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My Invisalign Journey

The summer before freshman year of high school, I really wanted the gap in my two front teeth closed. My mom had taken me to the orthodontist and they wanted to give me the whole shebang; braces on top, bottom, rubber bands, metal things, all of it. At the time we thought it was excessive as I just wanted to close the gap. So we passed. Instead we went to my dentist and he put “porcelain veneers” (basically just filling) on my front four teeth to close the gap and make it all look even. I was very happy and that solved the problem for 4-5 years. Then my teeth started moving again and the gaps returned. I thought my wisdom teeth would come in and push them all back, but turned out I didn’t have any, they just were not there. After some funny jokes about that’s why I was lacking wisdom (haha) they said they could give me braces or fill it in more but then I’d have chiclets as front teeth.

No thanks.

I couldn’t afford braces so I just didn’t do anything. And honestly, I was so mad and hated my teeth so much I didn’t go to the dentist at all for about 7 years. I hated how my teeth looked. I didn’t want to smile and in pictures I always wanted a certain angle because it was harder to see how bad they were. And if they caught the light and photos showed the gaps I wouldn’t post the photo.

I got my first cavity at 27 years old and knew I had to go to the dentist, so I did some research on dentists that could also help me with the gap, so even though it was a jaunt from Grinnell, I chose Pella Family Dentistry. There my dentist corrected me on all the things I had been told over the years. My teeth had filling on them, not veneers, I could get braces or Invisalign WITHOUT taking the fillings off and starting over, and that she could still shape my teeth to my liking once either was finished.

We worked out the financials and came up with a plan and I decided to go with Invisalign as I felt I was too old to wear braces and the clear braces were more expensive. I got my first retainers in July of 2019. I had notches put on my teeth to help with the shift and I got a kick out of telling people I was a piranha.


By March 2020 I was done, just needed to shape my teeth and get the notches off and new retainers. Then the virus hit. My appointment was pushed back twice until they just quit scheduling. Finally I got the call. I wasn’t turning it down. On May 13th 2020 I went in and sat in the chair for two hours while she took off the notches, polished, shaped, shaped again and again until I was happy, and took my last impressions.

Please excuse the awkwardness of my mouth, staged fake smiles are weird. I can’t believe I waited so long and am shocked these are my teeth. I feel so much better smiling and am proud to laugh or show my teeth when I talk. It really was worth every penny.

Sorry the pictures are not great quality, but I wanted the most real photos to depict the difference.

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