"Invisalign® helped me get my smile back": Patient experience with Invisalign® teeth straightening
Chandramouli is a Sales & Marketing professional based in Gurgaon. At 42, he decided to address his teeth alignment issue with the Invisalign® clear aligners. In this blog he shares his experience with the treatment and some tips on what to expect with the process.
What was your orthodontic concern?
When I was quite young, about 18 years old, I realised that I had gaps between my teeth and they were probably resulting in an open-bite issue. But at this stage, I really shied away from the typical treatment due to lack of awareness regarding importance of getting the teeth aligned at an early stage. However, a few years later, when I was doing my post-graduation, I decided to undergo treatment and got removable braces for about 6 months. I preferred removable braces as they looked less ugly compared to metal braces and bands. The treatment seemed to have helped temporarily, but unfortunately soon after my condition relapsed.
What was your experience with traditional teeth alignment treatment?
I completed the treatment with removable braces in 7 months. Gaps between the upper and lower teeth were closed. But due to my tongue thrusting habit, I started seeing the gaps again about 6 months post the treatment. Gradually the gaps increased and it also started affecting my speech, like pronunciation of some of the words.
How did you decide to go for teeth straightening procedure, and what was your research like?
I had been thinking for a while that I should consider getting treatment for straightening my teeth. I certainly did not want to have to wear those metal braces - it is not something adults are comfortable with. I have a job that requires me to meet with a lot of people and I just didn't feel that that was an option I could even consider. So, I was mulling over options for solutions meant for adults, like hidden braces, which are discreet but do the job. I also wanted something that would be effective, having gone through a disappointing experience in the past.
I did some online research, and considered getting Lingual braces - which are set behind your teeth so they would be discreet. During an unrelated visit to Skin 'n Smiles, I saw a flyer for Invisalign®, which are clear aligners, so also discreet. This sounded interesting. My wife encouraged me to enquire about it, and consider taking the first step.
Upon consultation with Dr. Latika Dhawan, and with some additional research I decided to go for Invisalign®. Invisalign® was better for me because it is almost invisible but still as effective as braces. So this would allow me to discreetly undergo the treatment. Dr. Latika did an assessment of my teeth, and she seemed confident that Invisalign® could correct my alignment issue.
What happened in your first doctor visit for Invisalign®?
During the first visit, Dr. Latika did an assessment and scans of my teeth. We discussed the overall procedure and the expected timelines, which for me was 6-8 months since I did not need serious intervention. She answered all my questions, and her knowledge and expertise helped me make the decision to go for it.
In the first sitting, the Invisalign® aligners were fitted for me, and I was given the set for the next 2 weeks along with care instructions.
How was your initial experience? Are there any side effects or concerns with Invisalign®?
Invisalign® aligners are considered less painful than traditional braces. In my case, I did not experience any pain. There was discomfort during initial days as my gums became sore and lips felt dry and chapped. During my interactions with Dr Latika, we figured out it could be because of my habit of keeping the mouth open when I put a new set of aligners. Dry lips were managed with lip balm. Other than that, there are no side-effects to Invisalign®.
Did you have to make any lifestyle or habit changes or follow special steps while using Invisalign®?
I did not need to make any drastic changes to my lifestyle and habits as such. In fact, Invisalign® does not interrupt your daily routines or normal life much. Unlike traditional braces, you don't have any diet restrictions. Doctor did recommend following good oral hygiene like brushing teeth twice a day. You cannot eat or drink hot drinks with Invisalign® on - you are supposed to remove it during meals. However, in my job as a professional, I often have to taste food samples during meetings with clients - so that was a bit of an issue! I could not do as much unplanned snacking or have teas offered during meetings! I was able to work around it though, and it was totally worth the effort.
Did you have any concerns while using Invisalign®?
I was concerned if the aligners might break, and I was concerned about staining which can be an issue with braces. So having used them, breaking is definitely not an issue - the aligners look clear and sleek but are quite sturdy. As for staining, yes there is some staining that you notice after a few days of using the aligner ... but I don't think it was too bad, or visible to others. Also, you do change the aligners every 2 weeks, so staining is not a big issue.
I was also concerned if it would affect my speech. Since my job involves a lot of meetings and talking, during the first days I was a bit concerned that people may notice a change in my speaking or voice because I have something fitted in my mouth! But again, it actually did not have any significant impact on my speech. Overall, I think you do need to be a bit more disciplined and plan meals, but other than that there are no lifestyle changes required.
How do you feel now after your Invisalign® treatment?
My teeth are great, and I feel great! Invisalign® helped me get my confidence back. I used to hold back my smile for photographs because I felt conscious about my teeth. Now I can smile freely and openly. The confidence is something that is so important, and makes the investment in this procedure totally worth it. Because you have that confidence for life. And I am happy I got this procedure done with Dr. Latika, who knows what she is doing and is very supportive and approachable throughout the treatment.