Here’s Part 2 of my Exciting Invisalign Journey…
As I’d been thinking of having braces for a few years, for me the main issue with my teeth was that I wanted the gap that had developed at the front to be closed up, my teeth to be pushed back a bit, the old crowns at the back of my mouth renewed, some bonding to even out the shape of one side of my teeth and some whitening of my teeth which had slightly yellowed over time due to drinking a lot of coffee, tea, curry and chocolate!
Finally, once I had decided on a “New Me” this year, then putting that list of improvements into action was very straightforward and all that thinking about it was a ‘think’ of the past!
Choice of Teeth Braces
As I’ve said in Part 1 of my Smile Makeover journey, firstly, Mandi, the Patient Co-ordinator, was very gentle with me when she asked “What I would like to improve about my teeth?” And “Would be prepared to wear braces?” She explained the various types of treatment available for teeth that had an overbite* or an overjet* like mine and I had a few options available to me (*see below)
1 I could choose not to have the braces – zero difference to my teeth at zero cost.
2 I could choose fixed metal braces – which are the cheapest option and these are the silver ones that you often see school children wearing. They can only be removed by the Dentist and stops patients from damaging them, taking them out and/or losing them (as I had done in the past with my removable ones!) These are the cheapest option available with one set (usually the upper teeth) costing £1800 and two sets (which are the upper and lower teeth) at a cost of between £3000-£3400.
3 I could have ceramic fixed braces
Ceramic braces are a common alternative to traditional metal braces. And like traditional braces, they are used by an Orthodontist to help realign and straighten teeth.
This is a slightly cheaper option to Invisalign® with the price of one set of this style of fixed braces at £2000 and for both upper and lower teeth braces here at Sale Dental Spa it costs between £3200-£3400. It’s a pretty good deal!
4 I could have Invisalign® braces which would mean that I could remove them for special occasions (I do like to party!) and they would be clear so that I could wear them without people noticing that I am wearing them. I’d heard they were also comfortable.
Benefits of Invisalign®
For me, I wanted an option that would fit around my social life and wouldn’t leave me feeling self-conscious in photos if the braces were obvious.
The advantages of this option are that they are clear and removable which is why I ultimately chose this type of treatment. The fact that they are also comfortable is a bonus as most of my life I have lived with the mantra “no pain, no gain!” There’s no metal, like conventional braces, and there was no danger of being allergic to the plastic. I am highly allergic to zinc which is used in most costume jewellery and makes my skin burn, swell and itch which is not a pretty sight!
It was with these benefits in mind that I decided to go ahead with this treatment plan which would reduce the gap in my teeth and wouldn’t impact on my daily life! I could also eat (and drink!) what I liked as long as I removed the braces beforehand and then simply put them back in after I’d eaten/drank and cleaned my teeth). I’m told this can also help with dental hygiene as normally you would only brush your teeth twice a day but with braces you should clean your teeth after every meal.
Choosing Invisalign® Braces
I decided to have Invisalign® braces because for me the benefits of this type of braces – they are comfortable, clear and removable – were perfect for my lifestyle. The fact that they are virtually invisible means that I can be confident that I can still smile without showing a set of metal and as I have a lot of photos taken while I go to events during the year and this put my mind at rest as I do like to go out a lot! I can take them out fully on the odd occasion but am advised to keep them in for 22 hours per day to get the full benefit of the treatment.
Once I’d decided on having Invisalign® braces, Sale Dental Spa has a choice of three options available together with a clear price guide. Obviously how your teeth are at the start and how much tooth movement is needed to get you the results that you want to achieve.
The Price of Invisalign® Express
This treatment is available for extremely mild cases of up to 7 Invisalign® aligners where the trays (the plastic teeth covers) are changed every two weeks. This option gives you the quickest result provided the teeth don’t need much movement.
You need to be assessed to see if this option is suitable for your teeth and what you would like to achieve.
These braces cost £1595 and there are a number of treatment options such as paying some of the cost upfront and then paying a monthly amount over 12 months at 0% interest.
The Cost of Invisalign® Lite
This treatment is available for those patients who need moderate/more complicated cases where up to 14 aligners are provided on a two weekly basis.
These braces cost £2850 and there are a number of treatment options such as paying some upfront and then paying a monthly amount over 12 months at 0% interest. Over 12 months the treatment can be financed via the Finance company. See Maddison or Mandi on Reception to ask for more details on the different types of payment plans.
The Cost of Invisalign® Full or Comprehensive Braces
Having spoken to Dr Aisha, she recommended that I have both upper and lower sets which means that I needed the Invisalign® (Full) Comprehensive option which was available at £3800 at Sale Dental Spa – this is a great price when I compared it to other Dentists in the area so I decided to go ahead with this option. (It is £400 under the recommended retail price). This option would give me the “perfect smile” I was looking for as not only do I have a large gap in the front of my teeth (which looks black in photos) I also learned that I had an “overjet”!
The current cost of Invisalign® Comprehensive braces is £3800 at the present time at Sale Dental Spa. This is for the most complex teeth correction and takes the most time to be corrected, hence the increased cost. The RRP is £400 more so this is still a good deal.
Step 1 – My Choice
After listening to Dr Aisha’s recommendations and telling her about what I wanted to achieve with my teeth, I decided to go for it and have the full Invisalign® braces!
Step 2 – Tooth Whitening
As part of the plan for my smile makeover I also wanted to lighten the colour of my teeth a few shades but was careful to say that I did not want the bluey white teeth that some celebrities have which I think looks unnatural especially in a club or area where there are blue lights which make some teeth look neon or dayglo! Not the effect I was after.
As the smile makeover is planned in stages, the teeth whitening treatment is recommended at the stage before the crowns so that they can be matched to the whitest shade of your teeth but after the Invisalign® braces are put into place.
Step 3 – Bonding
The teeth on my left side are slightly spikier than on my right side (which are more square!) Dr Aisha suggested I have some bonding work which is where a composite resin or veneer is bonded to the original tooth which would give the effect of squaring off the tooth, which is the result I was trying to achieve.
Step 4 – Crowns
I have two old crowns that I had put in when I was a student (which is a long time ago!) so these also need replacing as one side has a black line at the top of the tooth where due to gum recession, the gap between the gum and the top of the crown has increased. The upper left crown also needed replacing as it had been chipped and damaged at the top with the original crown now having a 2mm gap from the gum. Either side was not a pretty sight and although the crowns were at the back of my mouth they detracted from my smile as they had not only had a black line at the top of one but also a blue/grey gap on the other and over time they had also discoloured. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a super wide smile, so for some patients this would not be a problem, but for me when I did smile, the top of both of my teeth at the back could clearly be seen, not the look I wanted!
This was planned for the end of the treatment once my Invisalign® treatment was complete, my teeth had been whitened and some bonding to my front side teeth had bee completed so that the crowns could be matched to the new whiter shade of teeth.
PROBLEMS WITH MY TEETH
* What is an Overjet?
The word overjet refers to when there is an extension beyond the usual limits) (in dental speak = a maxillary protrusion) that can occur with or without an overbite. A maxillary protrusion is when the upper jaw sticks out in front of the lower jaw.
** What is an Overbite?