Last week I finished my Invisalign! I’ve been meaning to share an update but after some changes in my initial Invisalign plans I thought it would be best to wait until we were finished. I started Invisalign last April (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) after wanting to make some changes to my teeth for a while. I have always had annoyances with my teeth—my left front tooth would stick out further than the right because I push my tongue against my teeth while I sleep, my right lateral incisor (next to my big tooth) has always been tucked behind my right front tooth and just wanted a more seamless line across the top. I also needed a few shifts in my bottom teeth and because I didn’t want braces I knew Invisalign was the right choice.
I’m grateful that my dentist office—Lynch Dental Center (I see Dr. Sheila), the best for the entire family with offices in River Forest and downtown—also offers Invisalign (and an orthodontist is available to see once a week!) so my dentist was able to oversee the entire process. You start by taking photos and impressions of your bite/teeth which is then sent to Invisalign where they map out trays and a plan of attack. My initial plan was 11 trays (2 weeks per tray). Invisalign also has these little buttons attached to certain teeth to really make sure that significant moves are made with each tray (sort of like “pulling” certain teeth that need a bigger push). These buttons are essential in actually getting teeth to move. Dr. Sheila would give me two trays at a time which meant monthly appointments to check on the progress and grab my next trays. I really appreciated this because ultimately I needed a few adjustments to get everything right—it is comforting to know that someone is checking on your progress and things are moving in the right direction.
At the end of my first plan we noticed that my right lateral incisor had not moved as much as it should. Note to self, you really have to be strict about wearing these trays for 22 hours a day for 2 weeks. In all honesty, some weeks I was good about this and some weeks I wasn’t. If I had a bad week then I would stretch that tray for another week. A lot of the success from Invisalign is dependent on you which I think is important to note! So Dr. Sheila took new impressions and we sent those in to get an updated plan to finish up the teeth that had not moved like we liked! That meant removing and reapplying new buttons to get a new pull so my teeth would fall into place like they should. This added an additional 10 trays (20 weeks) to our plan.
Between new trays, stretching some trays, etc. I wore my trays for about a year and it actually went so fast! I’m so happy with the progress and changes. My right lateral incisor isn’t PERFECTLY in line with my right front tooth (my dentist told me that braces are an option if I really want to be picky) but it honestly doesn’t bother me. I honestly can’t believe how good they look from where we started! Dr. Sheila filed down some tiny imperfections in my teeth to make everything nice and even when we were done and I’m just so happy with the results.
I wanted to answer a few of your questions that you all have sent over during this process…
Does insurance cover Invisalign?
It depends! We personally don’t have dental insurance so for us, no. But, it’s my understanding that if you have issues with your bite or alignment that affect your mobility or function that Invisalign can fix then sometimes insurance will cover a portion! I think this is something you would discuss with your dentist before. I had a consultation before making the decision to actually do Invisalign so I knew exactly what it would cost, time, etc.
Why did you choose Invisalign vs. Smile Direct Club?
My biggest reason is having the ability to check in with an actual dentist to review your progress! I think my experience is a perfect example of this and the fact that I had to make adjustments after not seeing the progress I wanted. I know Smile Direct also doesn’t apply these little buttons which I think make a HUGE difference in actually moving your teeth. Having a dentist also means making sure your teeth don’t go back to the way they were before (I got fitted for retainers that are on their way to me!). Either way, this process is an investment and I think having some sort of supervision over the process is really important and worth the extra $. I also want to note that a few of your reach out who had done Smile Direct and didn’t have the greatest things to say about it—teeth not really moving or going right back to where they were once you were done. Just something to think about!
How much does Invisalign cost?
It depends on what you need done! If you need a lot of work done, then obviously it will be a more extensive and expensive process. However, Invisalign also has an “express” option for smaller fixes which is a great option! Again, something that may seem quick and cosmetic to you may actually be a longer process. I recommend scheduling a consultation to talk it over, get some photos and impressions done and see what your journey may look like!
How long does Invisalign take?
Again, sort of the same as above! It totally depends. You don’t really know until you get in there so you could be pleasantly surprised by the short time or it may take a little longer.
Ultimately this was something that I pushed off for a while and probably something I could have lived with! But, in every photo my teeth always bothered me and made me feel self-conscious. I would 1000% recommend doing Invisalign if you feel the same. I’m so happy with the results. Thank you Lynch Dental Center for being the BEST!