October 9, 2016

Invisalign: Getting the Attachments

I had my attachments put on a couple of weeks ago. I have to say, it is a form of torture. I am not really sure why they are calling them attachments. What they are is just some clear bonding material baked onto the teeth in random shapes. Mine definitely do not look like the perfectly squared ones that you see in all the pictures around the web. Who knows - maybe mine are a special case, although my teeth do not look half as bad as what I've seen out there.

The process:

Basically, the RDA (Registered Dental Assistant) dries the tooth surface. Injects the bonding material into a jaw tray that was molded with shapes for the attachments, puts the tray on my teeth, bakes the material while it is in the tray, so it sticks to the teeth and takes on the shape that is designed in the tray. After she pries the tray off, she has to scrape off the excess of the bonding materials. With one of those metal tools. If your teeth are at all sensitive, like mine, you may not survive that hour and a half. I mean, between the pain of sensitivity, pain of her pinching my gums, and the awful scraping noise, at one point I was so nauseous - I almost got physically sick. And I am extremely pain tolerant. And I didn't eat prior to the visit.

The bonding material is ornery and does not stick very well, so the RDA had to re-do some a couple of times. I also have two attachments on several teeth. In the end, the chunks of the bonding material were everywhere. My gums were bleeding in several places. The appointment went from the planned 1.5 hours up to agonizing two hours. Good thing I took the day of. As a side effect of all that scraping and pressure, one of my fillings popped off. However, the dentist recommended to wait until after I am done with the Invisalign to replace it. Probably because there will be a lot more scraping involved to remove those darn attachments.

The result:

I have 15 total attachments. They are kind of sharp and feel uncomfortable on the inside of your lips, if the aligners are not in place. Of course, food gets caught in them. Although the bonding material is clear, the attachments are still visible even without the aligner trays on (see the picture). 
The new trays have protrusions (like tiny pockets) on several teeth where these attachments fit into on the inside. They are very much noticeable, especially on the sides (see the picture). Plus, the trays are much harder to put on because of the attachments.
With aligners on

Next step:

The RDA gave me three sets of aligners. Every two weeks I can switch to a new tray. In 6 weeks I need to come back for a check up and to get another three sets. Let the journey begin. 

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