Before having Invisalign in my 30s, I had braces for 18 months in middle school. It was a fairly textbook experience – metal braces for 18 months. I received a standard metal retainer for my top teeth and a permanent retainer on the inside of my bottom front teeth.
After about 10 years, I started to notice my bottom teeth moving. The strange part was my teeth were still “straight” on the bottom, due to the permanent retainer glued behind them, but my whole jaw was pushing out on the right side. I later found out there was tension on the wire – when there shouldn’t have been – causing this movement. By the time I was in my thirties I started really noticing my bottom teeth in photos when I smiled. My top teeth had also moved some, but it was mostly the bottom teeth that made me interested in Invisalign.
How I chose Eldridge Dental
I was referred to Dr. Ali Sajadi, board-certified periodontist, after experiencing trauma to my front teeth at the end of 2019. I was very concerned about root damage and the possibility of an implant at that initial visit. Dr. Sajadi completely calmed my nerves and made me feel like I was in good hands. He was very thorough, took the time to explain everything in detail, answer all of my questions, and was kind and understanding through it all. To my surprise, I ended up needing just some composite on one tooth to fix a chip. But because of my positive experience, I decided to switch my routine dental care to Eldridge Dental. Marcus used Dr. Sajadi for some fairly extensive dental work since then and has also had a great experience. When I started to more seriously consider invisalign, Eldridge Dental was the obvious choice for me.
What does the Invisalign process look like?
The first step is a consultation with Dr. Sajadi, which includes a detailed explanation of the process, plenty of time to answer questions, non-invasive 3D imaging of your teeth and a chance to review pricing. This cost me $130 (which I would have paid whether or not I moved forward with treatment).
*Dr. Sajadi is offering my readers a waived consultation fee if they end up moving forward with treatment.*
Once I decided to move forward with Invisalign, my aligners were made and I came in to get “buttons” put on my teeth. You can see where they were placed in the image below. The buttons work in conjunction with the trays to apply pressure to the teeth and make them move. I also got to see a really neat set of 3D images of my mouth and teeth, which showed me how they would move over time!
After that I came back every 4-6 weeks for a quick check in and to get new sets of trays. As the process went on Dr. Sajadi would give me more trays at a time so my check ins became less frequent.
You can watch my process unfold through my instagram story highlight here!
What does Invisalign cost?
The total cost for my treatment plan was around $5,000. Luckily I had a lifetime orthodontic benefit through our dental insurance for $2,000. I highly recommend looking into your dental insurance to see if they might cover part of it!
I also received a discount from Dr. Sajadi in exchange for covering my Invisalign experience on social media and writing this blog post for my readers. One thing to note: I chose Dr. Sajadi based on my previous experience being his patient and was already well into the process before we decided to collaborate.
Does Invisalign hurt?
The only pain I experienced was in the very first week. The first three days of wearing my aligners there was quite a bit of pressure on my bottom teeth. I took an advil the first day to take the edge off. I also dealt with the buttons cutting my the inside of my lips/cheeks in some areas. This was probably the most painful part of the process for me. It took about one week for my mouth to get acclimated.
After the first tray, I would only experience discomfort on the day I changed trays. There would sometimes be a little pressure in the following days, but nothing uncomfortable.
*I recommend changing your trays at night right before bed, so you sleep through the worst part.*
I struggled with the pressure in my mouth during the first trimester of pregnancy with Olivia. I was already dealing with morning sickness and for some reason the aligners were making it worse. After sharing this with Dr. Sajadi, he suggested I wear my trays less during those weeks and just kept each tray in for three weeks instead of two to make up for it. It was an easy adjustment.
Length of treatment?
This is going to differ for everyone based on your treatment plan and how compliant you are about wearing your trays. Many people have treatment times of less than one year, but my personal treatment lasted about 18 months. We did three different rounds consisting of 16 trays, 12 trays and then 7 trays. I had opted for the comprehensive plan so we could have done as many rounds of trays as needed, which I was thankful for since I had one very stubborn tooth that took longer to move than all the rest.
How much did it affect daily life?
It took awhile to get into the habit of wearing the trays, but once I was used to it, it was like second nature. You are supposed to wear them anytime you aren’t eating or drinking (excluding water). I wore them almost every single night for the 18 months. I was a bit more relaxed during the day depending on what was going on, but still did my best to have them in for as many hours a day as possible.
They did made me talk with a little bit of a lisp the first few days.
Pros of Invisalign?
I loved the flexibility of being able to take them out whenever you wanted to. I didn’t wear them for family pictures, out on a date night when I would be eating and drinking most of the time, or to anything that I wanted to look and feel my best. Having this as an option was a huge plus for me.
They are *mostly* invisible! A lot of friends said they barely even noticed them, and I have to agree. I would honestly forget I had them in a lot of the time.
You can read the benefits of Invisalign on the Eldridge Dental website here.
Cons of Invisalign?
I’m not sure this is 100% a con, because I’m sure it’s good for your teeth, but you have to brush your teeth quite a bit more. The guidance is to brush after every time you eat, before you put your trays back in. The reasoning is because you don’t want food trapped in your aligners sitting on your teeth all day. If I was at home, I would do this. If I was out for any reason, I would skip it and brush when I got home.
My other con is that taking them out in public is unattractive (spit gets caught in them). It’s something you want to do in private (the bathroom, your car, etc.) before you meet up with friends.
Is Smile Direct Club similar?
I have received questions about Smile Direct Club, so I asked Dr. Sajadi to shed some light on the similarities and differences for us:
- Smile Direct Club is a more hands-off approach to straightening your teeth, meaning less time face to face with a dentist or orthodontist. You can either start out with an at-home impression kit or go to a dental office to have a 3D scan completed. Eldridge Dental is actually a location that supports Smile Direct Club by doing these scans.
- The aligners themselves are of similar quality.
- One main difference is that Smile Direct Club is only for people that have mild to moderate changes needed. As a point of reference, my case was a better fit for Invisalign.
- Smile Direct Club is less expensive than Invisalign.
I am so happy with my Invisalign results! We were able to straighten my bottom teeth, realign my bite and the fix the part of my jaw that was jutting out. I can tell a huge difference in my smile and the way my teeth look when I’m talking. It’s a huge confidence booster for me, and I am happy I made the investment in my smile!
Houston Area Readers:
If you are in the North West Houston or the Sugar Land area, and are in the market for a dentist, periodontist or Invisalign provider, I cannot recommend Dr. Sajadi and his team of dentists more highly! During all of my visits, whether it be for something as serious as potential root damage to something cosmetic like Invisalign, I felt listened to and valued as a patient. When you find a provider you really like, you stick with them and recommend them to your friends!
They have two locations:
Eldridge Dental: 6370 N Eldridge Pkwy Suite B, Houston, TX 77041
Edgewater Dental: 3425 South, Hwy 6 Suite 108 B, Sugar Land, TX 77478
If you are local to one of their offices and Invisalign is something of interest, please be sure to mention my name – JANELLE RENDON. This will waive your consultation fee including 3D imaging if you end up moving forward with treatment. Thats a $130 value so definitely worth mentioning!