Invisalign Update: Cavity Scare

Aiming to correct my teeth - Invisalign - 2/16 - Cavity Scare

I am now on Tray 30 of my initial 36 active trays. In contrast with my expectations, treatment has been incredibly smooth-sailing. Obsessive oral hygiene is my new normal. I successfully underwent three rounds of IPR without issue.

One tooth, however, started giving me trouble around Tray 26. I do not believe this is the result of treatment, though; this particular bicuspid had been filled prior to starting treatment. Unlike all of my other fillings, I have never been fully at ease with this one. Flossing adjacent to it is odd. I’ve had tremendous cold sensitivity there unlike anything I experience elsewhere. Last month, I started getting inconsistent bursts of intense pain there, made worse by chewing or exposure to cold (liquid or air). In the past week or two that discomfort and cold sensitivity has ceased, but I’m not letting my guard down.

Cavity Scare

This pain is not unlike an escalating cavity, and isn’t unlike what I experienced with that tooth before I had it filled. As far as I can tell without WebMD-ing myself into a panic, this is most likely either:

  • A too-conservative filling resulting in progression of the cavity (in spite of nearly-OCD oral hygiene and a cleaner diet than I’ve ever had)
  • The filling has become insecure and is applying pressure to the remaining nerve

My next checkup wasn’t until April but I moved it up to Monday to a) see what on earth is going on and b) hopefully remedy it (or at least make a plan to do so).


I reached out to my Orthodontist’s office to see what the heck this means for treatment. Apparently, in many cases a filling can be placed (or replaced) without affecting treatment. Due to the nature of this filling, I think that is a plausible outcome.

Sometimes, though, the area will be just different enough that the trays won’t be quite right anymore. If that is the case, then I have to go in to get rescanned with the iTero Element. In my case, this is perfectly fine because:

  • I’m (already!) near the end of my initial run of trays. I was going to be rescanned in a few weeks anyway – either for refinement trays (most likely) or for my retainer.
  • Even if I weren’t close to the, “end,” my provider does not charge extra for mid-course corrections if/when they are necessary. Thank goodness!

Now, the ultra-crappy (and I’m desperately hoping not likely) scenario is that the tooth should not have been filled in the first place and should have been root canaled/crowned. If that happens, god forbid, I’m not super sure what that means for me. They will definitely still rescan me, but whatever tray I’m in at that point may not fit if the crown is not spot-on. Contrary to my usual prepared-for-all-outcomes approach to things, I don’t even want to think about that.

The Bottom Line

I’ve been managing with paintakingly careful chewing, flossing, and brushing, not drinking anything cold, ibuprofen, and Orajel. This cavity scare has definitely shaken me up; I had to have extensive dental work before I could even deign to dream about Invisalign. I thought I was out of the woods on that front. Fingers crossed for good news on Monday afternoon. Can you believe that I’d consider good news just that they have to drill and re-fill?