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My “invisible” Invisalign teeth aligner

I just came from my dentist and now I am wearing new braces or rather teeth aligner. I know , I know, at my prime time age? Let me rewind you a bit of history before I talk about my new “invisible” braces.

During my high school reunion, one of my classmates said my face looks different. Her words translated to English “Your face changed”. I was not quite sure what she meant but it sounded like a compliment. Of course , I have never done invasive treatment, just facial care and makeup to cover some flaws.

While looking at my vintage photos, I noticed the difference. I had jutting teeth. It isn’t as bad as my sister who needed “martian-like” braces to fix her protruding teeth. There was this metal wire that was wrapped around from her front teeth and strapped to the back of her neck. It was that bad.

It isn’t too obvious when a photo is taken at my sides. In this High school yearbook photo, the protruding front teeth are obvious.

No wonder I never had any suitors in high school. I often kid my husband , “wow I never realized I had ugly teeth. No wonder I didn’t smile that often.”

His answer “because I love you …” as always.

Anyway back to my two front teeth.

I can’t remember how I lost my back molars. It must have been in 1990. Naturally losing these teeth pushed back my two front teeth, which made it less protruding. Through the years, I noticed it slowly begin to cave inwards, ever so slightly.

I would have never thought of wearing metal braces until I asked my dentist what can be done to my teeth before it totally caves in.

She suggested Invisalign. Dental technology certainly changed throughout the years.

If you are wondering what Invisalign braces look like, here it is up close:


enlarge for bigger image

Not obvious huh. It just appears more shiny than usual but you can not detect I am wearing teeth aligners. I need to wear it 16 hours a day.

So what is invisalign? Here is what wikipedia says:

Invisalign is a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that both orthodontists and dentists use as an alternative to traditional metal dental braces. As of April 2008, more than 730,000 patients have completed or are currently in treatment.

Just like any procedure, there are advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

The most obvious advantage of the treatment is cosmetic: the aligners are completely transparent, therefore far more difficult to detect than traditional wire and bracket braces. This makes the method particularly popular among adults who want to straighten their teeth without the look of traditional metal braces, which are commonly worn by children and adolescents. Due to the removable nature of the device, food can be consumed without the encumbrance of metallic braces.

Imagine me wearing metal braces ?

Disadvantages:

1. Invisalign does not require a cephalometric radiograph. Orthodontists use this type of x-ray to treatment plan the final angulation of the teeth keeping in mind the patients facial profile.

(In my case, my teeth do not require this radiograph since the problem is just two front teeth.

2. The system is also somewhat expensive and can be more expensive than traditional wire and bracket systems.

(Mine were not that expensive because the problem was just the two front teeth. It helps that my dentist gives reasonable rates.)

3. The aligners must be removed before eating, an advantage and disadvantage depending upon the person. They and the teeth should be cleaned before re-inserting them afterwards.

(I still have to remove them. Though the plastic is flexible, I will somehow learn to remove them)

4. Because the aligners are removed for eating, they could be lost.

(My dentist told me never to wrap my braces in napkin. Since the braces are transparent, it is not easily seen. I just have to bring the container to make sure I don’t lose it.)

I am still trying to get used talking with it. My dentist said I should see effects in three months. Then another set of Invisalign teeth aligner will be placed.

Let’s see what happens. At least I can still smile in confidence wearing these braces.

Cheers!

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