Invisalign – Journey to confident smile

I’m about six months in my Invisalign journey as I write this. Been wanting to write this, but I just couldn’t find the time – so what better time than now?

For the longest time since I was little, I’ve dreamed about having the perfect smile. I’ve always felt insecure about it because of my teeth – I had an overbite, and seriously big front teeth, so I only smiled at a certain angle.

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Like this!

My parents did not agree with me having braces for the silliest reasons and I was always held back by finances. Finally, life eased up a little last year and I told myself I had to get it done – before I get married (not like I’m gonna get married now, but you know…).

So my journey to perfect teeth began in September 2019. Made my trip down to Parkway Dental due to its perfect location – the clinic is near my office, and I can easily pop by for lunchtime appointments when needed.

The very first appointment consisted of polishing and scaling, so you can get the best results for your 3D scans. Within the day, I got an email from the dentist who shared that I was suitable for Invisalign and the cost package.

I also had to remove all four wisdom teeth to make space. The surgery took place a few weeks later with my orthodontist and she’s the loveliest doctor ever! I didn’t feel any pain throughout the 1.5 hr process, though I knew she was sawing and drilling into my teeth. Recovery for me was rather fast too, and I didn’t experience much swelling or bleeding. Was even able to eat noodles and mala the next day (albeit taking at least an hour for my meals).

A week later, I visited a second dentist at Parkway (cause it’s cheaper and claimable by my company) to remove my other two wisdom teeth. Had slight swelling this time round, but it’s not obvious. During this time, my braces were being printed in the States and would only reach me in a month’s time.

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Sharing more photos of my smile pre-invisalign:

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Close-up of smile: Not quite an accurate depiction as I clenched my jaw here so you can’t see the overbite.
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Here’s what my 3D scan looks like
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Side view of how bad this tooth looked

And finally, in October 2019, I had my first fitting.

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Opted for Invisalign for obvious reasons: You can’t see it!

There wasn’t much change except feeling a piece of plastic in my mouth and that I had to take it down every time I’m about to eat and brush before putting them back on. I was also speaking with an obvious lisp, but that went away when I got used to the aligners.

For the first few sets, I had them on for 10 days for each set, and had no issue putting them on for at least 20 hours a day.

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Day 13, with a good angle

Two months later, I went back to my orthodontist, Dr. Yong, and he gave me a few more months’ worth and said I could monitor and change it between 7-10 days. I mostly kept to 7 days, as my teeth moved rather quickly.

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New smile at one month old – little changes, obviously

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1.5 months in – results were starting to show
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3 months in – crazy effect huh?
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3.5 months transformation
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4 months
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New smile: 5 months in (And also happiest I’ve been so far, especially since meeting this cutie)

I’m about six months in now, and technically could be done in another 7 weeks. But there was one issue – one of my frontal tooth was still hidden behind. The 3D scans done at the start didn’t anticipate how twisted back in the tooth was.

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There was this gap that could never close up even with new aligners

So we did refinements. Had brand new sets printed and Dr. Yong also gave me rubber bands to sort out the problem of my overbite.

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Rubber bands as the overbite was still quite an issue

Also had to shave off the teeth and fixed more brackets so there’s space in between each tooth.

fullsizeoutput_1de6And because it’s COVID period, it might be difficult to visit the dentist. I now have this new tool and I need to do my own scans to send to them every week via an app. #Digitaltransformationdoneright

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So here it is, I’m more than halfway through – just another 22+ weeks to go and I’ll be done. Will update again then!

Some FAQs below:

Q: How much did it cost?

A: For my condition, it was considered a Moderate case . So I paid SGD 6,500. The prices for Lite and Comprehensive are SGD 5,000 and SGD 7,900 respectively.

Cost includes GST, X-ray, Pre-ortho records, Itero simulated outcome scan, IPR/ Distalization, All prescribed aligners, review by Orthodontist and Upper & lower retainers after treatment.

Q: How long does my treatment take? 

A: Approximately 12-15 months

Q: How did I pay for this?

A: I did the in-house installment plan, so it was a mix of upfront payment ($2,900), as well as interest-free installment for 12 months ($300). This is just one option out of three that they have. Of course, there are full installment-free payments available for credit card payments with the major banks.

Q: Why did I choose Invisalign over braces?

A: I am vain, I don’t want to have metal over my mouth especially when I was still gonna meet new people hahaha. Besides, at Parkway Dental, metal and ceramic braces would cost me $5,000 and $5,600 respectively. Plus, braces take longer actually – I was determined to complete my treatment within a year.

Q: How does the timeline look like for the treatment?

A: See process flow below:

  • Pre-treatment assessment -> Itero scan -> Records-taking -> X-ray
  • Consultation with Orthodontist, Dr Yong (SGD 100, but amount is waived if you choose to go ahead with Parkway)
  • Plan approved -> Fabrication of aligners
  • Removal of wisdom teeth (if required)
  • 1 month later -> Aligners arrive in Singapore
  • Issue and test aligners

And basically, you just need to meet the Orthodontist every 2-3 months to make sure everything’s going well.

Q: What’s the single advice I’d give to those who are keen to try out Invisalign?

A: Be very disciplined. This means, ensuring your aligners are on for as long as possible, ideally 22 hours a day. Some days, it’s gonna be hard to meet it, as you might have social or drink nights, but it’s okay to slack slightly and hit below the target. Just make sure you pick up your aligners and fix them in the moment you can do it after.

Leave a comment or nudge me if you have other questions!

Love,

Olivia L.

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