I'm here to talk about what went down at my first ever Invisalign consultation! I'm really a blessed girl. First I win the contest, which is totally unexpected (!!!), then I'm told that there is actually an orthodontist in JB who is willing to sponsor my treatment and on top of that has agreed to sponsor the whole process fully. Touched until can cry T.T
The clinic is none other than Q&M Dental Surgery in Taman Molek. Now, there aren't many well-known dental surgery clinics in JB, what more those that provides Invisalign treatments. Q&M Dental Surgery (Johor Bahru) is part of Singapore's largest private dental group and I've been told that it is one of the best there is by friends living in Singapore. Imagine my excitement! Their mission is to provide quality and accessible dental healthcare to the nation. I'll share more about the clinic as I go along in the future.
First things first. I was led to one of the consultation rooms to get some photos taken by the nurses. Both front & side profile, with teeth showing and without. Don't laugh at my noob face ok!
*WARNING* Graphic images ahead (HAHAHAH not really)
My teeth!! A rubber stopper was used to stretch out my lips for the photo. I had to clench my teeth for that. For the top and bottom row of teeth, a mirror was inserted into my mouth to get a clearer picture. FYI, the nurses had their own camera to take down my records but I requested their help to take these photos for me (so I had to do it twice haha) for my own record. I did think twice about sharing this on my blog (cos not very pretty mah) but decided to share in the end because I'm sure my readers would wanna know how the process goes right? This part of the process is pretty much the same as for normal braces.
Torture tools! Haha jk. I've never really had a fear of going to the dentist, do you?
The nurses preparing the soft jelly to make my teeth mould. Did I mention that the nurses there are all super nice and helped me take photos (without looking at me like a weirdo) AND their photos are pretty decent wan! Yay.
After 2 minutes.. Here's the bottom mould of my teeth! The same process was repeated for the top row of teeth.
After that, it was time to have my X-Ray taken to check the condition of my teeth clearly. I had to remove all my jewellery and wear this blue vest. Not really sure what it's for but the jewellery or any metal objects might interfere with the magnetic fields of the X-ray, so its best to remove them just in case. This isn't your conventional X-ray. The chin rest can be adjusted automatically and I had to bite down on a plastic tab. There was a screen in front of me and two bars/ sensors moved 360degrees slowly around my head to get the full X-ray of my teeth.
Here's the X-ray of my teeth. I almost forgot to shoot this but one of the nurses got a good shot for me yay. To be frank, I was nervous about my wisdom teeth giving me problems as none had ever grown before. My friends always say I'm not wise enough because of this -.-
From the X-ray, the dentist could tell that all four wisdom teeth are present deep inside my gums. For the bottom two, they seem to be facing sideways so it is unlikely that they will be growing out, maybe only the top bit. But for now, I don't have to get a wisdom tooth extraction surgery done because they will not be giving my other teeth any problems in the long-run. Thank goodness, I've heard so much about how painful it is to get your wisdom tooth or worse, when they're extracted!
When Dr Matthew arrived, I was led to another consultation room to get the second mould done and have a chat with my orthodontist. Check out all his certs on the wall!
These plastic things are to hold the soft jelly and are to be inserted into the mouth - one for top and one for bottom row of teeth. The one with a tiny bulge is for the bottom row and it's where your tongue is supposed to go. Some orthodontists use metal ones. They're huge btw! And I think there are various sizes for these. For me, my mouth is apparently small so they had to dip the plastic holder in hot water and reshape it a little before inserting into my mouth XD Also, Dr Matthew gave me two of these to bring home for fun hehe.
Dr Matthew noticed that my teeth are quite large for a tiny girl like me. For Invisalign, besides a painless and clear solution, another reason to love it is that it is not necessary to get extractions done. Whee! I don't have to get extractions done but he recommends that I do stripping or IPR for my teeth, which is something like 'slimming down the teeth' by filing it and making it smaller so that there is more space for the teeth to move.
After a quick chat and walk-through about what Invisalign is about, learning about some terms (which I will be sharing more of next time!) and understanding what I want for my teeth, it was finally time to have the second mould taken. The first one was for record-keeping by the clinic and every few months, a new mould will be made to track the progress of my teeth. This 2nd mould is to be sent to the Invisalign headquarters in USA to be accessed, hence 100% precision is necessary! Dr Matthew is injecting a yellow PVS solution here on top of the purple jelly for the mould.
Got swag anot? Kinda reminds me of Tron: Legacy haha. Dr Matthew is so considerate and provides shades for all his patients so that they do not feel bothered by the light above the reclining chair. No, the nurse isn't trying to strangle me here. She is just holding the mould firmly on my bottom row of teeth to keep it in place and get the correct shape. It amused me that there was one dentist and 6 nurses helping me with this part LOL.
The nurse also applied Vaseline on my lips first to avoid cracking of dry lips. Each mould requires 6 minutes to set and according to Dr Matthew, this was the hardest process of the Invisalign treatment and kept apologising. To me, this was nothing and also inevitable cos I just wanted the best for my teeth! It's a very messy process though, what with the yellow solution dripping down all over my mouth (cos of gravity, says the dentist XD) and my saliva filling up the cavity of my mouth LOL. Another nurse was on standby to use the suction device and suck up any excess saliva and keep the mouth relatively dry.
The first two times failed because like Dr Matthew said, the back molars of the top row of teeth were always the hardest to get correctly. Dr Matthew had to stick on additional silicone at the end of the mould just so he knows exactly where to place the edges of the plastic holder against my teeth. The first time, we could not get the back teeth correctly while the second time, it was the front. Third time's the charm and we finally got it perfectly right! My dentist is a perfectionist and only wants the best for his patients :D So after roughly half an hour, I finally got both moulds perfectly done and here's the results! Can't wait for the model to be ready and sent to Invisalign HQ!
Btw, if you ask me how it felt, the jelly is actually a little bitter. The mould can sometimes be a little hard to remove after that. Also, I had no idea that there was a bit of numbing agent in the solution so my mouth felt funny after I left the clinic haha. If you're wondering why two colours are needed for the top row, it is because both solution are of different viscosity to retain the shape better and get a more precise model. Like I said, the top row of teeth is always harder to get right. The purple one is the base and feels clay-like while the yellow one is runny & sticky to get to hard-to-reach areas. The mould can last up to one month and therefore makes it sturdy enough to last the journey to the HQ!
And we're done with the first consultation! It took only about an hour and a half and by the time we were done, the first model of my teeth was ready! Super fast. Nah, here's how it looks like in case you're wondering. From the front it looks pretty close to the real thing and it's quite interesting to see how my mouth looks on the inside in 3D!
Had a little chat with Dr Matthew's pretty and friendly wife, Zoe, after the consultation. She is the General Manager of Q&M Dental Surgery in JB and also Mrs Malaysia Universe 2015 Champion! How cool is that :D She shared a lot of her experiences with me throughout the pageant and more. Looking forward to catching up with her soon!
Wefie with the GM & nurses!
Zoe is so nice, she got the entire clinic to gather for a photo taken with me! Omg I felt so shy cos it's not like I'm some kind of celebrity *hides* but I'm so happy she insisted on getting this shot taken. You guys (and I) will be seeing more of the kind people at Q&M Dental Surgery Molek in the future and this is just the first step! <3
I know this post is very long already so I'll be ending it here. Oh yea, I just got news that my ClinCheck is ready! I'm going to see what is in store for me this Tuesday, excited max! Will keep you guys updated xx.
UPDATE: Read about my ClinCheck HERE!!!
Quote my name 'CARINN10' to get 10% OFF Invisalign services by Dr Matthew Hong at Q&M Dental Surgery, Taman Molek, from now until 31st December 2015!
Disclaimer: [Sponsored] I have received complimentary Invisalign treatment from Align Technology, Inc & Q&M Dental Surgery JB (Molek) after winning a contest organised by Invisalign & Nuffnang. In exchange for that, I have agreed to promote and write about my Invisalign story. The review is written based on my honest views and personal experiences on the treatment.