All Done…..

On December 11, 2012….just a hair shy of a year ago….I got my first set of Invisalign trays (click here to read about that day). On Nov 26th, my dentist and I decided I was done and on Dec 4th, I picked up my retainer (that I will need to wear at night forever to keep them from shifting back the way they were), so I’m all done……and very happy with the results!

Depending on how you look at it, I finished later or sooner than I should have…..Ok, let me explain: Originally, it was predicted that it would take 8-10 months to align, which would have put my end date around Aug-Oct. But, I had a couple little hiccups around mid-way through that added time to the process. When I went in on Nov 26th, I actually had 4 sets (8 weeks) left on the current plan. But, another hiccup caused us to need to decide if we wanted to do new impressions and re-adjust the last phase – which would have added at least a couple more sets and a few more weeks to the plan – or just stop here. My dentist looked at the computer model and determined that the last phase actually would have minimal movement – just some minor final tweaking – so we decided that it wasn’t worth the extra time, since I was probably 98-99% “there”. I have lived with the overbite all my life – the reason I started the Invisaligns wasn’t to fix the overbite – it was to fix the problem that the teeth were beginning to shift, creating gaps on either side of my front teeth and the front teeth to tip slightly outward and rotate slightly – the overbite fix was icing on the cake! So, since the main problem was fixed and the overbite was darned near fixed, I was happy……..and, to be honest, ready to be done with them!!! 🙂  The dentist polished off the attachment thingys and took impressions for the retainers and I smiled all the way home!

So, most of the time when you make a drastic change, you like to document it with before and after photos. Well, in this case, I was always so conscious of my smile when a camera was close by (in my mind, my teeth stuck WAY out over the bottom ones and the camera exaggerated it), I have LOTS of photos with my hand over my mouth or little half smiles that show just a fraction of my teeth or big closed lip smiles, but very few full toothy grins – and even most of those didn’t really show the overbite or gaps well because I would delete any side angle shots that I thought showed my teeth in an unflattering way – even though I’ve gotten a lot less ashamed of it as I’ve gotten older. I actually took a couple selfies the day I got my first trays to use as “before” shots,  but they are way too fuzzy – not good! So, after a lot of searching, I did find a couple that will at least give an idea of the “before” look…..I can not believe I’m about to put them on here for the world to see……but, here goes – the first really highlights the overbite and the second highlights the shifting and changes the front teeth went through over the last few years (see the gap and the two front ones are tipped outward and turned slightly – it was worse than this by the time I decided to do something about it):

BEFORE

teeth before  ???????????????????????????????

AND…..DRUM ROLL, PLEASE……

AFTER

teeth after

OK, so the before look wasn’t THAT bad (everyone has a little something they are particularly vein about)…..but, the shifting was getting worse and was headed toward causing some long term problems, so it needed to be corrected……and, like I said, getting rid of that overbite that I have always been so very sub-conscious about was icing on the cake!!!

The benefits, aside from straighter teeth, include being able to bite into a sandwich without tearing at it – funny how having your teeth come together correctly help your bite – and I can now do something I’ve never been able to do….whistle – it still isn’t a pretty whistle, but something that very closely resembles a normal whistle now comes out when I form my lips and blow!!! And the best benefit of all……I am happy to now smile big for the camera!!!

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