Welcome to Geri's Corner!
Are you considering Invisalign?
Have you ever thought about having your teeth straightened? Did you have orthodontics years ago and have not been happy with the results? Or do you notice that as the years have passed, your teeth are shifting? Have you been told that you have a poor bite? Misaligned teeth can lead to many problems including periodontal disease, premature wear, and TMJ issues just to name a few. These are all reasons to look at the Invisalign system of repositioning your teeth.
My name is Geri, and I am a practicing hygienist at Ayan Dentistry with over 30 years experience. I have decided to take the Invisalign plunge, and I am inviting you to take it with me. I am going to blog about my Invisalign experience to help anyone out there who might be considering Invisalign... but are not sure what to expect. I will chronical my case, and I will show you some examples of other cases we have treated in our office, Ayan Dentistry, as we move through treatment. So, stay tuned... and let's begin!
Welcome to my blog about Invisalign! I am about to embark on a journey... and I hope to inform, help, answer questions, and give you a taste of what it is like to go through Invisalign treatment. A little background about me: I have had orthodontics twice in my life already. Originally, I had braces in the late 1960's (yes, I'm dating myself) and then again when I turned 50. I am not unhappy with my smile; however, my bite is not functioning properly and I am starting to lose bone around my lower front teeth. I did NOT want to go through braces again, so I thought I'd try Invisalign.
So, what exactly is Invisalign? Invisalign is a system of moving teeth that involves wearing clear aligners that are changed every two weeks according to a plan that is individually devised for each patient. It is ALWAYS best to have a dentist who is certified in Invisalign to check on these aligners to make sure all is going according to schedule. My dentist, Dr. Darlenn Ayan at Ayan Dentistry, is certified in Invisalign. There are do-it-yourself aligner systems out there that don't require checks by your dentist. I would NOT recommend these systems because movement can get "off track" and create problems. It's very important to be monitored by a professional. All of the Invisalign patients at Ayan Dentistry are closely monitored through-out treatment.
Believe me, I had many reservations about jumping into orthodontics for a THIRD time. You might have these concerns as well: for instance, I'm older now... am I too old for this treatment? Is this going to hurt? Am I going to be uncomfortable through this treatment? Are people going to think I'm talking funny? Can people tell I'm wearing the aligners? I will answer all these questions as I go through treatment myself. Hopefully this will help anyone who is considering Invisalign. You can also e-mail me any questions you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Step: The ScanThe first appointment begins with a computer scan of my mouth. This scan takes the place of conventional impressions of the mouth that we used to take with the goopy trays. The dental assistant waves a wand in my mouth and the impression of my teeth shows up on a computer screen. No more messy impressions! YAY! By the way, the scan itself takes about 10 minutes, and is totally painless.
A week later I reviewed my scan with my doctor, Dr. Ayan. The scan demonstrated the position my teeth are in now... and then showed how my teeth would turn out at the end of treatment. I learned that I would need about 20 aligners. I was informed that if I wear my aligners every day and change them every two weeks as instructed, I would be finished in about 10 months. I was very pleased with the way the scan illustrated my final result... soooo I said yes to the Invisalign treatment plan and I'm ready to begin my adventure! Here are some pictures below of the initial scanning appointment... easy breezy!
Day one of treatment:I was so excited to begin! Dr. Ayan's office had informed me that my aligners had arrived, and it was time to have the small plastic buttons placed on my teeth that help the aligners move the teeth. I have included pictures of this appointment, so you have an idea about this process.
This appointment takes about an hour, depending on the difficulty of your case. Dr. Ayan applies these tiny CLEAR buttons to the teeth with resin material. The material is cured with a blue light, so that they will stay in place. These little buttons are very important to help the aligners move the teeth into the correct position. This is also not a painful appointment. After all the buttons are in place, my new aligners are given to me. Dr. Ayan and her assistant give me instructions on how to take these aligners in and out of my mouth. When I try them in for myself, I notice a tightness and a slightly uncomfortable feeling... but in an hour or so that feeling went away. I was instructed to wear my aligners 20 to 22 hours every day. I am to remove my aligners when I eat and be sure to brush my teeth (if possible) before I place them back in my mouth. I make a mental note to myself that I will need to carry a travel toothbrush in my purse for those times when I may not be at home. I think that the most important thing to remember is to wear the aligners as much as you can during the 24-hour period. This enables the next aligners to engage properly, and your treatment plan will run smoothly.
TIP: if you know you have NOT been wearing your aligners as much as you should during that two-week period, then don't move into the next set of aligners. You may have to make up some time and wear your last set of aligners for a few more days. If your next set of aligners doesn't fit properly, be sure to let Dr. Ayan know. She is there to help you stay on track!
I am given a travel case for my aligners and some cleaning crystals to help keep them fresh. I am finished with Day one and ready to go!
The Mouth Body Connection
Modern research has revealed that there is a strong connection between oral health, and overall health. See this helpful video for more information.