When Renee first visited with Dr. Leah Worstman at North Seattle Dental she wanted a solution for her teeth grinding. Renee discovered that Invisalign could fix that issue, as well as fix some cosmetic issues that had been bothering her – she wanted straighter teeth too.
A little over a year later, Invisalign corrected her bite, which stopped Renee’s nightly teeth grinding. It also cosmetically enhanced her smile. Renee now has the smile she always wanted. And she’s no longer self conscious about sharing it, which she does whenever she can. Here’s a little Q & A with Renee regarding her experience with Invisalign over traditional metal braces.
How did you wind up deciding on Invisalign?
I had a problem with grinding my teeth at night, and I was going to get a night time device to keep me from doing that. And I decided that since I had some cosmetic issues with my teeth anyway, if I was going to have a device, why not go ahead and get an Invisalign, and take care of the cosmetic issues, as well as the teeth grinding, so that’s why we decided to go with Invisalign.
Have you ever had your teeth straightened before?
I had attempted to when I was a teenager, and I had metal braces on the top and the bottom of my mouth. We moved to Turkey about the time that my braces came off, and I was supposed to wear a retainer. But I just didn’t have access to an orthodontist while I was there, so I didn’t wear my retainer, and my teeth didn’t stay straight. I have lived with crooked teeth from the time I was a teenager until now, when I chose to do Invisalign as a slightly older person. (laughs)
How did your experience with traditional braces compare with Invisalign?
There is no comparison. Metal braces were terribly uncomfortable to wear. They had to be tightened all the time. There were wires. They were just really uncomfortable, and the retainer was really uncomfortable. Invisalign was a piece of cake. I didn’t even know that I had them in most of the time. It was great.
How long did you need to wear Invisalign and what was the process like?
It took about a little over a year. I was wearing both upper and lower aligners full time around the clock during the day. I would then change the aligners out to the next stage about every three or four weeks. There wasn’t really any discomfort, but they were a little tight at the beginning of each stage. By the second day, I wasn’t even aware of it.
What do you think the biggest benefits were from wearing Invisalign?
First of all, it corrected my bite. It also gave me confidence. I almost always used to smile with my mouth closed for family pictures, and now I feel like I can smile with my mouth open. I’ve received compliments about how my teeth look now. I think for your oral health it’s important to have your teeth aligned and your bite be healthy, but how you feel about yourself and how you look is also very important. I’ve been very happy.
What were some other benefits during the Invisalign treatment?
You’re supposed to wear them for a certain number of hours every day, but there is some flexibility. You take them out to eat, so you’re not getting food stuck in your mouth like you would with metal braces. You can’t eat certain foods like popcorn, sticky candy, or anything like that when you have braces. With Invisalign you really can eat anything when you’re not wearing the aligners. You just make sure to brush your teeth, and put the aligners back in again. Because of that, I think I brushed my teeth more often, which was probably a good thing. Invisalign also helped prevent me from grinding my teeth at night night because I needed to wear the aligners when I slept, so that was a big benefit as well.
Could people even see that you wore plastic aligners to straighten your teeth?
Nobody else is looking at you as closely as you look at yourself. I don’t think anybody really noticed that I wore them.
Any funny Invisalign stories?
I don’t know if it was funny or not, but I did throw them out one or two times and had to fish through the garbage for them. Fortunately, most of the time, I found them there. I did lose one retainer. Fortunately, Dr. Worstman had given me three separate sets, so I was able to stay on course.
Why would you recommend Invisalign to others?
I would recommend Invisalign adults and for children. I just think it makes the whole process of straightening your teeth so easy, and so comfortable. I’m 77, so a lot of people have asked, ‘Well, why are you bothering?’ Why? I’m intending to be using these chompers for a number of more years, and I think having them in good shape, and being able to use my teeth the way they’re supposed to be used, is going to help me have that extended life expectancy. Teeth are really important. Food is important, and I want to be able to eat corn in the cobb.
OK, so what do you like about having Dr. Worstman as your dentist?
Dr. Worstman is the first dentist that I’ve ever been to where I didn’t even feel the Novocain. I didn’t feel anything. There was no pain whatsoever. That’s a first for me. I’ve been to really good dentists, but she’s very, very good and very gentle. She really addresses your issues, whatever they might be, so I was very impressed. I would definitely recommend Dr. Worstman because she was totally professional, totally kind, totally put me at ease, and could do the dental procedures for me without any discomfort.
I think Dr. Worstman is just the best dentist that I’ve had, and I’ve had some very good dentists.
How was the practice’s environment for you?
It’s geared to making patients comfortable. Cleanliness. State of the art equipment. You have the option of watching television or listening to music while your dentist or hygienist is working on you. These are things that really help put people at ease, and I am a NERVOUS DENTAL PATIENT! I have always been. I don’t want to have any discomfort, so I’ll tell the dentist right up front to give me whatever I need to be comfortable.
What did you like about the staff?
They were professional. The entire office was that way. They were friendly. They were thoughtful. They were kind. I got to know them all pretty well, those that I dealt with. It was a really professional, but comfortable. friendly relationship.
You’ve worked as a hospital nurse, what was your observation of the North Seattle Dental practice?
I am an old RN. Most of my professional life has been spent working in hospitals. I’m very aware of sterile technique, good hygiene, how medical instruments need to be handled, and the way staff need to be aware of what they’re doing when they’re working on a patient. In my judgment, with that background, I’ve found that everything there was the way it needed to be. It was very professional.
Whether you want to cosmetically transform your smile or you need to address some orthodontic problems (or both!), Invisalign is a comfortable alternative to metal braces. If you’d like to learn more about how Invisalign can work for you, call (206) 524-1000 to schedule an Invisalign consultation or request an appointment online.
P.S. It’s never too late to get the smile you want. Learn More About the Invisalign Treatment!