Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Invisalign Tray 8: A Progress Update

Went to the dentist today to receive my 8th - 11th trays! I find it a bit tiring to travel an hour into London to just receive trays, but I guess it gives me a peace of mind to have my progress checked and get some reassurance from the dentist. Plus the thought of visiting a dentist kinda pushes me to wear the trays 20+ hours a day - I mean, would any grown up, responsible adults actually want to admit that they 'fail' to perform such a simple task to a dentist?!

Anyway, just a quick update. Everything is looking good. My dentist showed me how my teeth have moved on the screen- just to keep me motivated. Without looking at the screen, I have already noticed the difference in my lower teeth myself! I see it in the mirror everyday when I brush my teeth... and indeed, it keeps me happy, at least for the first 10 minutes in the morning!

The difference isn't so great on my upper teeth, however. So it's helpful seeing the difference on the screen with the dentist! Seeing is believing right?! :P My dentist did mention that there was one stubborn tooth which seemed a bit more difficult to be moved and that I might require further 1 or 2 refinement trays. =_=

Definition of a refinement aligner
Invisalign® also allows for refinement aligners, which can be added at the end of the scheduled treatment procedure, to finish off any tooth movement not fully expressed. This is usually needed if over-corrections are not accurately planned during the treatment-planning phase. It also happens because there is a slight flex in the aligner material that sometimes does not allow for full expression of the desired tooth movement. Refinement has to be elected prior to manufacture. No additional impressions are needed, but a refinement form outlining the desired extension tooth movements and photographs are submitted to Align Technology.

So this is the annoying tooth- you can see there is a slight gap between the bottom of the tooth and the bottom of the tray! That tooth is supposed to be pulled down a little bit more... but it doesn't seem to be moving as planned. Oh well, at least the dentist did say there wasn't anything to worry about... so I am not too concerned. If I need 1 or 2 refinement trays, so be it. As long as the end result is having straight teeth, 1 more month is not going to kill me.

Anyway, watch this space, I will be uploading 2 really short videos here! :)


  1. I cant believe you have the same dentist as me- it sounds like he actually takes time explain things to you. Whenever I have an appointment, I'm barely in there 2 minutes and I feel like he's trying to get rid of me an rush the next person in.

    Last time I went, he started filing my teeth with barely an explanation, even though in the original consultation he had told me this wouldnt be necessary, which is why I went with him. Very upsetting. I feel like he's just there to make money and get as many people in and out as possible.

  2. Hi, I too have the same dentist and always feel like he's rushing me. I have a huge gap in the tray at the bottom on one of my side teeth and he just said it won't move any more. Nothing has been said about refinement. He said I will be finished at the end of my trays - fait accompli. He also did IPR on one of my front teeth and I am not at all happy, it is a very strange shape now and looks completely different to the other front tooth. :-(

  3. I am really sorry to hear your experience. What's your name? (Are you the same person leaving 2 messages?) Ask him about the refinement- coz I think he should do something to get the final result as promised as displayed on the Clincheck?

    I am always there asking him questions and telling him about my concerns. To me, he's gentle and patient.

    During the 1st consultation, he didn't mention about IPR (filing) to me at all but I didn't ask as I didn't do enough research on Invisalign at the time. I too feel that he should have gone through the whole process with me. But I have a feeling that all Invisalign dentists don't tell you all the possibilities at the beginning because it'll just scare you and it's not for certain what needs to be done?

    Invisalign should really put all the information on their official website so we know what could possibly happen instead of finding out in the middle of treatment. They should encourage dentists to be more open too by leading the way...

  4. Hi there, no I am not the same person leaving both messages. I only leave a message because I agree with what the person says on 24 April. I will definately ask him about refinement next time I see him which is when my top trays are finished.
    As for the too much IPR done on my front tooth I can't see him being able to do alot about that other than stick something onto my tooth, very upset about that but I am waiting until he takes off the attachments and says i'm finished and will decide then whether I am happy with the end result. Seriously can't believe you have the same dentist as me though, he is always so rushed. 'ON a different topic you say you are having gel whitening treatment, have you started that yet? I plan to do it once i've had my attachments off but as my trays have gaps where the attachments should be I'm worried whether it will whiten those teeth properly. Any thoughts on that?

  5. No, I haven't started the whitening treatment yet- I am planning to do it in November/December when I complete the Invisalign treatment. I believe the trays make my teeth yellower (lack of cleaning by saliva) so will wait everything is done and completed or my gel will be wasted. I was told that you can try putting the gel on the trays for a day and change to sensodyne toothpaste the next. Alternate the two will help to reduce sensitivity. Hope this helps. Just a little tip from another dentist. :)

    My friends have noticed the changes of my teeth! I have less of an overbite and my lower teeth are a lot straighter than before! How many trays have you had? Are your teeth straighter now? Do you have any pictures to share?

  6. Oh and you don't put the gel at bottom of the trays. You put it at the front where your teeth surface is.. so I don't think it'll affect the whitening process? (I am assuming you're like me, having a gap at the bottom of the trays?)

  7. I'm the author of the first post, but not the second. I prefer not leave my name incase the dentist reads this blog- would rather not risk any worse treatment than I'm getting already! My comments are genuine though. You could argue that it would be better for me to address my complaints directly to the dentist, but as I said, he's not keen on wasting time discussing things, and whenever I have queried anything before, his response has been rather aggressive. I don't want to fall out with someone who is in the middle of treating my teeth...

    Can I ask if the dentist knows about your blog? Call me cynical, but perhaps that's why he has more time for you (seemingly) than the rest of us- good PR for him!

    I'm not surprised that other people feel the same as me- last time I was there the person who went upstairs after me was back down again before I'd even finished paying - doubt she'd even had time to sit down in the chair!!

    To balance out my comments, I will say that overall I am quite happy with the improvements Invisalign has made to my teeth so far. I just hope that the remaining few trays actually close up the rather ragged gaps the dentist added to my teeth last time I was there... Glad your experience has been positive though.

  8. I still have gaps in my teeth but the dentist has reassured me that they'll be closed up by the end of the Invisalign treatment.

    I try not to reveal the name of the clinic in my blog entries unless I was asked by another blogger where i got the treatment done. I don't want to do free PR for him and more importantly I don't want to publicly recommend him yet before I am 100% happy with the end result. And to answer your question, I don't think he knows about me writing a blog but he knows that I am youTubing my invisalign experience (He let me use his camera to take photos of my teeth, attachment and filing process), but again, his name is not mentioned in my videos.

    I think we should all have more faith in our dentist... afterall, he's the most experienced invisalign dentist in the world. (apparently he's done the most Invisalign cases in the world and was interviewed by CNN.)

  9. Hi again, I don't think I made myself that clear. I am not concerned about the gap on one of the bottom trays and not whitening that tooth. What I mean is that I have been told just to continue wearing my final top tray whilst I wait to finish my bottom teeth. At this stage I will have the button attachments taken off my top teeth. My concern is that because i'll simply be whitening my teeth using the final tray (which has some bubbles on the front teeth for where the attachments used to fit on my teeth) if that's where you put in gel in the tray will that mean the gel is not sitting against the tooth properly because it will slip into the bubble gap and will not whiten those teeth properly? Any ideas?

    Also, I agree with the author of the fist post. I am paranoid that if he knew I was complaining he wouldn't sort out my teeth properly at the end so I am reluctant to give my name as well. The person who went upstairs and down agin could have been me. I on average have spent 5 minutes of the few visits that I have had to him!!!

    I too can notice that my teeth are straightening it is just the rubbish job of IPR that I am v disappointed with. Seriously hope that it will get sorted in the end (some how!).

  10. Oh yeah! I didn't think of the attachment bubbles on the tray. Guess you'll just have to squeeze more gel to fill them in? That's my guess~

    If the IPR went really badly- maybe you should really discuss with the dentist! Hopefully he'll sort something out or maybe give you a compensation? I mean, we all spend so much money + time on the treatment so if the teeth aren't looking the way we desire... it's not worth it, is it?

  11. Thank you for your thoughts - it's really good to be able to talk to someone who has the same dentist.

    It is my one front tooth where IPR was used at the side of the tooth and basically the tooth is shaved at a v sharp angle so one side is much thinner if that makes any sense. I have voiced my concerns to him and he just seems to think it will look fine once it's smoothed out. I really can't see that happening as you can't just magic the port of the tooth that has been shaved off back can you! But I will wait and see and if I am not happy will ask him to sort it out - some how. I'll keep you posted. Anyway, I am pleased your treatment is going well. That is good to hear. My advice is just be careful with the IPR

  12. Well, it's good to get some negative feedback, so that people will watch out for certain things... I mean, I never realised that filing was involved in the process- it's' not on the Invisalign website and the dentist didn't say anything about it during the initial consultation!! I only read from some other blogs and found out after I paid! LOL But to me, it's not a major issue really..! Hope my teeth will turn out straight and pretty by the end of this year.

    Good luck with your treatment and keep me posted on any new developments. :)

  13. hey,im a gal frm HK.
    Im interested in invisalign as well n i found tht u r frm Taiwan =]
    因為我也很想去整牙呢!!! =]]]]

  14. 還有的就是我也想去你那間牙醫診所整牙
    我現在擔心的是不知道有沒有效 @..@

  15. 應該會有效吧?我的朋友已經可以看的出來我的變化了。:)
    你知道我在那裡矯正的嗎? 如果不知道的話,丟個email給我到,我再回給你。他有免費的consultation,牙醫會跟你說你適不適合嘍!如果要做的話,說是我介紹的,我們都可享有免費美白啦!

  16. I recently started using invisalign. my dentist is not very nice and i have give him over £3500. i am waiting over 9 weeks for my next set of aligners. I rang my dentist and they said there is nothing they can do. Do you know anyone i contact in invisalign? i dont think the service is very good.

  17. Poor you! Normally it takes 2 months, but sometimes there are delays. I think all the trays are manufactured in the USA, so I imagine it's out of your dentist's control. Give it another few weeks.


About Invisalign
Invisalign treatment will consist of a series of aligners that you switch out about every two weeks. Each aligner is individually manufactured with exact calculations to gradually shift your teeth into place. And since your Invisalign system is custom-made for your teeth and your teeth only, with a plan devised by you and your dentist or orthodontist, you know you'll end up with a smile that truly fits.