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My Invisalign Journey Starts Again, for the Second Time!

February 26th, 2012 Posted by Beauty, Featured No Comment yet

My journey in invisalign stopped for a year and I’m embarking on it again. Yes, my SECOND attempt in invisalign, in three years!

Previously, I started invisalign on Sept 2008 and stopped around July 2010, 22 months later.

My last dentist was Dr. Ellis at Central Park Spa in New York City. The insurance company did not pay her when she submitted the claim forms late. She held my aligners hostage and I stopped my treatment with a few months away from the final aligner.

I wore my last aligners for months, read again, the same aligners for a few months before I lost them. (For those who have experience in invisalign knew that that is pretty disgusting.) How did I lose them, that’s another story, which I would like to share the blame with Dr. Ellis. To cut it short, Dr. Ellis did not give me a plastic holder and I eventually lost the aligners when I wrapped them up in tissue. As I have predicted in one of my previous posts. If you are interested on how I get started in invisalign, you could follow my first journey here.

I have three choices:

1. Forget about fixing my teeth. Let them be it and accept that they could be in better shape and I did not fix them.

2. Fix my teeth with traditional braces and save some money.

3. Restart my journey in invisalign.

I decided to choose between 2 or 3, leaning towards 3.

Having learnt my lessons from dealing with the previous dentist, I decided to be really careful in choosing a new invisalign dentist. That was back in New York, since then, I have moved to Singapore.

What have I learnt?

1. Work with an orthodontist (versus a dentist, note that Dr Ellis is a dentist.) if possible, unless you are talking to a very experienced dentist offering a deal-not-to-be-refused.

2. Pick an invisalign provider who have been given:

Platinum Elite Provider (at least 80 cases within 12 months) or

Platinum Provider (at least 40 cases within 12 months).

3. Interview a few providers and ask them about their specific experience in invisalign (versus their partners’ or their clinic’s experience).

So now, the self-professed-fussy-and-experienced-invisalign user is on her search for a new orthodontist/dentist in Singapore. Here we go, again…

Mira

Copyright 2012 by Farting Camel

Invisalign Review and Pictures Update!

October 14th, 2009 Posted by Beauty, Featured 1 comment

Oct 14, 2009 Week 9 Day 2 (Aligner 5)

Upper: 5th out of 9 aligners

Lower: 5th out of 16 aligners

Problem Teeth Update (Crooked Teeth)

I’m half way there for my upper jaw. I definitely can see that the two upper  front teeth are more ‘lined up’. I do have a slight overbite and I can only see slight improvement.  However, I could see distinct results on my two lower front teeth. They are being ‘pushed out more. (See pictures below).

I have to confess that when I saw the final and 9th aligners for the upper jaw at the dentist, I was mildly disappointed as I thought that the overbite would be corrected more than what I imagine it to be. I hope to be wrong. At this point, we can only hope for the best!

(If you have a serious over bite problem, I suggest that you research more and talk to a few dentists or orthodontists about your issue, or you can check back on my result in two months’ time)

I started to receive comments from friends who didn’t even know that I was wearing Invisalign. Compliments like, my chin ‘seems narrower’ and my teeth ‘look straighter’. All good stuff!

Funny thing is that the ‘improvements’ I saw are not that obvious on the pictures. Can you see the difference though?

When I first started on Aug 18, 2009, with aligners.

Picture update on Oct 13, 09, one month later, with aligners.

Other Teeth Update

On the flip side, I have noticed that my other teeth, which I thought were pretty straight to start with, have started to look ‘unruly’. They seemed to have ‘shifted’ to make space for the problem teeth.

I guess it makes sense that my teeth will look worse before they look better!

If you can notice from the pictures, the ‘spaces’ between my teeth is more noticeable now (the gap that is nearest to the gum). It seems almost like I have some food stuck between my teeth!

It is easier to floss now compared to when I wore my first two aligners. During that time, I felt that the teeth were being ‘squeezed together’ and they were ‘too tight and sore’ to floss.

Picture Update on Oct 13, 2009 without aligners

Clincheck

I found out that the ‘Invisalign video’ is called ‘Clincheck’. I will definitely asked Dr. E again it. I will insist this time.

Attachments Update

Since I had the attachments two weeks ago (the start of my 4th aligner/ tray), I am slowly getting used to them. Luckily I have only two attachments. They made it really difficult to wear AND pull out the aligners. I have a little trick of putting the front teeth part first and then bite the molars together to ‘click’ it into the correct position.

I actually don’t see how these attachments help the aligners to ‘grip’ better, unless they have been precisely put on which is not in my case. Read my previous post on how Dr. E put the attachments on my teeth, ‘The Attachments and How to Avoid the Frustration!’.

I noticed that one of my attachments is ‘rectangular’ and the other one is more like ‘triangular’, which Dr. E used sort of a ‘drill’ to sand off part of the attachment. I also noticed that part of my teeth seemed rough. I hope that she didn’t drill part of my teeth or enamel off! Dr. E!!

Cleaning

I have mentioned earlier about cleaning the aligners in my earlier post on “How to Clean Invisalign Aligners?” Since my last visit to the dentist hygiene last week, I’m much more diligent now!

I knew that some Invisalign users clean their teeth at the dentist 4 times a year. I’m not sure that is necessary. But having these aligners definitely make you over-scrutinized your teeth like never before!

I brush and flush at least 3 times a day (Instead of 2 when I first started). As I’m too lazy to brush more than that, I just have to limit or eliminate my snack! Now, I simply cannot put my aligners back without brushing my teeth!

If you are reading this and have any questions on my review or pictures, please comment below.

Til the next update, good luck to your Invisalign Journey (or Research)!

Tips #10: Brush and floss more than you want to! (Every time you take off your aligners, if circumstance doesn’t allow, try rinsing with water at the very least!) This tip will override Tips #6. Guys, we are stricter now!)

Mira

Copyright 2009 by Farting Camel

Invisalign: The Attachments and How to Avoid the Frustration? (Picture)

October 9th, 2009 Posted by Beauty 1 comment

Sept 29, 2009 Week 7 Day 1 (Aligner 4)

Not liking the Process

Yoohoo, I will be starting my 4th aligners today and I am hoping to watch my ‘invisalign video’ finally! I want to peep at the end of the tunnel!

I arrived at the dentist office on time and ended up waiting for 25 mins. I was the first patient and the reason why I was waiting is because Dr. E was on the phone with Invisalign. Well, not for my case but for another patient. (What’s going on?)

Finally, Dr. E asked her grumpy assistant to pass me my invisalign box. I opened it and found the complete instructions for invisalign. Gees, Dr. E should have passed them to me in the beginning! Also, I saw a printout of my upper and lower jaws. It indicates where spaces need to be created between the teeth before the start of certain aligners, eg, ‘0.3mm before aligner 1, 0.3 mm before aligner 2, etc). I though to myself, “Is Dr. E for real? I’m already on my aligner 4 today and I didn’t have any spaces created!”

Dr E., who was still on the phone,asked her assistant to put on the new aligners. I have now waited for 45 mins. I told the assistant that I could do it myself. Why didn’t she just tell me earlier? Dr. E then asked the assistant to ask me how was it. I said, “It fits but very tight.” The assistant replied to Dr. E, “She said fits but very tight.”

Completely useless and silly communication process! I stepped out, to where the reception was, where Dr. E was still on the phone, so that I can speak to her directly. I asked her about my attachments, as I don’t have them yet and I only have 5 more aligners to go for my upper jaw, and that’s only another 2 ½ months! She replied, “Oh, you lost your attachments?” It seems like she was ready to send me off if I didn’t mentioned them.

I was shocked!! Does this mean that she didn’t know that I didn’t have any attachments in the first place? Is this a joke! I told her that I didn’t have any attachments yet and I told her that I reminded her one month ago. She sent me back to the dentist chair.

She attempted to put the attachments for me. ‘Attempted’ because she seemed to have a lot of trouble doing it. After several tries, she finally put two attachments on my upper jaw after 25 mins! And I forgot to mention that the procedures that she did seemed to be different from what I read online and from the directions sheets in my aligner box. She put the attachments first by estimating where they would be before I wore back my aligners. I guessed at this moment, I just hope that she knew better.

I asked her why was the attachment done now and not earlier. She said, “Oh yours is a different case, I was on the phone with Invisalign earlier. I didn’t want to aggravate your teeth as they were injured.” I really hoped that she is not lying. I don’t want to know that my invisalign process failed because the attachments were put on too late.

The attachments or buttons look like ‘rice grains’ that are stuck to your teeth. Mine was a few tones lighter than my teeth, so you can definitely see them. It actually do feel like you have some rice grains stuck on your teeth but I got used to in just a few days. Luckily, I only have 2 attachments in total.

See the picture the attachment or ‘button’:

I asked Dr. E about the ‘video’ which she promised to show. She said, “Oh, you were supposed to watch it earlier, now that it’s over, you don’t have to watch it. It’s ok.” I’m getting frustrated.

She went on to say that she has problems with the invisalign company and ‘my first set of aligners’ they sent was rejected by her as she didn’t like how they looked. Wait a minute, she told me a few months ago in July that the mould was not properly taken and the computer at invisalign rejected my mould. She was either lying that time or now.

I’m now in Dr. E office for more than an hour and running late for my next appointment. I didn’t want to create a fuss at this time. Before I left, I asked her for another invisalign container as I read in the box that I was supposed to have two of them. She said, ‘Oh, you don’t want to do that, you will be mixed up’. I insisted and I was given a generic box.

I need to sit down with her on my next visit and let her know my concerns. And yes, before I walked out, I reminded her that they have not given my 5th aligners yet.

I do not like the process.

Tips #9: Asked the dentist to go through all the items with you in your ‘Invisalign box’. Make sure you ask all your questions on instructions, attachments, and/or the entire process before you order them.

Copyright 2009 by Farting Camel

Invisalign: Don’t Make This Expensive Mistake!

September 30th, 2009 Posted by Beauty No Comment yet

Sept 23, 2009 Week 6 Day 3 (Aligner 3)

I’m getting the hang of wearing the aligners. I just need to remind myself to take the box so I have something to store my aligners when I leave the apartment! I would just wrap the aligners up in some tissue if I forgot my box.  The other day when I was at my friend’s house, I actually threw away my aligners with the rest of the tissues on the dinning table. Luckily I remembered afterwards and managed to find my aligners in the garbage container! Close one!

Tips #8: Put your aligners back to the ‘invisalign box’ when you take them out, be very vigilant if you wrap them up with tissues!

Copyright 2009 by fartingcamel.com

Invisalign: Do You Know You Could Easily Damage Your Aligners?

September 30th, 2009 Posted by Beauty No Comment yet

Sept 14, 2009 Week 5 Day 1 (Aligner 3)

The 3rd set of aligners is the MOST painful of all so far! I’m suspecting maybe I need the ‘buttons’ earlier…. It felt like someone just used a baseball bat to knock on my entire row of front teeth! I’m just going to bear with it. I insist that I’m not taking any painkillers!

It hurts the most when I took the aligners out for meals. I almost felt like just skipping the meals. The pain was much more tolerable just after half a day! Maybe I’m used to it, or the teeth actually moved or the ‘aligner’ actually ‘stretched out’.  Either way, I’m glad!

I have been more mindful of not rinsing them with warm water, which I use to brush my teeth. I read on the Internet that it might ‘change’ the shape of the aligner! I just thought, I should have been told, by the dentist in the beginning, of what to do and what not to do. The only ‘advice’ that she gave, believe it or not, was that, ‘the bigger aligner is for your upper jaw, the small one is for your lower jaw… see the teeth size….’ She is a sweet lady but I just thought that maybe more advice could help, or at least pass me some written literature on the box.

Tips #7: No hot or warm water when you are rinsing or brushing your aligners. And only drink water that is cold or at room temperature.

Copyright 2009 by fartingcamel.com

Invisalign: Changing my Aligners (Pictures)!

September 30th, 2009 Posted by Beauty No Comment yet

Aug 31, 2009 Week 3 Day 1 (Aligner 2)

The first set of aligners is starting to feel ‘loose’. It is very easy to ‘click’ them in and out. I’m excited to view the ‘video’ that I was reading about on the web. (What was the video about?)

At the dentist

Dr. E came in and passed me my 2nd and 3rd sets of aligners.  She popped the 2nd set of aligners into my month and it hurts! It is like ‘wearing a horse shoe’ on your teeth, constantly pressing tightly onto your teeth! I guess this thing works then!

However, I wasn’t shown the ‘video’ that I was promised, and once again the whole visit only takes 3 minutes, which I was charged $300. Dr. E said she didn’t set up the computer, so she promised it on the next visit, which is one month later.

I asked about the empty ‘bubble’ on my aligners for the ‘attachment buttons’. She said that she would put them on later.  I hope she knows what she is doing!

Pictures taken after 2 weeks (after the 1st aligner). I noticed that my front teeth seems to have shifted and the ‘gaps’ between teeth gotten bigger!

Copyright 2009 by fartingcamel.com

How to Clean Invisalign Aligners?

September 30th, 2009 Posted by Beauty 1 comment

Aug 24, 2009 Week 2 Day 1 (Aligner 1)

I noticed that one of my front teeth is now less crooked. Am I having illusions? After all, I have only worn the aligners just for a week!

I find cleaning the aligners time consuming. I knew that there are cleaning crystals which you can get direct from Invisalign and some people on the Net also recommended using similar cleaning solutions for dentures.  I checked with Dr. E and she advised to just use the normal toothbrushes and tooth paste.

It was easy to clean them on the first few days, but as I wore them longer, there seemed to be a ‘film’ forming on the aligners. And it just takes a while to completely clean them, especially there are ‘groves’ inside the aligners. It’s like brushing 2 sets of teeth every time!

I read about a lady having her first cavity after she started Invisalign. She thinks that it is because the tooth was completely covered and there was no saliva to ‘rinse’ it. I’m not going to let that happen! I’m brushing!!

Tips #6: Brush your teeth diligently before you put back your aligners. (At the very least, brush and floss when you put back your aligners before going to bed and after breakfast.)

Update 2: Tips #6 has been superceded by Tips #10. Please see it at “Midway Invisalign Review and Updated Pictures!”

Update 1: I was advised that it is best to use ‘normal’ toothpaste as some ‘whitening’ tooth paste have little grains in them that might ‘scratch’ the plastic surface of the aligners, creating wonderland for germs.

Copyright 2009 by Farting Camel

Invisalign: One Thing You Could Easily Forget to Do with Invisalign!

September 30th, 2009 Posted by Beauty No Comment yet

Aug 23, 2009 Week 1 Day 7 (Aligner 1)

It is really troublesome to take the aligners out when you need to eat, I begin to take them out for longer period at one time… for meals, then for desert, then for tea. So this morning after breakfast, as I was rushing, I went out of the house without wearing my aligners.

I will only be back 5 hours later. I really thought that I would be good in wearing my aligners! So today, I only ended up wearing my aligners for 17 hours instead of the usual 22 hours.

Tips #5: Put something at the door or on the dinning table to remind you to wear your aligners after meals!

Copyright 2009 by fartingcamel.com

Invisalign: You Could Be Missing Your Attachments Without Knowing It!

September 30th, 2009 Posted by Beauty No Comment yet

Aug 21, 2009 Week 1 Day 5 (Aligner 1)

The first picture which I saw online of a person wearing invisalign aligners have 2 ‘bubbles’ on the upper aligner just like me. I thought that the aligners are supposed to be ‘made with them’, just like the bubble at the bottom of the glasses. However, I kept reading about ‘buttons’ and ‘attachments’ online and realized that these bubbles are supposed to make spaces for attachments to be fixed on my teeth! Did Dr. E forget to fill them in? I was only with her for like a minute when I collected my aligners. Since my appointment with Dr. E is in a week’s time, I decide to ask her face-to-face.

This is me with my first set of aligners, note the ‘bubbles’ on my upper jaw (click to enlarge it). It is from my first post:

Copyright 2009 by fartingcamel.com

Does Invisalign Work?

September 30th, 2009 Posted by Beauty No Comment yet

Aug 20, 2009 Week 1 Day 4 (Aligner 1)

It’s day 4th of my invisalign journey. Not too bad, I’m getting the hang of it.  I don’t feel any more pain.  The aligners go on and off with ease. I begin to worry for the lack of pain. Is it working? Is it not working? The aligner seems flimsy to me. Does it really work?

Tips #4: Don’t think and over analyze too much. Have faith in the process!

Update: See my first review after one week! And another review after three weeks (Pictures).


Mira

Copyright 2009 by fartingcamel.com

Invisalign and Bruxism

September 30th, 2009 Posted by Beauty No Comment yet

Aug 19, 2009 Week 1 Day 3 (Aligner 1)

Invisalign and Bruxism

On the 3rd day, I told my husband that it is like ‘good hurt’. I check for marks on my aligners for signs of bruxism (bruxism: The habitual and involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth, usually during sleep.). None. Interesting, maybe wearing aligners ‘cured’ me of my bruxism? However, I noticed that there is a distinct ‘line’ on both sides of my cheeks. So instead of grinding my teeth, I started to ‘grind’ the side of my cheeks!

I noticed that there are several articles online that claim that if you have bruxism, you will ‘grind’ through your invisalign aligners. I don’t know if it is their real experiences or their ‘speculation’. I’m a serious grinder and I have a custom-made month guard that has deep distinct grind marks to show! I actually don’t see why you will grind through your aligners as both your upper and lower molars will be covered by the relative smooth aligners. But I can see how it can happen if you are only wearing one aligner.

I went out to the public the first time with my aligners for my yoga class. I am so conscious of them that I kept my month shut when I smile. I keep thinking that people will notice the aligner. I smile less! It’s really silly, I really have to get use to it. The only thing is the two small ‘bubble’ on my upper jaw. That makes me so conscious! I just have to get over it…

Tips #3: Do not forget to smile! (That’s why you got invisalign instead of the traditional metal braces!) And for people with bruxism, if you are wearing two aligners at the same time, you will not grind through the aligners. (Confirm with your dentist.)

Update: I’m into my 4th aligners, and did not find even the smallest ‘grinding marks’ on the aligners. I guess it makes sense as it might be too ‘slippery’ to grind on smooth surfaces!

Copyright 2009 by Farting Camel

Invisalign: Avoid This Simple Mistake and Keep Your Teeth White!

September 30th, 2009 Posted by Beauty No Comment yet

Aug 18, 2009 Week 1 day 2 (Aligner 1)

My two front teeth were very sore on the 2nd day. (My front teeth jut out at an angle, which my husband jokes that it is the perfect slide for the ‘bacteria’ in my mouth!). One of them REALLY hurts when I ‘pulled out’ the aligners.

Whenever I take out my aligners for meals, I tried to ‘fill myself up’ as much as possible! Might as well! I know that some people eat less and snack less during their invisalign treatment. I don’t usually snack much but I find myself trying to eat more at one go whenever I don’t have my aligners. So maybe, it’s a ‘weight gain’ plan for me!

Earlier, I almost drank my tea with my aligners! Luckily I remembered and took them out. I read that I can only drink water (at room temperature or colder) when I am wearing the aligners.

Tips #2: Drink ONLY water when you are wearing your aligners. Having soda, tea, or coffee? Please take them out before drinking. They will stain your teeth and might even promote cavity.

Copyright 2009 by fartingcamel.com

My Invisalign Journey Starts…(Picture)

August 26th, 2009 Posted by Beauty No Comment yet

Aug 17, 2009 Week 1 Day 1 (Aligner 1)

It’s very light, very clear. I was excited to see my invisalign aligners lying in the dentist office. I was supposed to pick them up two weeks ago but I was travelling and can only pick them up today. I hope that my teeth haven’t moved much to render the new aligners useless!!

I grind my teeth at night and was given a mouth guard to wear before I sleep. Somehow, I’m quite diligent to wear it at home but am hopeless when I’m travelling. I had probably worn the night guard three times in the entire month!

“Are you ready?” Dr. E shoved the first lower set into my mouth. OH MY GOD, it was tight! The upper set was worse. I felt an instant pain on my two front teeth, almost like someone just boxed me on my mouth. “Your teeth have shifted.” Dr. E said, “That makes it tighter.”

Tips #1: After you make the mould for invisalign, pick the aligners as soon as you can. And if you were wearing night guard, WEAR THEM diligently!

Bearable…. it’s bearable… I consoled myself. That is it; I only stayed like a minute with the dentist. I was set off to come back in two weeks, which she told me she would spend twenty minutes with me.

Oh well, I’m so eager to share my invislign experience that I forgot to tell you why I’m wearing them in the first place. I used to have almost perfect teeth, those kind that remind you of the ‘fake teeth set’ in the dentist office.

Then last year, I have a car accident that smashed my lower jaw. I bled a lot and got nine stitches on my lips and chin. By the way, the stitching on the lips was unbelievably painful and they swelled to at least threes times its normal size. I called them my upsize jolie-lips. The impact really messed up my teeth. They became loose and I waited for a year before I embarked on my invisalign project.

This is the picture I took with my first aligners. The picture looks like it is out of focus, but it is due to the plastic aligners. Look carefully.

Copyright 2009 by fartingcamel.com

Gallery

Shia_LaBeouf_Carey_Mulligan_holding_hands Shia_LaBeouf_Carey_Mulligan_Memorial_1 Shia_LaBeouf_Carey_Mulligan_Memorial_2 Shia_LaBeouf

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