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Note from Smiles Dental: This blog series is written by Lauren, a young adult in her 20s, who recently started the process for Invisalign treatment. She hopes to paint a picture of what Invisalign is all about to the readers from a real and honest perspective.

I always wanted braces. Growing up I had friends and siblings with the famed “metal mouths,” and I wanted to be a part of their group. I’m sure all of you who have had braces are thinking, ‘Why would she want orthodontics?’ I get it. Orthodontics is expensive, painful, inconvenient and awkward. However, for the 12-year-old me, they were the coolest thing.

Now that I’m an adult, I have the ability to make my own healthcare decisions and am still looking for a straighter smile. I have slight crowding on my lower front teeth (thanks to genetics), and my bite is just a tad “off.”

Surprisingly, getting braces no longer seems like the best option for me. I think that anyone who makes the decision to straighten their teeth is doing the right thing for their health. For some, full braces are the best and most effective treatment option, given the corrections that are needed. For me, at this point in my life, full braces don’t fit. Enter: Invisalign®.

Invisalign is a technology that I had only heard of briefly, but the idea of using clear retainers, rather than metal brackets, to straighten teeth, seemed intriguing. So, I made my initial consultation appointment at Smiles Dental to get more information. The dentist walked me through the process and explained that the technicians at Invisalign would design a series of retainers for my treatment. He described how a few composite drops would be placed on my teeth to give the retainers the needed pressure to gently move the teeth. I thought it sounded like a much better option than having metal brackets glued on to my teeth, so we continued to the next step in the process.

That next step was the impressions appointment. If you are like me, the thought of taking impressions doesn’t sit well. Luckily, the Invisalign impressions use a putty-like base, rather than the typical foam / cream. While you don’t have the option of choosing a flavor, the putty sets the impression up faster, which makes for less gagging on my end.

However, because Invisalign uses the impressions to build your entire treatment series, the initial impressions have to be flawless. Did you know that 35 percent of impressions sent to Invisalign actually get rejected? The team at Smiles Dental warned me about this, and we opted to take multiple impressions during the appointment. This would save me from having to return and redo the whole process, in case the impressions were not accepted by Invisalign.

Needless to say, be prepared to take at least a couple sets of impressions when considering Invisalign. I promise they are not as bad as you would think, and the time passes fairly quickly.

At this point, I am waiting to hear back from Invisalign on whether my impressions were accepted and what my treatment plan will look like. The Invisalign technicians are able to assess if you are a good candidate for orthodontia, how long your treatment will be, how many retainers you will need and how often you should change them out. All of this is determined by your impressions! Clearly, these are the most important part of the treatment.

I’m excited to begin my journey to straighter teeth and a more confident smile! Thank you for joining me.