Invisaign Update: Refinement Round Three

Invisalign Update - More Refinement - Refinement Round Three

In September, I shared that I was ending my first round of refinement of my Invisalign Treatment. When I went back, I was given fourteen more trays to tweak and tune. Halfway through, right around Thanksgiving, I stopped in for a mid-refinement check, some more IPR, and was sent on my way.

Ending Refinement Round Two

Last week, I finished up the fourteenth tray – for a total of 67 trays so far – and returned to the doctor.

I already knew that they were going to rescan me. My maxillary lateral incisors (the teeth between my upper front teeth and canines) could stand to turn just a little bit more.

It is nitpicky, especially coming from my baseline. My smile looks good! But why not get it right since it doesn’t introduce risk or cost me more?


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Invisalign Update: More Refinement

Invisalign Update - More Refinement

I’m a little over thirteen months into my Invisalign treatment. Last week, I wrapped up my seventeenth refinement tray! That’s it, 53 trays and I’m done!

So I thought.

At the conclusion of my round of treatment, I returned to the orthodontist to, I hoped, remove my attachments. When I arrived, my doctor informed me he’d do an exam and re-scan me with the iTero to check my progress. I sure picked a great team – he told me that they’re committed to achieving results we mutually love, so that might mean more further refinement if I’m open to it.

Uh, yeah, I’m open to it.

Granted, in my case it was a flat fee for as much treatment as I need to achieve whatever I want. I highly recommend working with a provider who offers a flat rate structure, particularly if you have a complicated case like mine.

The Exam

We went through my exam, I provided some feedback on a few teeth that I felt could be just a touch better. Then, he noticed a few things that I didn’t. A technician took a new scan and photos (which are hilariously awkward to capture), and we confirmed our observations from the exam.

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Invisalign Update: Refinement

Invisalign Update - 34/36 - Refinement Trays

In April, I was scanned for refinement trays. I then had to wait nearly a month for them to develop the continued treatment plan.

In the Meantime

As a result of the month-long gap between the scan, developing a treatment plan, and fabricating new trays, I had to wear tray 36 for nearly five weeks. The orthodontist told me that, during this period of time, I could get away with wearing them for 16 hours a day instead of the 20-22 previously required.

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Invisalign Update: Tray 34/36 & Refinement Trays Soon

Invisalign Update - 34/36 - Refinement Trays

Suddenly, nearly nine months have passed. For about two months, now, my upper teeth have been very nearly straight. Not perfect, but such a night-and-day difference from my starting point that they may as well be. Throughout the process, my confidence in my teeth has grown even though they’re a work in progress. I don’t hide my teeth when I smile now – it’s pretty weird! Good weird. :) After the trays I started earlier this week, I have two more left. On April 3, I return to my orthodontist and will almost certainly be rescanned with the iTero Element to establish a a course of refinement trays. This probably means I’ll be hanging out in my 36th tray for a while!

What are Refinement Trays?

If the initial course of trays didn’t quite get everything where it needs to be further correction is required. Usually, new impressions or a new scan is taken, then new refinement trays are fabricated. The refinement trays are the same type of thing as the original course and may or may not include the same number of attachments or other ‘tools’ to advance the plot of straightening your teeth.

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Invisalign Update: Cavity Update

Aiming to correct my teeth - Invisalign - Cavity Update

A couple weeks ago, I shared that I had fears of a cavity recurring or worsening. The following Monday, I went to see my dentist. Fortunately, the discomfort had subsided, but I was still skeptical of the tooth. What did it mean for my oral health and the course of my Invisalign treatment?

Flooded with trepidation that this damn tooth was causing problems, I marched into my dentist’s office. We promptly took a new set of bite-wing X-rays.

Apparently the composite used for Invisalign Attachments looks funny on X-rays.

Survey Says

My hygienist couldn’t commit to a diagnosis without the dentist taking a look, but between my explanation of the timeline of my symptoms, how I was managing them when they were present, and the absence of a spooky spot on the X-rays… things looked okay.

We went about my cleaning. Even though I am religious about my dental hygiene appointments, I somehow always forget how wildly unpleasant the scraping aspect of a cleaning is. This time, I needed less of that attention than ever (that’s what brushing and flossing 3-4x/day gets you! woo!) but I would rate that routine aspect of a dental cleaning as worse (yes!) than IPR.

Cavity Update

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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).

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