banana Greek yogurt and two chocolate truffles.
I spy Sadie!
Last week I put out a call for questions about my experience with Invisalign and took some time this afternoon to answer the questions you guys submitted. Feel free to ask any follow-up questions in the comments section or, if you’ve gone through Invisalign treatment yourself, feel free to share your experience since I know everyone is different!
For those of you who may be in the dark about Invisalign, it is an alternative to traditional braces. Invisalign treatment uses a series of clear aligners (they look like thin, clear mouth guards) to gradually straighten teeth.
Also, I am obviously not an orthodontist, so my answers simply come from my experience with Invisalign, so be sure to address any concerns you may have with an orthodontist before beginning treatment.
Now let’s get into the details!
- Did Invisalign hurt?
The first day or two after I got a new aligner, my mouth was pretty sore, but the pain wasn’t too intense or unbearable. I also made sure to change my aligners at nighttime so I slept through the worst of the pain and soreness.
- How much does Invisalign cost?
During my research, I found the cost of Invisalign to be $4,000 to $5,000, but read on the Invisalign website that it can cost up to $8,000. I saved for a couple of years before beginning treatment so I could pay upfront in full rather than using a payment plan which allowed me to save nearly $500. I also visited a couple of orthodontists to “shop around” and compare prices. I paid around $4,000.
- Is Invisalign covered by dental insurance?
It depends on the insurance plan. Many dental insurance companies consider Invisalign treatment “cosmetic” and do not offer coverage.
- Is it noticeable?
Yes and no. During treatment, you get “buttons” attached to your teeth to hold aligners in place. Two of my buttons were placed on the two teeth next to my two front teeth and I felt like they were really noticeable, though friends and family assured me they weren’t.
You can kind of see one button jutting out in the picture below, though it’s harder to see the buttons in pictures since they match your teeth.
I also had to use rubber bands during treatment to prevent an excessive overbite, and felt like the rubber bands were very noticeable. I typically just wore them to work and to bed.
- I was told I would have to pull some teeth or shave them down on the side to be a candidate for Invisalign. Did you have to do that?
I did not have to have any teeth pulled, though I know this is necessary for certain patients. I did have teeth shaved a bit to allow my other teeth to have room to move and properly shift into position.
- Do you wear Invisalign aligners all day and all night and just take them out when you’re eating?
Yes. I would also take them out if I was going out and knew I’d be eating and drinking with friends.
- What did your teeth look like before?
I felt like I had two “fangs” that stuck out on either side of my front teeth.
Now the “fangs” are pushed back and don’t stick out farther then my two front teeth.
- Did you end up doing “refinement” at the end?
Yes. I actually did several months of “refinement” and worked out an arrangement with my orthodontist ahead of time that allowed me to continue to refine my teeth until I was 100 percent satisfied at no extra cost. (For those of you unsure about what “refinement” entails, it occurs after the traditional Invisalign treatment is over and allows patients to undergo additional treatment with more aligners to move teeth a little more.)
- Did you find it difficult to have to remove the trays and brush your teeth so frequently?
No. I struggled to remove the aligners a couple of times, but didn’t have trouble for the most part. I know some orthodontists provide patients with “tools” to help remove aligners if they are increasingly difficult to remove.
- Is Invisalign okay for teens?
Yes! There is actually an Invisalign Teen treatment plan designed specifically for teens. I actually underwent Invisalign Teen treatment myself!
- Did your trays get gross by the end of the time with a specific tray? What did you use to clean it?
Yes. I was always more than ready to throw away my trays when it was time to get new ones. I cleaned them daily by brushing them like I would my teeth.
- Did you feel like your teeth were “perfect” when you were done?
I don’t feel like I have “perfect” teeth (does anyone?), but the treatment did what I wanted it to do and I am happy with the results.