WOW! Never did I anticipate the volume of questions and interest I’d receive about Invisalign! I wanted to share answers to all the questions you submitted via Instagram a few weeks ago.
If you have any additional questions that I didn’t cover, leave them in the comments and I will get back to you 🙂
Before heading into the Q&A, here are some basics..
What is Invisalign?
You can think of Invisalign as ‘clear braces’ that work to straighten your teeth and perfect your bite though different sets of retainers.
What is the Invisalign process like?
After deciding on a orthodontists, you will be scanned via their machine that basically takes an virtual imprint of your mouth. IF you had braces before like me, it’s basically the new version of that weird foam putty you used to bite into for an imprint.
After that, you wait around a month to get a series of retainers that you will wear for ~20 hours a day for 10 days each for as long as your treatment is. I think I had ended up using around 30ish trays.
Your ortho will probably give you ~6 sets each visit so don’t worry about storing or losing your entire set. 🙂
From there, you wear them, have check up appointments and may have some fine tuning known as “refinement”.
MY INVISALIGN EXPERIENCE – Q&A
Q: Why did you get Invisalign?
I have worn my plastic and permanent wire retainers every night for over 12 years. I cannot sleep without them and am very diligent with them.
Sadly the permanent wire retainer behind my top six teeth snapped and I didn’t realize it had happened until months later while at the dentist. Due to this, my teeth shifted. I opted for Invisalign to make my teeth straight again and fix my bit that were both altered by my wire retainer snapping.Q: How long did you have Invisalign?
My Invisalign treatment lasted 14 months.
That said, I think it would have been done in a year of 11 months if I hadn’t had to get “rescanned” and get more attachments added for a stubborn tooth that wasn’t moving. That delayed me 1-2 months.Q: How much did Invisalign cost?
This varies depending on your treatment. I was told it can range from $3,800 to $8,000.
Mine was around $3,000, but covered by my insurance. Check to see if your insurance provide covers adult orthodontics and how much.Q: What are Invisalign attachments?
Invisalign attachments are small tooth-colored ‘bumps’ that are attached to teeth using dental composites. They will be placed at specific locations to allow the aligners to grip the teeth as they are guiding them to their new locations. Q: Did you need to have tooth attachments?
Everyone will have a different experience, but I’d go into it thinking you will have them. Anyone I have met has as it’s critical for pulling your teeth around.
While I’m very happy the attachments are now removed with the conclusion of my Invisalign treatment, they aren’t that bad!Q: How many attachments did you have and where?
I had around 13, but 11 were all on back teeth.
To get your plan and retainers, the orthodontist or dentist has a machine that they use to scan you. It’s painless and fast.
During the time of my original scan, they asked me quickly if I wanted the attachments on my front four teeth. I mean, who does? So I obviously said no. I wish they would have explained how vital these were for my specific teeth, overall treatment and the potential set back that would be caused without them.
Half way through my treatment, I had an attachment added to both teeth next to my front teeth because the retainer alone wasn’t moving them.
Honestly, if it would have been suggested from the get-go and noted that it may likely stall the treatment (you have to get rescanned, waiting two+ weeks for your new retainers, etc), I’d have done it from the start.
Also note, this is considered “refining” and not an additional charge. More on “refining” later in the post..Q: Did you have braces before?
Yes, for four years. I had my permanent retainer in for 12 years and wore my plastic retainers to bed literally every single night for 12 years. Q: Was wearing the Invisalign retainers all day and night annoying and inconvenient?
Honestly, I’ve been wearing retainers for so long that wearing them for bed is part of my routine so I didn’t need to learn to do it.
Wearing them during the day wasn’t bad when it came to upkeeping post-food, but that’s because I always brush my teeth after each meal and my snacks. I’m a straight up weirdo and brush my teeth 5+ times a day and always have a toothbush/paste on me soooo for me, no.
That said, I did find wearing them in the office awkward. I really think it’s because I have a large smile that’s very prominent and adding a layer of shiny retainer to them just made me look goofy. When in the office, I am presenting in front of executives and speaking to business leaders where I just didn’t want this to be distracting.
I primarily work rom home which was really convenient, but for the seven times I traveled to my Denver headquarters since having my Invisalign, I did not wear them during the day. This is NOT what the doctor says to do and I do not suggest it, especially if you work in an office every single day.
For myself, if I was in Denver for three days, I’d add three days to wearing that set.Q: Did Invisalign cause you to have headaches?
YES. Headaches would come on during the night and I’d wake up with them. You’re changing your retainer set every 10ish days and headaches are most prominent the first three days of a new set. This wasn’t fun, but bearable. Q: I am a big snacker. How annoying will that make Invisalign?
I was told to always brush after eating so you may just need to retrain yourself from grazing on snacks to eating it in one sitting. Q: I love coffee! Can you drink it with Invisalign?
Same, girl! I was told I could drink coffee through straws with Invisalign which wasn’t a change for me as I always do this to avoid teeth stains.
Don’t drink matcha with them in though! It’ll stain them bright green. That set looked really cute 🙂Q: How did you find an Invisalign provider?
I looked up local orthodontists and read reviews. I recently got a new dentist and they also offer Invisalign so you could check yours.
I’d also ask how many Invisalign patients they have and what each appointment looks like for them.
I’ve seen bloggers online where they go in and have an orthodontist consultation every time and have these awesome 3D visual videos of their teeth progression. I didn’t have this. I just got looked at and was on my way which, since your teeth look way worse before they get better, at times left me worried and just crossing my fingers this would work.
They ended up having a wonderful end result, but I would have referred someone that really worked on Invisalign frequently and gave me more confidence in the process via visuals.Q: Did you do any Invisalign “refining”?
After you finish all your retainer trays, you’ll be able to “refine” any areas you still need addressed. You’ll get rescanned and another set of retainer trays.
I technically did refining half way through as I got additional attachments, rescanned and a new set of retainers.
But for traditional refinement, meaning after I was done all my treatment trays, I did not opt for it even though I did have a tweak I needed because we addressed it with bonding at my dentist.
Ask if there is any charge for refinement and how many are included. Mine were free and I think most are, but it’s a great question to ensure you don’t get extra charges.Q: Any tips for caring for your attachments? I heard they turn color!
My attachments turned color and had to be polished a few months in, but it was due to my love for espresso black. I started adding in Nutpods to my espresso to make it less dark.
My ortho has said nothing really stains them other than espresso. Just always brush your teeth good because obviously if you don’t brush, they will get discolored just like teeth do.
I hope this blog post helps whether you’re currently in the Invisalign process or vetting to see if it’s the right option for you! Xo MindySHOP THE POST