For a long time I felt very self-conscious with how my teeth looked, to make matters worse I saw them change massively over a short space of time. I had severe overcrowding on the bottom and very prominent canines on the upper teeth.
I did a lot of research online, mainly on Instagram (a great platform to see real before and after photos) and felt that I had enough information to take the next step and speak to my dentist about it.
If anyone in Leeds is considering having Invisalign I would seriously visit King Lane Dental Care in Moortown. They have been absolutely amazing throughout the process, Dr Peter Fellerman in particular. They hold a number of open days throughout the year specifically for Invisalign; better still they offer a generous discount to help you start your journey to straight teeth!
So the first step was to book an appointment to see the dentist so that they could work out if I was a candidate for Invisalign. The way the brace works is very different to fixed braces so depending on the volume of work and movement, it might not be possible to get invisalign. Luckily for me I was able to achieve straight teeth with clear braces… great!
At that point there was no pressure at all to go ahead with the treatment which I really appreciated as it is pretty expensive. A few days later my dentist sent me an email outlining the costs in full detail and payment methods if I wanted to pay monthly (interest free). In total with the open day discount I paid just under £3000. This sounds like a lot I know but when you consider the length of time and the care you receive it really is worthwhile.
After deciding to go ahead with the treatment the next step was to have impressions taken so that they could send them off to head office in America and work out how many aligners I would need. At this point you part ways with £250 which goes to Invisalign so that they can produce the course of treatment on a digital platform, you can still back out at this point but you won’t get the deposit back.
After roughly four weeks I got sent the movie clips of how my teeth would change over the coming months, the results looked amazing! Peter also explained clearly how many retainers I would need and how long it would take.
Seeing the projected results made me feel more confident already – I was to have 24 aligners (you change each aligner every two weeks) and it would take roughly 11 months.
It took roughly 4-6 weeks for my aligners to arrive from America (including the Christmas break), I was ready to start!
My dentist also fixed quite a few attachments to my teeth, these are enamel coloured ridges that are applied to the teeth that require more movement than what the brace alone can do. They feel strange and obvious at first but you soon get used to them.
I was given four sets of aligners to start with and encouraged to wear them for 22 hours of the day, taking them out to eat and drink (water is fine). You can wear them when having other drinks but the aligners do stain eventually so make sure to buy some retainer cleaner tablets to prevent this from happening (retainer brite is great stuff and can be bought from Amazon).
The aligners will feel strange at first and you might have a lisp for a couple of days. This soon goes away and you really get used to wearing them, I honestly felt better wearing them than not. When you change each aligner you might feel a bit of pressure for the first day or so but throughout the whole process I didn’t feel any pain at all.
It took about two months to see noticeable changes then from then on it became very obvious that my teeth were changing dramatically. Such a great feeling and all the more reason to keep going! Each time I changed my aligner I took a photo so that I could keep note of my progress, it is a really good confidence booster too when you look back.
Each time I went back to the dentist to get another set of aligners I had a thorough check of my progess to make sure that my teeth were moving at the pace they should be.
I started my treatment in January 2015, come November I had finished my aligners and was given the option to either stop or carry on (at no extra cost) to continue the journey. At this stage I was very pleased with my teeth but one of my upper canines in particular was still not as straight as I hoped it would be. Dr Fellerman was extremely reassuring and suggested that continuing the treatment would most likely correct this. I decided to go ahead and have more aligners made. This again took about 4-6 weeks so I had to wear my last aligner for quite a while longer.
I was then given another 15 aligners to wear which would take me to roughly June/July 2016. Although it was only really the one tooth that needed correcting, all of the other teeth needed to move to create gaps for the tooth to move sufficiently. I was completely happy with this, I actually quite enjoyed wearing the aligners so another six months wouldn’t hurt, plus I wanted perfect teeth ready for my wedding in October.
June 2016 came around very quickly! Looking back I find it unbelievable that I wore my aligners for nearly 18 months, it has honestly gone so fast and I couldn’t be happier.
The next stage was to remove my attachments and have fixed wires put on to the inside of my upper and lower front teeth to prevent any further movement after the treatment. Again, this feels very weird at first but in no time at all it becomes very normal and is crucial to keeping your teeth straight.
At this point I was also given my whitening gel (included in the price) that would go into my night retainers each night for 10 days to achieve a whiter smile. Once my final retainers were ready (two dayes later) I was able to start the whitening process!
I was advised to wear my retainers full time for three months then each night for the rest of my life. If you want to continue to have straight teeth this is crucial.
Dr Fellerman went throught the instructions very clearly before I left the practice, I was then ready to start! Word of advice, make sure that you don’t have food in the house that can stain teeth e.g. curry, tomato sauces, pesto, tea, coffee, berries, lemon, fizzy drinks, orange juice etc. Your teeth will become very sensitive so eating these foods could make them discolour very quickly. You need to avoid these foods for the full duration of your treatment and then for 48 hours afterwards. Sounds like a long time but if you would like your teeth to look brighter then it really is worth it!
Be sure to take a regular dose of ibuprofen during the treatment as you will experience some pain. After the third day I had a daily shooting pain in the morning after removing the retainer, pain killers are a must! Purchasing some sensitive toothpaste will also help a lot.
It is fine to go on for longer than 10 days but if you feel you want to go brighter, it might be that the sensitivity gets too much so taking a day off will help massively. You get plenty of whitening gel so can top up at a later time before a special occasion or just as an annual boost.
My last visit to the dentist was to fill in a chip that I had on one of my upper canines (again at no extra cost). This made a huge difference to the overall appearence of my teeth, I was delighted once again.
So that was that! I am now the proud owner of straight teeth. I can’t thank King Lane Dental Care enough, they have been so amazing and made the journey so straight forward and easy.
For anyone currently on the journey or thinking of starting with invisalign, you won’t regret it!