Since we last spoke, about teeth that is, I’ve been back to the Manchester Unity Building 3 times for my Smile Solutions Invisalign treatment. For most of my life I have self-consciously smiled without showing my crooked bottom row of teeth – quite a task for a blogger who is smiling for a camera multiple times a week! So you can imagine how excited I am at the prospect of giving you a big, toothy grin once the treatment is complete.
First, I went to have my mouth scanned by the lovely dental technicians. This procedure barely caused any discomfort, I just had to keep my mouth open for a little while. From the scan, they created a 3D digital model of my teeth from which the orthodontist could devise a re-alignment plan. It’s so fascinating how they can use this technology to plan out what each of the aligners will look like so that they gradually move your teeth into place.
A couple of days later, I was called back to receive the good news from my orthodontist in person. Dr David Austin confirmed the suitability of Invisalign for me, talked through the treatment plan including the duration, mechanics, and mode of action of the aligners. But the best piece of news I received from him is that I won’t need an extraction! Only a bit of teeth filing was required, which is much less invasive and painful. I was overjoyed.
L to R: Does your orthodontist offer a view like this? This is taken from level 12 of the Manchester Unity Building / The Scanning Machine / In the chair, ready to have my teeth prepared for Invisalign!
Just last week, I received a call from Smile Solutions informing me that my aligners had arrived! I went to my appointment the next day. With a heart full of anticipation and excitement, I ascended to level 12. The same smiling dental hygienists greeted me and explained the entire procedure in detail to me. The 40 minute appointment was composed of 2 parts.
Firstly, tiny bonding attachments were secured to the outside of my teeth to help the aligners to stay on and to provide grip for them to move my teeth in due time. This procedure wasn’t unpleasant either. I just had to keep my mouth wide open. Running my tongue over the attachments for the first time felt a little odd but I got over the strange sensation quickly. Plus they’re barely visible. Next, a series of my front teeth (incisors), upper and lower were filed. Tiny strips of teeth saws were moved repeatedly between my teeth. This sounds scary I know, but the dental hygienist took care and the saws never got close to my gums. Thank God! The filing was a little bit uncomfortable, because you instinctively feel like it’s not something you’d normally do to your teeth, but I remained cool, calm and collected in the chair. Don’t try this at home kids!
L to R: Can you see the attachments on my teeth? They help to give grip to the aligners / My Smile Solutions Goodie Bag and the 3 sets of aligners for the next 6 weeks / The ‘after photo’ where I’m wearing Invisalign! They’re barely visible!
Once the attachments were placed and my teeth were filed, I was ready for my aligners. It took a little bit of fiddling for me to get used to putting them on and taking them off. The clear trays wrapped my teeth snugly. My dental hygienist then reiterated that each pair of need to be worn for 14 days, 22 hours a day, to work optimally. The aligner should only be taken out for a maximum of 2 hours a day, for eating, drinking (anything aside from cold water) and brushing. This is one sure way to kick my snacking habit!
It’s one thing to be told that you need to wear your aligners for 22 hours but it’s another to experience it for the first 24 hours! Since the aligners are barely visible, I gathered up the confidence to attend a foodie event that very night wearing Invisalign!Can you tell I’m wearing Invisalign in this photo ?
It’s been a week since I’ve started wearing my Invisalign trays. I’ll let you know soon how it feels to be wearing them 22 hours a day! :)
Thanks so much for your heart warming comments, messages and emails in response to my last blog post. I hope you’re encouraged by my sharing too. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, I’ve gotta dash, a jam-packed weekend with multiple first birthday celebrations and brunch dates awaits me. As much as I want to, I sure won’t be wearing this all white dress to the kids parties!