Invisalign Update: Tray 34/36 & Refinement Trays Soon

Invisalign Update - 34/36 - Refinement Trays

Suddenly, nearly nine months have passed. For about two months, now, my upper teeth have been very nearly straight. Not perfect, but such a night-and-day difference from my starting point that they may as well be. Throughout the process, my confidence in my teeth has grown even though they’re a work in progress. I don’t hide my teeth when I smile now – it’s pretty weird! Good weird. :) After the trays I started earlier this week, I have two more left. On April 3, I return to my orthodontist and will almost certainly be rescanned with the iTero Element to establish a a course of refinement trays. This probably means I’ll be hanging out in my 36th tray for a while!

What are Refinement Trays?

If the initial course of trays didn’t quite get everything where it needs to be further correction is required. Usually, new impressions or a new scan is taken, then new refinement trays are fabricated. The refinement trays are the same type of thing as the original course and may or may not include the same number of attachments or other ‘tools’ to advance the plot of straightening your teeth.

My Feelings on Refinement Trays

A lot of people seem to be disappointed by needing refinement, but I don’t understand this. Invisalign isn’t cheap; personally, with as weak as my teeth are I’d rather it take longer and keep my teeth safe and healthy. Plus, I’d rather it be right.

In my case, my treatment fee includes as many refinement courses as are necessary – so whether it takes 9 months or 18, I don’t pay more. Most providers use this business model but be sure to ask questions up front about pricing structures if you are in the market and interviewing a provider.

I know a lot of people find Invisalign far more inconvenient and unpleasant than I have so far, too, and that contributes to the disappointment some people feel. Ultimately, I believe the exasperation some people face with the duration of their treatment when refinements enter the equation has to do with inadequate expectations of the process. Doing a day of research beforehand would reveal that refinement is extremely common.

The Bottom Line

My bite was so out-of-whack before that, as things straightened out, I kinda had to re-learn how to properly bite into food (sounds worse than it was; resulted in some giggles from my husband recognizing wtf I was doing). Flossing is so much easier now. My teeth fit together better.

Even if I weren’t going to end up with refinement trays I still think I’d be happy with where things have landed; like I said before, it’s like night-and-day.

It is a little surreal for me, and it makes me a little emotional when I think about it. Kinda silly, but I’m really, really thrilled.