A year ago, I wrote an article on Invisalign, a modern and painless alternative to braces, and subsequently accepted a challenge to put myself up to test this much talked about dental procedure. I was a good candidate for the treatment because I had a slanted tooth and underbite (diagram below) which can be drastically improved with Invisalign. After my initial consultant with representing dentist, Dr Chris Mak from Dental On The Bay, he estimated that I would be able to complete my whole treatment in less then 2 years – not bad considering that traditional braces can take up to 2-3 years.
So, my journey with Invisalign began a year ago in Nov 2013 (you can read my first post on my initial experience here).
The thing about Invisalign – because it can be easily removed at any time – is that it requires very strict discipline as one will have to wear it for at least 20 hours a day (you only remove it when you eat or brushes your teeth). But luckily, I got used to wearing my aligners very quickly and was right on track with the targeting teeth movements through the year. I changed to a new set of aligner every 2 weeks, and saw Dr Mak every 6 weeks for regular check ups. months. Dr Mak later filed some gaps between my teeth to create space for tooth movement, and also introduced rubber band to guide my underbite movement. Here are just some photos to quickly sum up my 1 year of treatments.
In retrospect, I experienced very little discomfort and inconvenience through the 1st year of treatment and was thrilled to see the improvements to my teeth each time I move on to a new set of aligners. Well, a picture says a thousand words, here are 3 photos taken of my teeth: 1 year ago, middle of last year and the latest just a week ago.
Nov 2013: Beginning of Treatment
May 2014: 6 months in (the white buttons are added to keep my aligners in place)
Jan 2014: 1 year later (slanted tooth is gone and the overbite has been adjusted completely)
Amazing! Isn’t it? I could not imagine that I could achieve such drastic improvement in just 1 year on Invisalign. I only regret not doing it much earlier.
So what’s next?
According to Dr Mak, we are now in the ‘refinement stage’ of treatment. The purpose is really to make the final adjustments and to close up the bite on my molars. If you take a look at the last photo above, my molars are actually not touching at the moment and that means that I could not chew on food that requires grinding such as thick meat and noodles (ok, this is one of the rare inconvenience I have to put up with).
Anyway, the refinement is going to take another 8-9 months which should put entire course of treatment perfectly on track. I really couldn’t be happier than what I have experienced so far.
So stay tuned to see my final result as I reveal my new Invisalign smile.