What was your experience with Invisilign?
March 13, 2010 9:07 PM   Subscribe

Tell me about your experience with Invisilign - was it good/bad, did it work?

While some mefi questions touched on Invisilign, I didn't find the info I was looking for and am hoping the hive mind can share with me your experiences with invisilign. specifically, did it work? did your teeth stay intact (did you wear a retainer once you were done?) or do they shift back into their previous crooked places? Did you get cavities? Were the aligners hard to remove? Please share any advice and anecdotes from your experience in using invisilign.
posted by dmbfan93 to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It works. I still have a retainer but mine looks just like invisalign trays, not the wire kind. I only wear it at night so it's not a big deal.

It took longer than they said it would and it's a pain in the ass: you can't eat with them in and they are in essentially 24/7 (obviously you take them out for meals). You don't realize how annoying this is until someone brings in food to work to share and you can't have any. Speech will be messed up at first but you will get used to it. You can't chew gum. They hurt for the first day or two when you start a new tray. The doc will probably need to file between your teeth to make room for adjustments (it's essentially a piece of tiny sandpaper) which is disconcerting at first.

I have not had regular wire braces but someone I know has had both and say invisalign is much less painful and annoying.

The results are great but it is not an experience I wish to repeat.
posted by chairface at 9:58 PM on March 13, 2010

I didn't use it but my husband did and he had a very good experience, especially compared to regular braces. It took a while (about 24 months) but the clear plastic retainers were practically impossible to see which was important to him. They worked and were not super uncomfortable, except for the first night with a new one. (He primarily wore his at night.) There has been no noticeable drift back, but it's only been about a year. He experienced no cavities during this time, but did comment that the weird spacing that they do to your teeth to prepare them was uncomfortable. He said that sometimes it was tough to get the aligners out after the first night wearing them but you kind of get the hang of where to grab them to be able to get a good enough grip to pry it out. The system was very good at figuring out how to stage the aligners so that they weren't really painful and the one time it was too much to tolerate, the orthodontist just made him a less extreme one, it is all included in the original cost. Suggestion-it's expensive enough, if you have flex spending at work, use it.
posted by supercapitalist at 10:12 PM on March 13, 2010

I'm on my second tray of what's supposed to be a year's worth, but after talking to other people I expect to have it go at least a little longer. You can read my blog entry (link is in my profile) about what it was like the day I got them in, but I will say the second tray was much less painful than the first.

Eating is kind of a pain in the ass, because it has to be planned for. I use the stopwatch on my iPhone to make sure I'm staying within the allotted two hour window I have each day. People keep saying 'I loved having them because I couldn't snack and I lost a few pounds!' but I have blood sugar issues so it's kind of a drawback for me.

People *really* don't notice them unless you point them out. Even the woman waxing my eyebrows on Friday -- she was right in my face -- didn't see them.

Also, I grind my teeth pretty severely, enough so that I've chewed through nightguards before. Because I have invisalign on top and bottom, I haven't chewed through anything (plastic v plastic) and for whatever reason I'm not waking up with bruxisn-related pain.

So, you know, I'm only three weeks in, but so far, so good. Maybe I'll feel differently in six months, but for now I'm happy.
posted by sugarfish at 10:14 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I did Invisalign a few years ago to fix my bottom front teeth which had slipped over the decades from when I had braces as a kid. I thought it was less painful than wired braces. It sort of worked: my teeth moved to where I wanted them to be but have not stayed there using Invisalign's retainer. I ended up having to have a lingual arch permanently installed.

I did not get cavities. You have to take the Invisalign trays out to eat and putting them back over unbrushed teeth feels and looks incredibly nasty. If anything, my teeth were cleaner than ever because I was brushing 3-4x a day. As an unexpected side effect, the hassle of removing trays/brushing/reinstalling trays really cut down on my inbetween meal snacking.

Wearing the trays gave me a raging case of dry mouth (and the attendant bad breath) for the first several weeks, I ended up having to carry around a small spray bottle of dental humidicant during the days and using a moisturizing mouthwash to get through the night.

I never really got used to talking around them: I lisped for 18 months. The trays add a double thickness of plastic around your teeth and one of the most annoying things about them was not being able to close my jaws shut the way that felt most comfortable to me (the plastic covered back teeth strike each other before the front ones do, leaving a gap up front that drove me barking mad).

The trays are sort of hard to remove at first until you get the hang of it, it sort of requires getting a fingernail and your tongue under an edge and popping sideways and up. Some stages seem harder to remove than others. One thing that doesn't show up in the Invisalign brochures is your case might require anchors (called 'buttons') glued to the fronts of some of your teeth so the trays have something to hold on to. These rectangular buttons are made of a dental bonding material, there is an attempt to color match the material to your teeth. I hated the buttons because when the trays are off, the buttons rasped against the insides of my gums and I had a frequent painful pinches from them while eating. Trays that have buttons are much harder to remove. Buttons are removed with a dental drill; despite much polishing by my dentist I can still feel the slight roughness of where the buttons were when I run my tongue over my teeth although there's no remaining visible sign of them.

One of the logistical issues with Invisalign is getting the trays clean enough despite having to wear them 24/7 except when eating. Even if you brush them with toothpaste, they build up a certain filmy grossness in a few days. I found brushing the heck out of them and letting them soak in denture cleaner while I was eating dinner kept them from getting nasty.

You never stop wearing Invisalign: after your last tray, you have continue wearing a retainer at night. The Invisalign cost includes this retainer which looks just like all the previous trays (clear, molded to your teeth) except it's slightly thicker plastic and it doesn't have button bumps. IMO, I found this retainer's thickness made it much more difficult to get on/off.

If you go for it, be skeptical of the total treatment length that will be quoted to you. After impressions are taken of your teeth (by you biting into the most gross and gagging blue squishy Silly Putty), Invisalign will tell your dentist how many different upper and lower trays your case will require. Each tray equals an incremental step toward the final goal. For me and for everyone else I've met who has done Invisalign, this number of trays is off by a quarter to a third. I don't believe extra trays cost you anything extra although my dentist is the sort of person who would tell me that and eat the overage costs himself.
posted by jamaro at 10:18 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, and as far as the aligners being tough to remove: not really. Each will have its own little sweet spot that you'll find you can get your fingernail under. You'll likely get attachments, which are lumps of filling material on several teeth that hold the trays in. You learn pretty quickly how to pull on the flexible trays to get them out. When you put them back on, they just click over the attachments.
posted by sugarfish at 10:18 PM on March 13, 2010

I'm at the very end of my invisaligns (like 1 tray left before the retainer!!). What was supposed to be nine months turned into over two years and my teeth are still not perfect. I've been through three readjustments and could've gone through one more except I've decided just to have my two front teeth bonded together and give up on the one last stubborn crooked tooth. They do look much better than what I started out with though. I had one tooth that was supposed to be pulled down and turned slightly, but despite multiple tries and multiple attachments, it did not work. At all. I had another tooth that was turned almost completely sideways and it is pretty much back to normal. So I guess it depends on the tooth.

In terms of shifting back - my teeth are super stubborn, so if I have a try out for even a few hours, they move back and I can feel the tightness when I put it back in. This was especially so with the gap between my teeth (which is why I finally just had them bonded together).

To answer the rest of your questions, no I did not get cavities, and the aligners are easy to remove once you get the hang of it.
posted by echo0720 at 7:45 AM on March 14, 2010

« Older The little PA system that could, I hope.   |   Automatic Style Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.