An Invisible Vision
Since even before my storied escape from dental school way back during Disco, Invisalign remains coolest innovation I’ve ever seen in dentistry.
Shucks, within the very first few months of my treating patients with Invisalign, something happened that I’ll never forget. I saw someone’s life change and I had a front row seat. And it was easy (these days, it’s even easier.)
I still think of Diana every single time we begin Invisalign Care.
But I should have known better. After all, orthodontic care had changed my own life and career forever as well.
Before my own teeth straightening experience, I actually used to hold my hand in front of my mouth while I was speaking. And dang it, looking back, I can’t help but wonder how anyone without super canine-type audio reception ever knew what the hell I was talking about. So basically, I started my practice here in Temple City as the Molar Jockey communications equivalent of a muzzled Chihuahua.
And having benefitted greatly by having straighter teeth than the kids I was sending to the orthodontist, I was seriously interested in Invisalign when it came along (originally the creation of two MBA candidates at Stanford.) In fact, since having totally straight teeth, I’d actually become a total continuing education nerd. I had the fever; I was sort of like Paladin walkin’ the land carrying a “Have pen will travel” Visa card.
When Invisalign certification was offered to general dentists I think it took me about 7.3 seconds to sign up.
I met Diana at a Pasadena Chamber breakfast. And I’m totally cool with Chamber functions and it’s not because of the scrambled eggs. I love the folks who attend because they’re such dedicated networkers they don’t even run away screaming when I finally have to break the news and tell ‘em I’m a dentist.
Diana won a free TCDC Zoom! Teeth Whitening in the raffle held at the end of the monthly breakfast. And after a while, she finally made the drive down Baldwin for her new brighter smile. After the successful whitening, I asked Diana if she had any other concerns about her smile. The answer could have gone something like, “Are you serious?” or “Is bruin football relevant?” or “Does a bear…?” But didn’t I already mention that Diana is a totally classy lady?
Everything looked great…with the exception of one poorly positioned upper front tooth that was left behind sort of like crazy Uncle Harold in a Thanksgiving family photo.
Diana helped head up a local non-profit; her children were all grown up. Diana’s family had always come first but she admitted she’d hated that tooth for at least 30 years. Diana never really full-out smiled, avoided having her picture taken, and subconsciously screened her mouth from sight, using her hand as a prop (just like you know who.)
But Diana didn’t want braces. “What if we could straighten that tooth without braces? What if we could use appliances that are virtually invisible?”
“Can you do that?”
I still attend the monthly Pasadena Chamber breakfasts. The scrambled eggs remain uninspired and there are more chiropractors present than dentists in the state of Nebraska.
But I still really love the experience, especially when Diana confidently stands up and delivers her 20-second commercial to an attentive group of a about one hundred or so…smiling.
Invisalign care was founded in 1997, given FDA approval in 1998 and made available to general dentists in 2003. To date, almost two million patients have benefitted from Invisalign.