Invisalign X-Rays and 3D Scans

On Monday, I mentioned regular content was returning next week. I have an Invisalign update for now – so here’s this for today, then we’ll be post-less on Friday, then back on Monday.

A week ago, I went in for my Invisalign X-Rays and 3D oral scan that are used by my orthodontist and Invisalign to develop my treatment plan. X-Rays were taken like any are, but the scanner – man, if you appreciate technology, this thing is neat.

Instead of taking impressions with a weird goo that you bite into for a couple minutes (which I would have had to do, had I opted for SmileDirectClub), my 3D scan was taken via an iTero Element intraoral imaging device. A tech uses a small wand to take high-resolution scans of your mouth; it then assembles them into a 3D rendering of your mouth. It is weird and awesome all at once. I haven’t had issues with impressions before, but apparently using the scanner is better for people who have gagging issues.

My orthodontist says based on experience, my case will run about 18 months, require a single extraction, and require attachments. Attachments are small, tooth-colored nubs that they will affix to certain teeth to facilitate the process. The clear aligners will fit over the nubs. Patients report varying degrees of visibility of them; regardless, I’m fairly unconcerned. Most people in my life, including people I work with, know that I’m pursuing this. I’m not embarrassed by that much.

I return to the practice in about two weeks to review my ClinCheck – that’s what Invisalign calls the progression of their treatment plan. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get a head-start on adjusting my eating and drinking habits to support my soon-to-be-restricted eating and drinking regimen.

In support of that, I’ve started assembling a purse-friendly care kit. Because I 1) work and 2) can’t just eat breakfast and dinner and still be a reasonable human being, at least five meals a week take place away from home. I need to be prepared.


I’m not sure if it will be ideal yet, but this $8 case from Homecube on Amazon is pretty nice. It’s intended to be a pencil case, but I think it’s a nice fit for now. There are a few different pockets and a divider.


I use a Sonicare at home, it even comes with a convenient travel case. I don’t want to bring it with me everywhere, though, so my kit is equipped with this folding brush. It isn’t great, but it is good for a folding/travel brush. If you want to use a brush that doesn’t have a cover or case, I’ve had good luck with Steripods and these covers from Reach.


Keeping it simple in this kit with some Colgate Total. (At home, I use XyliWhite or Colgate Total).

Dental Floss

Oral-B Glide is really nice, especially for crowded teeth. It slips into tight spaces with relative ease and isn’t uncomfortable to use. I use this at home and I keep some stashed in my desk at work. It’s really nice!


I imagine I’ll just keep using what I have been using – Kirkland Signature Mouthwash from Costco. It has the same active ingredients as Listerine and is more cost effective. I’m curious about Listerine Naturals, though, which is dye-free.


Most people think dental wax is only for traditional braces – but ever since I had a tooth unexpectedly break a few years ago, I’ve kept some around. Invisalign wearers report that sometimes the top edge of the aligners can irritate the gums – hence the wax.

The Bottom Line

I’m sure this kit will change once I’m actually in aligners. There are still about 2-3 weeks until I receive my first set, though, so this will have to do for now.