Hi all – my friends are asking so I thought I’d write up my feedback and tips on Invisalign.

My boring story in a nutshell is that I have crowding on my bottom teeth, which leads to one tooth being behind and jutting up.  Not the end of the world, but it bothered my enough to get braces for one year on my bottom teeth only when I was 20.  After that, I had bonded retainer for several years and then switched to wearing a retainer at night.  Then Leela was born and I forgot to wear my retainer for a month or two, and my teeth moved back.  Which led me to wanting to do Invisalign here in Mumbai at age 36.

Invisalign is not invisible
The name Invisalign is very misleading!  You have to get “attachments” glued to several teeth to create friction that helps them move and so it does not end up being invisible.  I also had a significant lisp, especially in the beginning.  I felt so self-conscious during the treatment, that I felt it outweighed the benefits of making my minor cosmetic correction.

Invisalign is a big commitment
You are supposed to wear your trays for 22 hours a day!  So you only take them out to eat.  Say goodbye to lingering over a nice cup of coffee in the morning.  Say hello to brushing your teeth after EVERY single time you eat, before you put your trays back on, so you don’t get cavities. Also – beware all of the turmeric in our food in India because that it stains trays like no other.

With Invisalign, you need trays for top AND bottom teeth
I really just wanted to fix my bottom teeth. When I was younger, I was able to convince my ortho to only do braces on my bottom teeth. Not so with Invisalign. The treatment is all based on the computer simulation and they really make you do top and bottom. We ended up moving my top teeth a lot.

The ability to take the trays off is pretty amazing
With braces, you’re obviously stuck with them.  With Invisalign, I was so happy to be able to take trays off for special occasions like a dinner out or a party. A saving grace.

The pain of Invisalign vs braces
I remember braces being pretty painful.  With Invisalign, I had 14 trays and the first few days of each tray you felt some pain, but it wasn’t too bad. Once or twice I popped a painkiller, but it didn’t bother me much.  I was happy knowing the teeth were moving.

My assessment
I think if you really need orthodontic treatment, Invisalign is a great option. In my case it was very cosmetic and I wish I hadn’t bothered to be honest.  It was more trouble than it was worth, and maybe it’s time to accept my flaws as special quirks. I do recommend seeing at least 2 orthodontists before you start treatment. Ask about length of treatment, price, what will happen post treatment (are you ok with having a bonded retainer for life?), and how long you have to wear each set of trays, how many attachments you’ll have, and any difficulties they anticipate. In the beginning I had to wear trays for 14 days, and then it went down to 10 days and that made a HUGE difference in my morale. I’ve also seen that some people have combined a whitening treatment with their Invisalign treatment and that seems pretty awesome… ask about that! Also, there’s a group on facebook called Invisalign Support that was very helpful.

I used Pradhan Dental Center in Juhu (Mumbai) and was happy with them.

Good luck, and I always remember the cheesy slogan from my dentist back in Boston … a perfect smile is always in style 🙂