The first series of Invisalign made a remarkable difference in my smile. When I originally embarked on adult orthodenture, I just wanted some improvement. I wasn’t looking for perfection. But at the end of the first treatment, Dr Jacquie offered an even better result– and at no additional cost. I have waited more than 40 years to get a really pretty smile and now it was within reach.
Dr Jacquie made another set of scans to develop the next set of aligners. I thought that I would need another 8 or 9 plastic tray and I was a bit surprised that my new set of aligners had 15 new trays. However I will be changing them every 10 days rather than every two weeks, so the time was about the same.
I also got another Madonna-like make-over from Dr Jacquie– that is she created a bit more space between my two front teeth. My two side incisors had a shape that defies description, making it hard for them to line up neatly with the front teeth. They too were slightly reshaped to allow my teeth to form an even row.
I was a bit concerned that the aligners in this final push would be uber tight but they were actually more comfortable than the first set. Even in the cold windy weather , I could forget that I even had them on.
After just one month with the new aligners, my overbite is rapidly becoming a figment of my imagination. To keep me going, next week, Dr Jacquie is giving me a complimentary Zoom tooth whitening treatment.
When I first started to explore adult orthodenture, another dentist told me I was not a candidate for invisable braces. Instead she recommended two years of metal brands and attachments at more than twice the cost of Invisalign. Hearing that opinion, I put my dreams of a nicer smile on the back burner. Only a chance meeting with an experienced Invisalign dentist, gave me the results I had always wanted. The takeaway here? Always get a second opinion.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged braces, braces for teeth, clear braces, dental braces, how much is invisalign, invisable braces, invisalign, Invisalign prices, orthodontist, overbite on December 19, 2012 |
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Before I start on my second and final round of Invisalign devices, Dr Jacquie shaped my teeth. I didn’t even know that this technique existed. Most people have little “saw tooth” edges on the tips of newly emerged permanent teeth. Over the next few years, the edges gradually smooth off. Not me. The ridges that were there when I was in third grade were still there when my third grandchild arrived.
Using a tiny, fine sanding tool, Dr Jacquie smoothed off the bumps and ridges, Then, not unlike a sculptor, she worked to refine the actual shape of the teeth. The teeth of the ideal female smile have gently rounded edges. By contrast, the teeth of an ideal male smile have square, straight edges. As it turned out, my front teeth had a decidedly square shape– perfect for a dude. For a 50 plus women, not so much. I had always focused on my overbite and I was totally unaware how tooth shape was affecting my smile. The 15 minute painless shaping made a striking difference in my smile and a huge boost to my self confidence. The ‘before’ photo at the top clearly show the ridges and masculine angles. The ‘after’ photo below reveal a smoother, softer smile. Very nice.
Next Steps With Invisalign
Tomorrow I get my new set of aligners and I wonder if I will now need the buttons and bands for increased impact. As long as I continue to wear the aligners as directed and return for follow-up during the treatment period, there is no additional charge. No problem. I waited so long to get orthodenture, I am the poster child for the good patient.
Getting braces, albeit invisable ones, was a hard decision to make at my age. Most people are dealing with SAT’s and acne when they get orthodenture. I, on the other hand now get AARP and need stronger reading glasses. But I am so glad I did follow though. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but I think there is a life lesson here– to make changes and take chances at any age. Do you have a life issue that you finally changed? How did you make the decision to take action?
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged braces cost, clear braces, Dr Jacquie, how much are braces, invisable braces, invisalign, malocclusion, orthodentist, overbite on October 3, 2012 |
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When I looked into my bag of Invisalign aligners and saw only three sets remained it meant that in six weeks, I would be done. While I was not sorry that this journey was almost done, I didn’t think six weeks would be enough time to get the rest of my overbite under control. My right profile looked pretty good, but the left profile still had a pretty significant flare. Check out my last scan to view the progress.
Dr Jacquie agreed. My actual progress was behind where the Invisalign digital treatment program expected my teeth to be. So she tweeked the original plan. Rather than changing the remaining aligners every two weeks, I now will be switching out every ten days. At the end of the month I will be re-scanned for a new mini-set of aligners. If needed, Dr Jacquie will add buttons and rubber bands to increase pressure and direction on the teeth.
On the every two weeks schedule, a new aligner felt tight when I first put them on, but the sensation passed quickly. On the first day of the new accelerated schedule, the bottom aligner slipped right into place. The upper aligner just did not fit. I was able to position the right side, but the left part hung out of my mouth like a fishhook. Now what? It was 8am and too early to call Dr Jacquie. I washed out the old aligner and popped it back into my mouth. After two hours I decided to try the new aligner one more time before an SOS call to Dr Jacquie. This time it worked. I was able to squeeze the aligner onto my teeth. It was so tight that I needed a moment. Then the pressure relaxed a bit and it felt merely snug.
I usually take out my aligners for breakfast and put it back two hours later. In just that short time, my teeth shifted enought to make the newest aligner unwearable. WHen I was finally able to slip it into place, the sensation is best described as a good “discomfort”, much like the way you feel when exercising. Muscles start to ache and burn in a work-out but this is a signal that the body is getting healthier. The tight Invisalign trays tell me that they were working on my overbite.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged braces, clear braces, invisable braces, invisalign, invisalign braces, invisalign cost, Invisalign dentist, orthodentic treatment, orthodentist, overbite on August 30, 2012 |
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My pile of discarded Invisalign aligners tell the story. The nine month Invisalign treatment is almost over and I have just four more aligners to straighten out my overbite.
The first part of the Invisalign program focused on the bottom teeth. Not only were they crooked, the flare was pushing out the top and were a major cause of the overbite. When I first went to Dr Jacquie I really didn’t care about the bottom row of teeth. I felt they weren’t that visable and the problem was above. She explained that they had to be corrected before the top could be put into line. ( no pun intended).
Last month with my lower jaw practically perfect it was time to get serious about the top. I was concerned that the aligners were going to be tighter and they now they definately meant business. For the first time I found myself removing aligners for a few minutes during the day because the pressure was intense. My mouth seemed to be a human barometer. I could actually tell if a storm was coming by an increased sense of pressure in my mouth. Taking off the aligners for 20 minutes was all I needed to relieve the discomfort.
I also noticed that I was getting a bit lazy. Some nights after dinner I would “forget” to put back the retainer immediately after eating. This week I also lost my first aligner. At home, I usually take out my aligner right before meals and dump them in a small bowl on the kitchen counter. This time, when I cleaned up the kitchen and brushed my teeth, the upper aligner had vanished. I vaguely remembered cleaning up some plastic bags on the counter and taking the trash to the chute down the hall. I’m fairly certain that my missing retainer was scooped up with trash and thrown out. I was due to change aligners in two days, so I pushed up the date. The new aligner was a bit tight, but still doable.
I’m waiting to post my progress until the last reveal in two months. But the changes are already pretty encouraging. At lunch this week I mentioned my overbite to a new co-worker. “ Overbite?” she said ” You don’t have an overbite” . How nice was that.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged braces cost, clear braces, invisable braces, invisalign cost, invisible braces, malocclusion, orthodentist, orthodentists, overbite on August 2, 2012 |
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I am now at 26 weeks of my 42 week treatment program with Dr Jacquie. My lower jaw is gorgeous! I keep sneaking peeks in a mirror, barring my teeth like a puppy to check out the perfect row of even white teeth. I never really cared about the overcrowding in my lower jaw and focused on the flare on my upper jaw. However one of the reasons for the almost scary overbite is that the flare from the lowers pushed out the upper teeth. Now that the lower bad boys have been brought in line, the Invisalign retainers can focus on my upper bite problems.
In the before and after X-rays you can see the flare in both my upper and lower jaw. When I first saw how pronounced it was I wondered how I could actually chew. In the after, the flare in the upper jaw is reduced, but still has a way to go. But the difference in the lower jaw is pretty amazing.
Now the focus will be on the upper flare and I wonder if I will feel a difference in the way the aligners fit. Will they get tighter? Over the past months some aligners have flet extra snug but nothing genuinely uncomfortable.
I have heard about ” Invisalign buttons” that are attached to the teeth during treatment. Holes are cut in the aligners and a rubber band is attached to the buttons and is pulled across the teeth. This increases tension on the teeth to promote a shift in position.
The short answer is “no buttons”. The buttons and bands are used primarily where the bite is mismatched. Known as malocclusion, the extra pressure is used to move the jaws to line up evenly one on top of the other. The good news is that I have plain, old-fashioned buck teeth.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged braces, braces invisalign, clear braces, invisalign, invisalign braces, Invisalign dentist, invisible braces, malocclusion, orthodontist, overbite on March 7, 2012 |
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I was really looking forward to my six week appointment with Invisalign. I had gone through three sets of aligners and felt a definate change in my bite. The first set of aligners were super easy to wear. Not only were they totally comfortable, they kept me from snacking. Without aligners, I would reach for a random cookie or chunk of cheese– but with Invisalign eating even one bite meant taking it out, scarfing down the food, a trip to the sink to brush my teeth and replacing the aligner. Few foods now seem worth the trouble. I also noticed that my teeth were much whiter because I could not drink tea and coffee while wearing Invisalign. Cutting back on my 5-6 cups of tea and coffee certainly kept my smile brighter.
The second pair of aligners were pretty snug. And walking in cold windy weather seemed to make them feel even tighter. I was a little concerned that things were going to get tougher but the next two sets were as comfortable as the first one.
Dr Jackie started this visit by announcing she was going to make me look like Madonna. I wondered what she meant. Would I get blonde wavy hair? Skinny arms? Then I got it. Dr Jackie treated my teeth with IPR or Interproximal Reduction. IPR is an important of most Invisalign treatment plans. Using a rotating disk Dr Jackie recontoured my teeth to create a tiny bit of extra space between my teeth and reshape them for better alignment. It’s a much less invasive and expensive option than extracting 4-6 teeth entirely.
In addition to having an overbite on top and crooked teeth on the bottom, my teeth had a masculine, awkward shape. ( Top photo) My teeth were significantly wider at the bottom than the top and lets face it you can’t line up two slanting lines. By rounding off jagged and boxy edges, IPR made my teeth prettier and more feminine. ( Bottom photo) In less than a week, the space has closed up as the teeth moved naturally into a better position.
When I started Invisalign, I just wanted to reduce the overbite. The subtle reshaping that is part of the Invisalign program is such a welcome bonus. So far, Invisalign has exceeded my expectations.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged braces cost, clear braces, cost of braces, cost of invisalign, invisalign, Invisalign dentist, invisible braces, orthodentist, orthodentists, overbite on February 8, 2012 |
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My first two weeks wearing Invisalign were painless, both literally and figuratively. Just four days after I started, I thought I could see changes in the alignment of my lower teeth. I assumed it was my imagination, but by the end of the first 14 days I had objective proof of change. My teeth had been so tightly packed together that I had needed to use the thinnest dental floss to get the job done. By the time I packed away my first set of aligners, I had to switch to a broad floss for optimal dental care.
The Invisalign rules are easy to follow , so easy that I got a bit lazy. Instruction sheets make a point of advising me to always place retainers in the plastic carry case. I followed this rule religiously but toward the end of week two, I took them out to eat dinner and thought I put them on the endd table in the living room. After eating dinner and brushing my teeth, I went to put them back into my mouth, only to find they had disappeared. I searched the house for more than an hour but no Invisalign. Next morning, I found them in bright sunlight– just where I thought I had placed them the night before. They are designed to be invisible and apparently were as hard to see on furniture as they are when worn! I learned a good lesson, and now compulsively put them in their little case when they are not in my mouth.
The second set of aligners certainly cranked up the treatment. They were tight, so tight, it gave me a bit of a headache. I found myself taking it out more often, just to get relief from the pressure. After four days, either my teeth shifted or the device stretched a bit because it felt more comfortable. It is still tighter than the first retainers, but not so much that its a problem. I am so encouraged by the progress I can see in just three weeks that temporary discomfort doesn’t matter.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged braces cost, clear braces, invisalign, invisalign costs, Invisalign dentist, invisible braces, malocclusion, orthodentist, orthodentists, overbite on January 25, 2012 |
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Two months after my first appointment with Dr Jackie, my Invisalign devices were ready. There are twenty- one in the set and I am to wear each one for two weeks. This means that in 42 weeks, I will be done.
There were rules. Not that many and not that bad, but still rules:
* I cannot eat or drink hot or colored liquids. The heat can distort them and the colors can stain them
* I need to wear them 22 hours a day. This means I need to wear them all the time except when I eat– and I need to eat quickly. After eating I need to brush my teeth before reinserting the aligners.
* To clean them, I swish the aligners in Efferdent, the denture cleaner.
Then came the moment to put in my first aligner. I was worried that I had started something I couldn’t finish. What if they hurt? What if they looked so strange I didn’t want to wear them in public? I clicked the first one into place and relaxed. I was aware that it was in my mouth, but no pain. I could talk normally and no one seemed to notice them. I couldn’t stop smiling.
They are easy to wear and I often forget I have them on. The biggest problem is that I can’t sip coffe or tea as I go about my day. The aligners also discourage snacking, which is not such a bad thing. In the first week of wearing Invisalign, I dropped a pound. I didn’t realize how much I was nibbling throughout the day, but since each bit means I have to take them out, eat, brush and reinsert, I just skip the snack. Weight control is a nice value added benefit to Invisalign.
In my first week, I also noticed that my teeth looked whiter, probably due to fewer cups of tea and coffee. Although its been a very short time, I actually think that I can see a difference on my bottom teeth. I really didn’t care that much that they were not straight on the bottom, but I’m loving the new more even line. Apparently tiny Invisalign changes can have a huge difference on dental contours.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged braces, braces cost, braces invisalign, clear braces, cost of invisalign, how much are braces, invisable braces, invisalign, invisalign braces, Invisalign dentist, orthodentist, overbite on November 23, 2011 |
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When I first started my anti-aging journey I identified a dozen different signs of facial aging. On that list I noted only a single dental problem– stained/ yellowed teeth. Turns out that changes in our smile are part of often unrecognized changes that make us look older. The overbite that I see in the mirror was just a symptom of changing dental contours, rather than the cause of my aging smile.
Here’s how it works: According to Dr Jacquie, the full wide smile of gorgeous celebrities ( think Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, Halle Barre, Kate Middleton) is a youthful smile. As we get older, our smile often becomes smaller as the jaw loses bone mass, shifting the teeth forward.
To check this out, I dug out old family photos and there it was– a full wide smile. As a thirty something Mom, I had a little overbite, but my broad youthful smile had two rows of an even white teeth. Comparing that smile with my baseline pix from Dr Jacquie, you can see the difference a few decades make. The overbite is more pronounced and the side teeth have receded and are barely visable.
Looking at these photos I realized that I certainly under- estimated the impact of aging on the mouth– and I’m not alone. Even in New York where you can trip over dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons, it took me two years to find a full service cosmetic dentist– someone who is focused on the smile problems of adults. At Dr Jacquie’s office, I noticed the beautiful models and actors walking in the door, and I began to suspect I was finally in the right place. If the other patients in the waiting room have a curfew and are carrying that thick SAT book, you’re probably in the wrong place.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged aging lips, aging smile, bite plate, bone loss in jaw, buck teeth, cosmetic dentists, digital radiograph, Dr Jackie, invisalign, orthodenture, orthodeture, overbite, retainer, teeth straightening on October 26, 2011 |
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Last year I tried to get Invisalign orthodenture, but “Dr Braces” as I call her said I was not a candidate. Instead she offered a plan that started by extracting four back teeth. Then full metal permanent braces for at least two years and at the cost of at least 10 grand. I got out of that office so fast I left skid marks.
This year at Beauty Bash ( the lifestyle expo created by Geri Brin at Fabulous Over Fifty, I made a point to touch base with the cosmetic dentists. I was especially impressed by Dr Jaqueline Fulop-Goodling aka Dr Jackie. She is one of the top Invisalign dentists in the US. I was impressed by both her credentials and her dazzling smile.
From the first moment I walked into her New York office could sense a difference in her approach. Instead of a plaster mold of my teeth, Dr Jackie takes a digital panoramic radiograph of the mouth. Standing up at the machine,I put my chin on a head rest and my teeth were clenched on a little bar. The screens of the machine revolved around my face, capturing every missplaced tooth.
This time the report was very different. According to Dr Jackie, my overbite was not due to overcrowding, but another sign of aging. Apparently as the years go by, the jaw bone loses density and the teeth start to shift around. They can sink back, twist around and/ or push forward– all problems that Invisalign can handle.
Dr Jackie will also be shaping my front teeth a bit so that fit together better. It will take about a year at about half the cost of the torture plan from Dr Braces. At the next appointment I will get fitted for my first series of alignment trays. Its much more fun getting orthodenture without having to deal with homework and curfew.
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