Here’s a story of a girl with almost perfect teeth who tried Invisalign. About 8 years ago, my teeth really started to bug me. There wasn’t any good reason for them to annoy me. My rabbit teeth weren’t too buck, there were no major gaps, no one tooth had a huge overlap onto another, but yet, I looked at my teeth and they drove me nuts. They were never white enough, never straight enough and just plain not good enough!
I had been hearing some buzz about Invisalign but I knew that the price was way out of my budget. Then a “miracle” happened. I got a job that included adult orthodontics coverage. No way, Jose! Even with the $1,500 coverage, I knew I still couldn’t afford Invisalign. But yikes, another “miracle!” They increased the coverage to $2,500 AND I knew I wasn’t planning on staying at that company far into the new year. So, I put $1,500 into my FSA and started to get my Invisalign. (If you need an explanation on why this is great, just post a comment!)
The dentist I used seemed a bit odd, but he was close to my job and it was easy enough to get appointments. The process was: You go in for a consultation, then you get “buttons” put on four of your teeth (to hold the trays in place), then you get molds done, then you get your first tray! I’ll tell ya; that first tray hurt! Also, I almost had a panic attack trying to get it off the first time. If you don’t have strong nails, you might have a bit of an issue. I thought I was going to have to find the pliers. But slowly but surely it becomes easier and way less painful. If it hurts a bit, just pop some OTC painkillers and you’ll be fine. Also, a tip – if you wedge your nail by one side of your back teeth and pull down, it is easier to get them off – for me anyway.
At first my dentist wanted to see me often (like every two weeks), but then he gave me more trays at one time so I only had to see him every six weeks or so. Slowly you will see a difference. I didn’t even keep mine on for as long as you are supposed to. I took them off to eat, to go out and party, for dates, whatever! I just slept with them and kept them on whenever I felt it wouldn’t interfere with my life. Keep in mind that if you do leave them off for longer than is recommended, you may want to just extend the time before jumping to the next tray. I personally never had any issues, though.
With Invisalign, you pay one price and that’s it. You can keep asking for tweaks to your teeth without paying extra (at least at my dentist). I could tell I was annoying my dentist with how much perfection I was looking for. However, even now, I look at my teeth and think I should have pushed for a couple of more trays to push these buck teeth back a bit further. Nobody else notices my issues, but I know my teeth could be better.
I advise keeping your first tray forever so you can see what a difference there really is between then and now in the appearance of your teeth. Just by looking at my teeth now, I can’t see a big change, but when I look back at my first tray, I see that my teeth had more issues than I thought. Also, make sure you are happy with the results before you let your dentist do your final mold for your retainer. Once you sign off, you’re done. Don’t be a pushover! Oh yeah, and also see about getting teeth whitener/bleach thrown in for free. Your retainer trays are awesome little devices that you can use to bleach your teeth for years down the line. Last advice – don’t lose your retainers! It costs a fortune to replace them.
If your teeth are a source of stress or low self-esteem for you, I do think you should look into Invisalign. It is a relatively painless process and I see advertisements for payment plans all over the place. I would shop around for dentists – prices are not always standard so you might find a better deal with a good dentist. Sometimes I even see deals with sites like Groupon or Lifebooker (maybe not those exactly but those types of sites).
Smile big everyone!
PS I left my job one month into that FSA year so basically I got my Invisalign free. Thanks crappy job! 🙂