• Lauren Hughes

My Invisalign Experience

I recently finished my Invisalign treatment (halleluiah!) and I wanted to share my experience in case it’s helpful for anyone thinking about getting it. I usually don’t like to be negative but I’m making an exception for this post…

I was lucky as a teen and never had to have traditional braces and my top teeth were straight up until my mid-twenties. My front two teeth started crossing over when I was about 25, which is exactly what happened to my mum’s teeth when she was that age. Her teeth ended up moving a lot and she then had Invisalign a few years ago to straighten them. I thought I may as well do it now to move my front teeth back to where they used to be and then get the wire fitted behind my teeth to keep them straight.

I decided to get my treatment with Finest Dental Liverpool Street because it was very close to my previous office so was easy to pop there at lunch time for my appointments. My first appointment was in April 2018 and then over the past year, I have had to go in for thirteen appointments. Because my teeth didn’t need a lot of work, I went for ‘Invisalign Lite,’ which cost £2,450 and I was able to pay it off in instalments every month. I was told that my treatment would take seven months (it ended up taking ten months) but most people I have spoken to who have had Invisalign have had the aligners for closer to a year and a half.

The whole premise of Invisalign is that the braces are ‘invisible’. You are given clear aligners that are removable but that you have to wear for 20+ hours per day and then you change to a new set every ten days to two weeks. Each time I changed to a new set of aligners, they were quite painful for the first day but were fine once they loosened up. Another part of the Invisalign process is having little spikes attached to some of your teeth. These cut up my gums and it was really painful for the first couple of days.

When you have the aligners in, you can’t eat anything and the only liquid you can drink is still water. I thought clear liquids would be ok but you’re not even allowed fizzy water or gin and tonic. As a tea and coffee lover, I found the still water rule really hard. It’s such a pain to take the aligners out just to have a cup of tea so I didn’t bother and just ended up cutting down to one cup of coffee with breakfast and then led a decaf life for the rest of the day. Over summer I’m partial to sitting in a beer garden and having some drinks, which meant leaving out the aligners for hours. I think I was generally good with keeping them in and I felt guilty a lot during the ten-month treatment when I took them out on a night out or for a long work meeting, it’s something you always have to be aware of.

One of the main issues I have with Invisalign though is that to me, they are just not invisible at all. I was always really conscious that I had a mouth full of plastic and they gave me a slight lisp that I never got used to. I never smiled properly when they were in and I always ended up explaining to people that I had Invisalign. Towards the end of a set of aligners, they would go a horrible yellowy colour too, no matter how good I was at cleaning them every day. When I didn’t have the aligners in, I found that the spikes on my teeth were quite obvious (you can see them in photos).

I definitely wouldn’t recommend Finest Dental for Invisalign. I saw a different dentist nearly every time I went, the appointments were very rushed and nothing was ever explained to me because they didn’t know who had already told me what. They also messed up my appointments multiple times and one of the women on reception in Liverpool Street is very rude. On my second to last appointment, the dentist looked at my teeth and said I’m not eligible for the wire to be fitted behind my top teeth, which essentially means it is likely my teeth are going to move again when I finish the treatment. If I’d been told this at the beginning I wouldn’t have gone through with the treatment at all. When I was leaving my last appointment, I asked if I’m just supposed to wear the retainers they gave me at night now and the dentist said yes and then changed her mind as I was walking out the door and told me that actually I should just wear them full time for next three months to be safe. Oh yeah sure, no problem.

I do think my teeth look good now and they are definitely straighter, I just don’t think it was worth all the faff and I’m not convinced that they are going to stay how they are now for very long without the wire but we will see...If your teeth really bother you then I think it could well be worth it but for me, I think I should have just embraced my teeth as they were. Teeth absolutely don’t have to be perfectly straight to be beautiful. I would love to know what you guys think of Invisalign and if you would recommend it.

Lauren x

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