I never thought I’d say this but I’m loving Invisalign after three weeks on it.
I don’t really know why, especially since I had such a hard time with it initially.
Maybe it’s because it gives me some purpose in life, something to look forward to, even though I’ve never really thought about having my teeth corrected. (I’m doing it now because I’m sponsored. Why not, right?)
Maybe it’s because I thrive on the challenge of keeping to the rigid ritual of tooth-brushing and aligner-cleaning that I have to go through several times a day. I’m the sort of person who really hates rituals and sameness, so this is quite a challenge for me.
I’m not loving it to the extent that I want to have it on forever. I still can’t wait for it to be done because it is inconvenient and sometimes painful, but I’m actually beginning to enjoy the process.
When I was still in Singapore, I started worrying about cramping Piers’ lifestyle because he would always have to wait for me to clean my teeth and aligners after every meal, a process that takes about six minutes at home and longer outside because I have to fix my makeup and hair afterwards.
We can’t now just sit back and relax after we’re done eating, continuing to enjoy, without interruption, our music or TV show or conversation.
But Piers has been very patient and supportive and taking it in his stride. He even does the washing up while I’m cleaning my teeth so the kitchen and our dining table are spic-and-span by the time I’m done, and we can get on with our evening enjoyment.
It makes me feel very bad, especially since he does the cooking, too, most of the time, but he refuses to let me do the dishes and always chases me off to the bathroom to do my teeth.
It helps a lot to have such an understanding partner.
Okay, Q&A now! Here are the questions I’ve been asked:
Q: How much does Invisalign cost?
A: It varies from case to case. Mine costs about S$8,000.
Q: What’s the process of getting Invisalign?
A: First, you have to go for a consultation to assess whether you’re suitable for it. You’ll have everything explained and all your questions answered. Your next appointment will be to take x-rays and photos of your teeth, and have a mould done. About two weeks later, you get to see computerised pictures of how your teeth will move throughout every stage of your treatment. Six to eight weeks later, you’ll receive your first Invisalign aligners as well as get attachments bonded to your teeth.
Q: How long does the treatment last?
A: About one year, typically. Some people finish in six months while some take two years or more.
Q: Can I just do one row of teeth if my bottom (or top) teeth are okay?
A: It’s possible to do only one row, but it’s not advisable because both your rows of teeth will be a bit out of alignment when you only wear one row, so you won’t be able to bite down properly. Also, the cost is about the same whether you do one or both rows. Some orthodontists might not do it.
Q: Do I have to extract any teeth to do Invisalign?
A: In severe cases, teeth extractions have been done. But this is a question that only your orthodontist can answer after examining your teeth.
Q: Can Invisalign close gaps between teeth?
A: Yes it can. In fact, if you have “triangles” between your teeth due to receding gums (those tiny triangle-shaped holes), Invisalign can help to reduce the appearance of that.
Q: What are the pros and cons of Invisalign and traditional braces?
A: Let’s break this down into different aspects:
Looks – This is the most obvious difference, of course. People really can’t tell you have Invisalign on unless they look really closely, like almost kissing distance. And if you’re still self-conscious about it, you can remove them any time, for an important meeting or photoshoot or whatever.
Cost – Invisalign is significantly more expensive. In some cases, it could be double the amount of traditional braces.
Discomfort – Invisalign causes pain and discomfort just like traditional braces do but I think to a lesser extent. Some people report very minimal pain and discomfort with Invisalign, so I think it varies for different people. You do need to have various numbers of attachments bonded to your teeth, which could also cause some discomfort when they rub against your mouth, but I think they’re a lot better than braces.
Eating – Invisalign is more inconvenient in this area because you always have to remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything other than plain water. And you have to brush your teeth after every meal before putting your aligners back on. That makes it very inconvenient for when you want to eat out. On the other hand, wearing traditional braces means you have a long list of restricted foods, plus metal braces are harder to brush.
Q: Do you sound or talk differently with Invisalign?
A: For the first week, I spoke with a lisp but my tongue slowly adjusted so now I’m talking almost normally. I think now there is a very slight difference that only I can tell. Piers says I sound the same as I used to. =P
Q: Your teeth look perfect. Why do you need Invisalign?
A: My teeth do look okay in some angles, especially from the front, but they are quite crooked in actuality. Here are the computer visuals of my teeth. The top picture shows what my teeth are now. Below that shows what my teeth will look like after the treatment.
That’s all the Q&As I have. If you have other questions, ask them here and I’ll try my best to answer.
If you’re planning to get Invisalign, do make sure you get it done by an experienced orthodontist who has been trained in Invisalign procedures, so that your treatment will be smooth and without complications.
I am lucky to be treated by Dr Poon, courtesy of Neuglow Dental @ TripleOne Somerset. She’s very experienced and also very sweet, gentle and patient. But I don’t have a proper photo of her because she’s also very camera shy, lol.
You can see in the background her two doggies which she gives to patients to hold on to for comfort when undergoing uncomfortable or boring treatment. They’re mostly for her children patients, I think, but she always gives me Winston the bulldog whenever she has to do stuff to my teeth.
Anyway, it’s quite important to get a nice orthodontist because you’ll be meeting him or her a lot during the process of your treatment.
I’m planning to be done with my treatment within seven or eight months. Hope my teeth cooperate! Can’t wait to see how I look, even though I’ve already seen the “after” picture in the computer program. Will be so weird to not have to bother with aligners again!
Will leave you with two more photos. They show how unnoticeable Invisalign is!
Not wearing Invisalign: