Hello there! I know that the Inman Aligner brace is a relativley new treatment here in the UK and that it might be helpful to share my experience of it with you all so that anybody who is considering it or is just curious has just that little bit more information to hand.
So, I naturally have straight teeth. When I was quite a young child in Primary school a boy pushed me over at some force and speed face first in to the concrete playground floor. Unfortunatley I've always been physically maturer than most my age and I got my teeth quickly and already had my adult set. My mouth bled profusely but I was not sent home, by the time home time had rolled around and I was taken to see the dentist they said it was too late to correct them instantly and that I would need a brace. I was adamant that I didn't want one and my parents respected my wishes.
I did however stop smiling with my mouth open - a tight lipped, closed mouth smile became the norm, and I covered my face with my hands whenever I laughed. I've always been extra cautious to cover my mouth from the angles etc which show it at it's worst.
My teeth aren't really a severe case but they bother me so much, and I've never gotten used to the feeling of my teeth being unaligned in my mouth. My front top two are indented in the middle so that they jut out at the sides and my bottom few are overall just crooked, with the very front bottom two crossing over each other (this makes them very difficult to clean, and my dentist has to do it for me).
At 18 I started to use home whitening kits (I had naturally yellow teeth) and began to consider the possibility of braces, and at 19 I went to my dentist to see what could be done. He said that I could probably get braces on the NHS if I wanted them, and I made up my mind to get them.The Consultation
When I first properly talked to my dentist about the braces I was devastated to hear that he had since revised his opinion and realized that I did not qualify for braces on the NHS. He did however have some Inman Aligners himself - he explained about them, and how they affected only the front teeth. He insisted that they'd work particularly well for the issues I had with my mouth and took the impressions for the IAs. I left the surgery feeling upset and tearful, wandering how a 19 year old student was supposed to pay £800 for each set of braces.
Thankfully I have a wonderful family who have helped me to afford them. It took about 2 weeks for the IA to be made and for my dentist to get back to me about them.The Fitting
When I first arrived all the staff at the dentist made a big fuss over how it was 'the big day', and were all generally very pleasent and helpful. The dentist had had his off and the nurse working with him had just had hers off too, so they had plenty of first hand experience and knew what they were talking about.
I was first shown two molds of my teeth - the ones of how they are now (for the first time ever my mum awknowledged that my teeth *are* crooked, after insisting for so long that they were fine and didn't need anything doing) and the ones of how they would probably look after. The after was so straight and perfect that I may have stood staring at them for longer than was strictly necessary.
The dentist then filed my teeth down by the tiniest amount ever. This was neither painful nor uncomfortable, although it felt like he took off more than he actually did. The only thing that bothered me was trying to keep my tongue out of the way. Then he put composite fillings on my teeth which was probably the most uncomfortable part purely because of the chemical taste in my mouth. He made these very discreet so that you can't even tell that they're there unless you're told about it first hand. He made me wash my mouth out with some special moush wash which he gave me a free bottle of to take away with me.
Then he showed me the aligners. They're a bit different to the standard ones because they have clear plastic moulds on the back teeth at the top, which I believe is meant to make more room in my mouth and correct a cross bite. He showed me how to put them on before letting me have a go in front of a mirror, and was then promptly jealous when I got them on and off on the first attempt, something which he said even he hadn't managed to do
Over all the fitting was not painful at any point, although I did take some pain killers before hand. I was comprehensible in my speech instantly (everyone could still understand what I was saying) but I had a heavy lisp. The first night
The IAs are quite tight on the right hand side of my mouth where the teeth need to move the most (the dentist said this is because of the way that I impacted the ground). The gums on the right hand side of my mouth bled a bit for the first night, and I had to use some of the free dental wax that they gave me to stop the wires from scratching the insides of my cheeks. I salivated much much more than usual. The only time that my teeth hurt on the first night was removing and then putting the aligners back in again, which I had to take pain killers for (and I have a high pain threshold and despise pain killers). I went to sleep in the aligners without difficulty but dribbled a lot in my sleep.What my teeth looked like before the treatment
Here's the picture that someone uploaded of me on Facebook that really gave me the push I needed to sort out my teeth (Please ignore the horrific angle and facial expression, I'm not that ugly I swear!):
And here's what my teeth looked like close up
Upper arch, you can really see the indentation of the front teeth here:
Lower arch, you can see where the teeth are crossed over:
From the front, they don't look that bad from straight on:
From the side, you can see my 'rabbit' teeth:
I'll post my day 1 update soon!
Keep smiling people, we'll have beautiful teeth in no time.