My dentist has been talking to me about Invisalign since 2012. I used to think I had good teeth. My childhood dentist never wanted me to get braces or a retainer. People have told me that my smile is one of my best features.
I think I must have started clenching my teeth as a child, as I used to have nightmares about breaking my teeth. I broke my first molar back in about 2008, after a stressful meeting. I just clenched down too hard. After that tooth was crowned, I started sleeping in one of those soft mouth guards that you boil to fit, not so different from the one I wore playing field hockey in high school. Very sexy. But the headaches I used to get almost daily disappeared completely.
Everything was fine for a few more years, during which I moved frequently and seemed to have a new dentist every 6 to 12 months. And, then I broke the next tooth, and found Robbie Baxter, DDS, Emory trained like me, who was willing to fit me in with zero notice. I’ve been loyally going to her ever since, and oh did she have plans for me and my teeth. One by one the mercury fillings had to go (apparently the hardness of the mercury filling makes it more likely for the teeth to crack). Teeth with cracks were fixed with some cool engineering tech in office via custom 3D designed porcelain inlays and onlays. But always her plan (recommendation) was to eventually fix my bite so that my teeth do not come together top to bottom in a way that makes them prone to breaking.
So a few weeks ago we took all of the molds and photos needed for Invisalign. It’s going to take 19 sets of trays (some people only need 6) and at least 38 weeks to align the teeth properly. It’s the same cost whether it’s 3 sets or 25, so it’s not like this is a money grab. Apparently my bite is just that out of whack. And to help the teeth move, they put “attachments” on some of the teeth to act as levers. I didn’t do too much reading on the procedure, thinking it would be more like smile direct the cheaper self service option where you take your own molds/photos and they send you the sets of trays. Here are 11 things a young lady wished she’d known before doing Invisalign. At least my dentist rejected all options that required attachments on the front teeth, even though that might have sped things up. Ah, vanity. The other less that fun part of this process, is sometimes they need to make space between the teeth, so my dentist spent time with a thin metal file shaving down several teeth so they can move as needed. More of that may be needed as this process moves along.
I still think that the attachments look like some crazy weird teeth horns. I have 6 on one side (3 on top, 3 on bottom) and 4 (2 on top, 2 on bottom) on the other.