My Impressions Journey – A Guest Post by Briana Autran

Hi guys! I have been on a journey for a few months straightening my teeth with Impressions’s clear aligners. I have been so extremely happy with my experience that I wanted to share a little about it. I’m an Asheville based wedding photographer who has a serious itch for travel. Smiles are a big part of my job. I’d been curious about how I could straighten my smile without wearing metal braces and without having constant appointments in one location. I’ve just returned from a two month trip in Asia, and let me tell you, Impressions has made both those things possible!

I never had braces as a kid, simply because my parents couldn’t afford it. But, I saw my friends with braces and watched them struggle to take care of them. I listened to them when they complained that the whole experience was painful and annoying. So, having less than perfect teeth actually never bothered me growing up. I didn’t have any desire to be a part of the metal mouth club.

As I got older, I started becoming more aware of the situation I had going on inside my mouth. I was not super happy with my smile or showing my teeth in photographs. I was dealing with a major overbite, some crooked bottom teeth, and my two front teeth were pushed really far forward. I hated seeing photographs of myself and avoided pictures all together.

In my early twenties, after having my own income for a few years, I decided I wanted to do something about my crooked teeth. I made an appointment with an orthodontics office in my hometown in Bay City, Michigan. I did not have the greatest experience with them. I was told that with the way my teeth were, if I wanted to straighten them out my entire midline would have to shift leaving me with an uncentered midline. An uncentered midline did not sit well with me. If I was going to commit to something like this and pay for it myself, I wanted my teeth to be perfect. I left the orthodontics that day feeling uncomfortable and defeated.

The price was also not very affordable for me at that time in my life and the amount of appointments I would have to make during the treatment didn’t work with my busy schedule and all the traveling I was doing for my business.

I decided to opt out of straightening my teeth in Michigan and chose to deal with hiding my smile from people. I spent many years doing this, smiling with my mouth closed, immediately deleting pictures that caught me with my mouth wide open and belly laughing.

Fast forward to being 29 years old. I own my own wedding photography business. My career is based around documenting people smiling. I encourage my clients to let loose and be themselves; laugh hard. It is hard to ask someone I barely know to smile when I myself have struggled with it most of my life. In addition to that, I am constantly meeting new people and new clients. I was not feeling very confident with fully smiling and showing my teeth during meetings or photoshoots. Hiding my teeth was always something that, over time, became natural, like walking or breathing. It is very, very exhausting to have to deal with something so intimate as hiding your smile on a regular basis. I decided to look into doing something about it, yet again.

I heard about @impressionsmile through one of my friends and decided to make the call to see what my options were. I had to go in for my first appointment in the beginning of the new year and to be honest, I was a little nervous to start the whole process over again or to hear that I wasn’t ever going to be able to have a pretty smile. I first set up a consultation appointment online, to be sure I was a good candidate for Impressions. I mentioned my orthodontics experience a few years back to Dr. Roberts and told him my fear of an uncentered midline. He told me this would not be the case and I would be a great candidate for their Impressions treatment program and that my midline would in fact be centered. Hearing this news was a weight lifted off my shoulders. When I went in for my appointment, right when I arrived I was greeted by a really warm and welcoming staff. I immediately felt really comfortable and excited to start this straight teeth journey.

During my appointment, my teeth were scanned with an awesome 3D scanner; no more goopy impressions that taste horrible. This scanning process was very simple and only took a few minutes. I felt as if I had been in the orthodontics office for all of twenty or thirty minutes. It was an absolute breeze.

A few weeks after my appointment, my treatment trays were shipped to my house in a cute, little box. Inside the box, there was a really helpful guide explaining what to do and some tips to take care of your Impressions trays. I felt like the package was very thoughtful. Each tray is labeled in the order of use, and I got all 27 of them delivered right to my door. I was excited about getting all of them at once because I was planning an extended backpacking trip to Asia  and knew I would not be able to keep up with going into the office for appointments to get new trays.

After a few weeks into using my trays, I was already beginning to notice some big differences in my teeth.

When I was packing my things to go on my recent trip to Asia, I had to be really mindful about what I brought with me. My pack had to be light and comfortable, yet hold everything I would need for two months abroad. The trays packed nicely and lightly into my backpack. I was really happy about that, as it was one less thing to worry about. During the trip we were constantly moving around from place to place, and I found that it was super easy to switch out trays and keep up with my treatment on the go.

I am now almost seven months into the treatment, and my friends are noticing my much straighter teeth. I have never really been a person who takes many selfies or photos smiling but let me tell you, I am becoming that person with no shame! I can’t even begin to tell you how much more confidence I have when I am smiling and meeting new people. I am only halfway done with my treatment and I have gained all this extra self love so fast. It feels so very good!

Oh and you should know that the trays are also so very comfortable to wear for 22 hours a day and I have found that nobody really notices that I have them in. I was worried about people seeing them or my teeth looking like they were covered in plastic. This was absolutely not the case. It is also so easy to discreetly take them in and out on dinner dates with my partner or when grabbing coffee with a client.

If you are thinking about straightening your teeth, I highly recommend the lovely staff at Blue Ridge Orthodontics and their entire Impressions Smile program. It has been an entirely wonderful experience from start to finish!