March 4th, The Supposed Last Day of Invisalign

The so-called end is here but this day is nothing like I’d imagined it would be two years ago. Today is the 4th of March which is supposed to be my last day of Invisalign. The thing that I’m more worried about aside from my teeth not being quite where they should be, is that my bite seems to be waaay off. For a few months now, the only teeth in my mouth that would make contact in a closed position were my premolars. That’s four teeth that touch. I never made a big deal of it because I assumed the issue would work itself out by today, but tadaaa! it’s the end and after 790-something days of Invisalign, I can’t bite down with even a modicum of normalcy. According to one of the assistants, they fix this issue by grinding the tooth surface away. Either that, or braces. Both of those options sound lovely! Who knows though, maybe the solution is to grind away at my premolars and then suddenly everything will fit together nicely. This alone proves that orthodontia is way more than just making teeth look straight.

My hopes are still high. I was thrilled at my last appointment because my orthodontist told me that if my problem teeth weren’t rotated all the way, then we’d go into my third and final refinement. It must sound crazy that I was excited about more months of Invisalign because if there’s anyone who wants to be over and done with this whole ordeal, it is definitely ME. But as you know, I’ve come way too far only to settle with mediocre. I know I’d be mad at myself until the end of time if I didn’t put in the extra effort.

And that’s where I’m left standing. I am now in a predicament with this refinement situation. Or maybe not. I haven’t directly brought it up with my orthodontist. You see, I technically only paid for two refinements. Even though she did in fact say we could fix things up with the third refinement, she never mentioned charging more. Invisalign Full allows the provider to use three refinements within a certain time period. Offering all three of these refinements to the patient is a decision that is up to the provider and should be outlined in the original agreement. Always, ALWAYS read the fine print, people! I can’t stress that enough. I was a dumbass in the very beginning and assumed that refinements were included in her original pricing simply because we “talked about it” but they weren’t. I ended up paying $400 extra last May for two refinements. The first turned out to be a total wash. It was a waste of precious time for both me and my provider. I understand chair time is valuable, but so is mine. I banged out an entire blog post about what happened and why it was a waste of time so I won’t do it again here, but just for an example, this is a set of overlaid screen shots from the first and second refinement of the starting positions of my teeth.

first-and-second-refinement-comparison

I’m now waiting until next week because just over an hour prior to this morning’s appointment, I received a voicemail stating that, because of the EXTREME weather, we’re having to reschedule for next week (my Canadian readers might get a kick out of the fact that there’s only an inch of melting snow on the grass). Fine with me. I’m really not all that bothered by it because I think some of their employees have to drive quite a ways to the office and people in this town drive like idiots anyway. Add frozen precipitation to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. What’s another week, right?

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