April 14, 2020
If you follow me over on Instagram (here), you’ll know that I’ve been undergoing the Invisalign journey for over a year now. As a kid, I always wanted braces. Yep, I was THAT kid lol. When so many of my friends complained about them, I really wanted to straighten my smile. When I went to the orthodontist however, they had different plans for me. They told my parents braces weren’t worth it since I didn’t have extreme problems, and they decided against them. Ever since then, I vowed to get Invisalign when I was older.
Last year, I decided to take the leap to learn more about the process, and after the first appointment, I was totally invested! Since I know a lot of us would like to straighten our teeth but don’t want to feel like we’re in grade school with traditional braces (lol), I wanted to share my experience in hopes that it’s helpful if you’ve ever thought about Invisalign! Feel free to drop me a comment here or shoot me a message on Instagram if you have any additional Q’s – more than happy to help!
Invisalign aligners are basically a small, clear plastic retainer (the kind people get after braces) that are made to perfectly fit your teeth. When you head in for your first appointment, your dentist will take a scan of your teeth, then send it into Invisalign. Once they get the scan, they then use their technology to create a series of “trays” or aligners that you will change out every 1 or 2 weeks (depending on your treatment). Each tray gets you closer and closer to your perfect new smile!
Another thing I loved that’s unique to the Invisalign process is their digital rendering. When your first scan is created, Invisalign sends you a 3D simulation of your treatment and shows how they will move in real-time each week so you can see the progress (photos attached below). It’s so cool and really showed me how quickly certain teeth/sections were moving. Below I attached the digital images from the first week, to the last week. While my teeth don’t look much different from the front, you can really tell from the birdseye view.
The 3D simulation was so cool to get to see because I really noticed how much my teeth truly did move! It’s neat to see the progress week to week as well.
The biggest misconception is that Invisalign hurts like traditional braces. I have vivid memories of friends in highschool complaining about their braces getting tightened and hurting – Invisalign is not at ALL like that. Each week when you put on a new tray, there may be a bit of discomfort just because your teeth are moving, but it’s nothing an Advil can’t fix! They typically feel tight the first day of your new tray, but the next day you don’t even notice them.
With Invisalign, you want to aim to wear your retainers 22 hours a day. That means you have 2 hours in the day to take them out and eat. I know upfront this sounds like a lot, but honestly, it’s totally do-able and becomes second nature. In the simplest terms, the more you wear your retainers (the longer the periods of time), the quicker your teeth will move into your new beautiful smile. For me, that was a huge incentive to keep my retainers in as often as possible.
Even if you have dinner plans with friends, etc, you can easily just take out your retainers for dinner, then pop them back in when you’re done! I carried around a small case shown below in my bag that I used when I was going to eat. It’s really convenient.
The cost of Invisalign is different for everyone depending on two factors: 1) how long your treatment is, 2) what kind of insurance you have. Typically, insurance covers a portion of your treatment just like traditional braces. The cost typically starts around $2000 and will vary based on each case. At first, I was under the impression Invisalign was so much more expensive than traditional braces, but I learned that they’re pretty similar and honestly really affordable.
While I wish I could share a hard and fast number, the time length of the Invisalign process really depends on how much your teeth have to move. Since my movement was more on the minimal side, I was quoted at around 8 months. This ended up getting extended due to one tooth not tracking the way Invisalign predicted it to track, but only added on a few additional months at the end. Depending on the nature of your teeth, your Invisalign treatment can last anywhere from a few months, to 2 years. My treatment took about a year!
Honestly, when I first got my retainers, I felt like everyone noticed them. I even caught myself saying to friends “oh I have my Invisalign in!” before they had a chance to realize it themselves. 99% of the time I got the response “wow really? I didn’t even see them!”. The longer you have them on, the more you realize how TRULY invisible they are. Looking back at photos throughout the year they are totally unnoticeable. That was my favorite part about the process, that I was able to straighten my teeth without everyone else noticing or it changing my typical look.
For all of my local friends, I went to Rittenhouse Dentists for my Invisalign treatment! Seriously I could NOT recommend them enough! They are the nicest people and are so incredibly accommodating. I am that annoying customer that has 99 questions before I do anything, and they answered every single one with politeness and grace. I always felt completely comfortable there.
They have 3 locations all over the Philadelphia area (Rittenhouse, Bala Cynwood, and Brynmawr) so make sure to check them out if you’re from my hood. You will have the absolute best experience. You can check out there website and Instagram! They also offer Zoom Whitening which I got done post Invisalign (see below), as well as tons of other amazing treatments. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else!
They even have Netflix googles! AKA you can binge your favorite shows while getting your cleaning/treatment. Amazing right?
Honestly, 100%. I honestly could not be happier with my experience and would recommend it to anybody. It was so easy, really flexible with my lifestyle, and I loved how truly invisible they were. Straightening my teeth is something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do, and I loved that I was able to do so without anyone else knowing or having to wear traditional braces.
If you’ve thought about Invisalign once or twice, I would say GO FOR IT. Go in for the initial consultation, and get all of the info. I honestly wish I did it earlier but I am so glad I decided to take the leap now. Take it from me, you will be so happy with your beautiful smile and newfound confidence!