My Braces Story: Third Time’s a Charm (Invisalign® Success Story)

Woman putting in her Invisalign aligner

There are several reasons why people get orthodontic treatment.

One of the most common reasons is they don’t like the way their teeth look when they smile. Esthetics, making your smile look pretty, is a bonus to fixing the actual problem that causes the teeth to be out of position in the first place.

But what you need to know is:

The reason why people often get braces a second, or in my case a third time. It is often because:

  1. They didn’t wear their retainer enough and their teeth shifted out of alignment.
  2. The actual problem for their misaligned teeth was never solved and caused problems later on.

In my case, it was both!

Let me give you a brief background of my dental dilemma, how I avoided braces for a second and third time, and how I became an Invisalign® success story.

Woman putting in her Invisalign aligner

My real Invisalign® success story

In the 5th grade, I got the traditional braces (brackets and wires) and wore them until the 8th grade.

When I got my braces removed, my teeth were straight and I had a great smile. I was very diligent in wearing my retainer every single night.

Flash forward to when I was 25, I lost my retainer in Germany. I had worn my retainer every night for over 10 years. I thought surely my teeth won’t move! I had some bleaching trays that I wore some nights to keep my teeth from moving.

Nevertheless, my bottom teeth ended up crowding, which had a minimal effect on my front top teeth.

At the age of 27, I randomly found a dentist that did Invisalign® – I did not want brackets and wires again!

I spent a year in Invisalign® and got my teeth back to a nice perfect arch again. Now, this is where it gets good.

From the time I was little, before my first set of braces, I had experienced dizzy spells. You know where you get up and you see stars or just need a second to get your bearings. I was told, “Oh, it is because of low blood sugar… or low blood pressure.” At the age of 20, I began experiencing pain and popping in my jaw.

Now let’s think about this, your jaw is a ball and a hinge joint, a lot like your knee. However, your jaw is not a weight-bearing joint like your knee. But if my knee was hurting and popping like my jaw was, I would have been going to the doctor trying to figure out what was going on. But I thought, “Oh my grandma’s jaw pops I guess that is just ok.”

Then at age 35, I was eating at a restaurant with my family. I was three bites into my filet and POP! Yep, that was my jaw! I felt the most intense pain, and tears flowed down my cheeks. My parents asked, “Was that your jaw?”

At this point, I could not open my mouth wide or close it at all; it was stuck in this half-open position. After 15 minutes of trying to force my mouth closed, massage my jaw muscle, and trick myself into somehow closing my mouth, I am able to close my mouth again.

For 2 days I could not get my teeth to touch together. It was like there were little pillows in between my teeth keeping my teeth from touching.

The very next day I saw Dr. Mike Hinkle and I told him what happened. He examined my teeth and jaw and told me out of the last 100 people he had seen, I was the worst.

My x-rays showed I had worn down the condyle (the hinge part of the jaw bone) to a flat edge. Immediately, we scanned for Invisalign® and began treatment.

As soon as I got the Invisalign® trays in my mouth, there was a sense of relief. The damage that was done to my bone is not reversible. I have to maintain what is left because there is not a jaw joint replacement surgery. This is it!

I am happy to report I have been in treatment for the third time for about a year now and I do not experience dizziness, rarely have ringing in my ears, and I have not had my jaw pop since I put the Invisalign® trays in my mouth. I am a real life, Invisalign® success story!

Here is the difference in orthodontists

The first orthodontist only positioned my teeth to be in a straight arch. He did not check my jaw joint, nor did he make sure my teeth all hit together. My molars have never hit together until this year.

The second randomly-found dentist that did Invisalign® fixed the out of position teeth.

What makes the difference is that Dr. Hinkle took the time to fix the root of the problem, not the position of my teeth.

My bite was so off that my body just kept trying to find a comfortable position to be in and my arches were so narrow that it made it almost impossible to allow any kind of movement for my lower jaw. I was grinding my teeth to the point where I was waking up my husband in the night, and my teeth were so sore that I thought I had something severe going on and that I would need to have a root canal.

Nope, all I needed was a qualified dentist that knows Invisalign® can fix the way my teeth come together.

The moral of the story is: Have Dr. Hinkle fix your bite and as a bonus, you will have straight teeth. You too can become an Invisalign® success story and I promise, your jaw will thank you.

Why choose Dr. Hinkle for Invisalign® in Tulsa?

Dr. Hinkle is dedicated to helping his patients to not just have a beautiful smile, but also a great life!

He has helped several of our patients alleviate headaches, vertigo, and ringing in the ears, all of which are a culprit of Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). Narrow arches trap the lower jaw and cause issues with grinding, overbite, jaw pain, and narrowing of airways. A narrow arch will also not allow the teeth to erupt in the correct position, hence crowding.

Dr. Hinkle has seen hundreds of patients that had orthodontic treatment as a child and have straight teeth. However, the bite was never corrected and as we age our stress level increases, we soon begin to experience the effects of an incorrect bite. I myself am one of these patients.

To see how Invisalign® could straighten your teeth AND solve your dental problems, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hinkle!

 

By Jerrilynn Osterhout, real Utica Dental patient and Invisalign® success story