Here’s the deal on getting Invisalign as an adult in Charlotte

Here’s the deal on getting Invisalign as an adult in Charlotte
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(Note: This content was created with our partner, Lineberger Orthodontics.)

Dentists have been bugging me for YEARS to get Invisalign. My teeth are really tight (thanks to four wisdom teeth still intact) and hard to clean, which they warned would mean big problems down the road. Cosmetically, I’ve never cared much about a few crooked bottom teeth.

But after my first consultation with Lineberger Orthodontics and learning how straightforward they made the process, I was finally ready to pull the trigger.

[Full disclosure, even though I have a high-power job at the Agenda which has us rolling in gold, they did give me a partner discount. Agenda Members also get significant discounts on Invisalign… hint hint…]

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I had no idea what to expect, but luckily Dr. Matt and the whole Lineberger team are huge Invisalign nerds – like, they go to Invisalign conferences regularly – and walked me through what would happen, when it would happen, and most importantly, why it would happen.

They’re experts to the extent that they teach general dentists how to design Invisalign plans and even help out with special cases. Oh, and they’ve treated several Panthers. NBD.

Hit up the massage chair while you wait…

(1) Here’s what happens at your first appointment.

You’ll have an initial consultation and scan, and they’ll take a bunch of photos to evaluate what needs to be corrected and aligned, and to look at the “symmetry of your soft tissue.” Apparently your teeth are supposed to actually fit together like a puzzle for a healthy bite? Who knew.

You’ll then have your 3D X-Ray that they’ll use to create all of the trays. That means no yucky impressions that make you gag. None at all.

The team will review the photos with you, and warning, this is the worst part of the whole experience. I NEVER wanted to see my teeth that close.

(2) Then what?

It takes four weeks to get your trays back, and then you can expect a 45-ish-minute appointment to learn how to take them in and out and to get your attachments put on. I’m an idiot and honestly didn’t think about the attachments at all (the little clear/white squares attached to certain teeth). In my mind you basically only wear retainers. But of course, something has to be attached to your teeth so that they move. The placement of attachments varies completely from person to person.

During this visit, you also get to see what the end result will look like. It was a super helpful way to know what to look forward to – and to keep me motivated to wear my aligners. Here’s my progression:

(3) Day one.

Dr. Matt had me say “Mississippi” after I put the aligners in and it did sound weird to me, but it sounded better after about a day, and two months in, I’m not self conscious about it at all. I’ve had people (people who would tell me otherwise) genuinely not notice that anything was different about me with them in.

That first day, I was also very aware of the attachments, and the trays felt tight – tight but not painful. It also took practice to take them out and put them in smoothly, but now it’s quick and I’m too lazy to get up so I do it in front of my coworkers all the time (sorry, guys).

(4) The rules.

You take your aligners out to eat, and to drink if it’s anything that’s not clear or super light (a hygienist conspiratorially whispered to me that she sometimes had white wine and it was fine). You’re supposed to brush after any liquids or meals, but I have skipped this on rare occasion when it wasn’t practical.

There aren’t any limitations on what you can eat the way there are with traditional braces.

You wear them 22 hours a day, which means all the time unless you are actively eating. What I’ve learned about myself from Invisalign is that I definitely spent more than 2 hours per day actively eating. Working on it.

(5) The cost.

The price tag? Invisalign at Lineberger Orthodontics ranges from $2,500 up to $7,000 depending on severity or other factors.

(6) Is there a way to speed up the process?

Yes. At my first check-in appointment (which is about 15 minutes in and out) to get the next set of aligners, I decided to start using Acceledent. It’s a small vibrating tray that you put in for 20 minutes a day – the exact length of one episode of Friends. It’s $699 and it cuts the overall treatment time in half.

For me this means going from 40 weeks down to about 20-25 weeks.

(7) A quick note for parents reading this.

Growing up, I always associated braces and orthodontic work with pre-teens and older. However, you can catch skeletal issues while kids are growing and once that growth is done, you’d have to fix issues with surgery.

Kids can come in as young as 6 or 7 just for a consultation and guided growth plan even if treatment isn’t needed yet. These are the things you learn when hanging out with the Lineberger nerds.

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All in all, I am seeing progress quickly and am glad I finally made the commitment.

It’s already way easier for me to floss, and I can see my bottom teeth moving really fast. Like many self-improvement processes, you get out what you put in. You gotta wear those aligners but in the end it will be worth it.

Ready to get that winning smile? Learn more about Lineberger Orthodontics.

PLUS: Agenda readers can get $500 off Invisalign treatment: $250 for attending the first appointment and $250 off for an Instagram and Facebook selfie shoutout at the office. Get started.

(Note: This content was created with our partner, Lineberger Orthodontics.)

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