Sunday, July 27, 2014

#projectbeautifulsmile part 1

“Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone” - Stanley Gordon West, Growing an Inch

I’m a strong believer of that quote. So why choose to cry when you have the world smiling along with you? In fact, it is a proven fact that a smile is contagious. A smile not only makes you happy, it makes others happy too! It also shows your confidence, helps you de-stress, calm your nerves, conceal your anxiety, boosts your immune system and the list just goes on and on. And if you’d ask my friends and family, I’m a person who never fails to offer a big smile; eventhough I don’t own that perfect Hollywood smile, but I'm getting there! I’m on my way to #projectbeautifulsmile with INVISALIGN.

#projectbeautifulsmile will be a series of updates on my Invisalign journey. And for the benefit of my readers who have no clue to what Invisalign is:

What is Invisalign?Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign uses 3-D computer imaging technology to depict the complete treatment plan from the initial position to the final desired position from which a series of custom-made, clear "aligners" are produced. Each "aligner" moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.               

Why I chose Invisalign?

-          I get to view my complete treatment plan even before I get started with the aligners

-          It is invisible! Almost. Because no one notices these clear aligners unless I tell them

-          I can remove the aligners when I eat and then brush and floss normally afterwards. Be discipline! You wouldn’t want to get too comfortable removing them and end up forgetting to put them back on.

-          I won’t sugar coat my words to say it’s a painless process. You know what they say... “No pain, no gain!” I’m happy to say that my experience has been a pleasant and bearable one thus far. The only time I went through excruciating pain and discomfort was during the tooth extraction stage and initial shifting of teeth. 

In this series, I will walk you through the Invisalign treatment process and my progression to date.

Invisalign Treatment Process

Step 1: 
Schedule a consultation appointment with your preferred Invisalign provider; for my case, that would be iDental. Dr Cheng is very accommodating, professional and meticulous. He did a complete orthodontic examination which determined that I am suitable candidate for the Invisalign treatment.

He then proceeded with taking these set of orthodontic records:
  • Dental impression/ plaster models of my teeth
  • Dental X-rays
  • Photographs of my front and side face profile, close up view of my teeth
Step 2: 
On my second appointment, Dr Cheng explained my customised ideal treatment plan which was planned based on my orthodontic records. My dental impressions have now been transformed into a 3D digital model! Which showcases the movement and progression of my teeth with every stage. There was only one downside to it. I cringe to the thought of needing to do not one or two, BUT 4 TOOTH EXTRACTIONS!

Dr Cheng also shared with me on the pricing details which varies from $4500 to $8900 depending on the complexity of your case. They have instalment plans too! 

I’m happy with the final look of my treatment plan and decided to go ahead with the treatment.

Step 3: 
Took about a month to my third appointment because my impressions have been sent to Invisalign to manufacture a series of lower and upper case plastic aligner trays. By now you must be asking, “Won’t these plastic trays hurt?”

And the answer is no, these plastic aligners are smooth and comfortable. It doesn't cause any irritation to my gums or ultimately, ulcers. Though it does take some getting used to. I remember talking with a lisp, even now! but it only gets better, trust me.

My treatment process consists a total of 46 sets of aligner trays which I will need to change into a new set every 2 weeks. With each set of aligners, I will see gradual movements which follows my treatment plan. 

Once I have the aligners on, I need to ensure I wear them for atleast 20 to 22 hours a day to see best results. Dr Cheng will fix a check up every two months to monitor my progression. So no cheating for me!

Step 4:
SMILE! and start seeing results!

But before we see the results, let's take a look at my not-so-hollywood smile

Currently, I am on my 32nd tray and this is my progress! Gradual but getting there. Just 14 more aligners to go!

I hope this post will be helpful for those who are considering in taking up the Invisalign treatment and if you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to comment down below. Do keep a look out for the next #projectbeautifulsmile series to keep yourself updated on my Invisalign treatment.

Before I end this week's post, I would like to wish Eid Mubarak to all my family and friends! May HE accept all your good deeds and ease the sufferings of all mankind around the globe.

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