View RSS Feed

Take Two: My Second Go at a Straighter Smile

Tray 8: Eh, Not So Great...

Rate this Entry
I spoke too soon with my last blog post (well, was trying to come up with a rhyming title... guess I picked the wrong rhyme).

If you've been reading the boards, you may know the first part of this, but I feel I need to give the whole story. From the beginning.

A week ago, last Tuesday, I had my follow-up appointment and changed to Tray 8. Everything seemed fine. It was pretty difficult to get them out to eat dinner (since they had only been in a few hours), but I was starving!

The next day, Wednesday, after I ate lunch at work, I went to the bathroom as usual to brush my teeth and put my trays back in. I noticed that one of the attachments on my bottom tooth - the one that came off in my first week of Invisalign - was gone. It may have come off when I took the tray off Tuesday night, or when I was eating dinner and snacks, or even during lunch Wednesday. It was strange it came off so many months later, but I figured it'd be best to take care of it as soon as possible to avoid problems in treatment.

I went in first thing Thursday, since I had already taken the morning off for an eye doctor appointment. I drove to the orthodontist (15-20 minutes, other side of town), got the attachment put back on, and turned right back around to my side of town to make the eye doctor in time. So due to my need for speed, I didn't really pay attention to how the bottom tray looked in the mirror when I put it on, after the attachment got replaced. The orthodontist had already walked away before I put it on, so he didn't check to make sure it was fine, and neither did the assistant.

After my eye doctor appointment, I went home to eat before heading to work. After brushing my teeth and putting on my trays, is when I noticed the tray didn't fit quite right over the tooth with the replaced attachment. I didn't really think anything of it except maybe to get it looked at.

That evening, I realized it was a problem. I remembered they used the template to put the attachment back on, and thanks to some research from fellow board members, realized the correct way to put an attachment back on is to either cut that tooth from the template, or get a new template. See, the template is how your teeth were pre-Invisalign. I'm now at Tray 8. My teeth have moved. I also thought another possible reason was that it just wasn't filed down enough, and that's why the attachment didn't fit inside the bubble of my tray.

I had to wait Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before I could call since they're closed all of those days. Between then, I had a little freak-out Friday night (I thought the tooth moved a lot, but in reality maybe only a little bit, and had horrible images of root problems and having to get new trays made and the tray not fitting once it was fixed)... I called first thing Monday morning, thinking they could get me in, but I had to wait until this afternoon for an appointment because the orthodontist was completely booked.

I left work early today to go over there... praying it didn't mess with the treatment too much and was an easy fix... and...

Can I say how DISAPPOINTED I am? Up until now (well, middle of last week more like it), I have been super duper happy with my orthodontist and the office, and feel valued, and think things have been going great. Now? I feel like my concerns didn't matter and that my worries are for nothing.

The assistant looked at my teeth first, and saw the gap, and after getting my tray out put the template back on. Then she cut it (though to have three teeth together, not just one like Align Tech says to do in their video) and put it on. Then had the orthodontist come over to take a look.

He blamed the TRAY on the fact that it didn't fit right. He wasn't going to do anything. He said I should have nothing to worry about.

I wasn't mean but I was trying to get him to understand: the tray was NOT like that when I put it on last Tuesday, at least from what I can remember, and only started being like that after the attachment was replaced. (Even if it was like that before the attachment issue, what explains the fact that the tooth hurt a bit on Friday, and my jaw on that side as well, and the difference between how my teeth are next to each other in reality compared to what the tray is supposed to be?)

After expressing my concerns, he shaved the attachment down a little, but there's still a gap. I asked if I had issues when I changed trays next week, that I should call. He seemed to acknowledge it but didn't seem to believe it'd be a problem and walked away since I guess he's really busy.

Maybe when I change to Tray 9, it will fit okay and not a problem. Maybe it is a tray bubble issue. I hope my concerns and worries are for nothing, but I can't help but think that this is going to cause problems down the road.

Is it bad that I want this attachment to come off for a third time? Part of me thinks there'd be less of a problem with the attachment gone (there's another one on the same tooth that has been fine) then with it not fitting, like now.

I am frustrated. Frustrated that I had these expectations of my orthodontist being awesome, and in some ways is, but today felt like I wasn't being heard and left a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended). On top of it, add crazy work stress and I feel like I'm going to have a mental breakdown. Not really, but I feel like nothing is going right.

I will admit, for the first time since starting Invisalign, a few days ago I wondered if this was all a mistake. Did I go to the right orthodontist? Should I have shopped around? Should I have even done Invisalign in the first place?

I'm sorry to write a book about this, but I've got to get it out, and what better place than people who may have had similar experiences?

Edit 8:55pm. I keep comparing the tooth to the tray. I think with the trays, it looks better than before the sanding down. But to me, it looks like the attachment is the wrong angle or in wrong place. I tried to get pictures but a little hard... But can you tell?


Updated 02-12-2013 at 09:59 PM by hollins2007



  1. Invisaligned's Avatar
    I would give the Dr. the benefit of the doubt that everything is going to be OK until for some reason it isn't. I find with myself the difficult thing with being in charge of our own tray changes it's hard to really determine if the way a tray fits is still acceptable if it's a little "off" so we are tempted to check with the orthodontist to be reassured things are going according to plan.

    I think maybe you are worrying too much because they did things differently than you saw in the video but if the tray fits over your tooth and attachment I would just relax about it and trust what they told you. I think it looks pretty well placed based on the pics.
  2. W1ngz's Avatar
    I'm gonna go with Invisaligned on this one. I'm sure it will all work out. If there's one thing I've noticed, is that until you get used to something being different, the smallest change in my mouth can feel sometimes like entire teeth have switched places, when all it is, is a tiny fraction of a movement.

    The other thing I have to constantly remind myself of, is just how little I (we collectively) really know. This forum is a great wealth of information and support, but it gives us just enough knowledge to scare ourselves sometimes.

    Give it some time. A new attachment for sure will feel different than an 8 tray old attachment. It's pointy, it's not worn at all. In fact I'd almost bet that since its new, it's doing a better job than the old one could have if it hadn't decided on early retirement :)
  3. Thomas_9's Avatar
    I cant read that whole post right now. But i will when i get more of a chance. So im just commenting to let you know that im here since its been a bit quite of late... Ill just edit this when i read it all. But judging by the big word disappointed i hope everything can be sorted out!
  4. hollins2007's Avatar
    Invisaligned and W1ngz: thanks for the comments. I just can be a worry wart sometimes, and it seemed that it was really really wrong the way it had a gap like that. And W1ngz, I didn't even think about the old attachment wearing down until you mentioned it... that could be it.

    I know I should trust my orthodontist but I was just put off by how the whole appointment happened yesterday. He could've reassured me more or actually LISTEN to my concerns instead of seeming like he was blowing them off. But we'll see how it goes next week when I go to Tray 9 (my last single digits, whoo).

    Thomas: Thanks for the comment even though you didn't read the entry yet ;)
  5. Invisaligned's Avatar
    Hopefully it will all work out. On my last tray (6) the tray didnt sit right on my one lower incisor that is the most out of whack but I just continued to wear it like that and fortunately tray 7 fits a whole lot better and has been so much more comfortable.

    I just try not to be an alarmist and want to avoid having to go back to the orthodonist as much as possible between my regularly scheduled appointments. Their office is by my house and I work about 1.5 hours each way from there so I tend to just shrug off an imperfect fit as long as I can get the thing on and figure in a day or two they will settle in and be better and so far so good. I wasted too many days off for dental appointments and what not last year that I'm trying to save them for fun stuff this year!
  6. Millenia's Avatar
    I'm going to jon the "I'm sure it'll all be fine" crowd. I understand your frustration with your ortho as they sometimes don't realize you truly need your concerns addressed. In his mind, it wasn't an issue and he probably just didn't get the hint that you needed more reassurance this time.

    We'll wait and see how tray 9 fits. And like Wingz said, it probably has a lot to do with it being a fresh attachment with no wear.
  7. snhamilton's Avatar
    ^Agreed. I would wait until the next tray to decide what to do next.
  8. SopranoKris's Avatar
    I'm really hoping all that needs to happen is some more movement with the newly re-attached attachment and then it will seat more properly. I'm going to agree and say wait until Tray 9 to see if there's a huge difference. I can see what you mean in your pictures. The attachment looks like it's in a different spot than the tray.
  9. Thomas_9's Avatar
    I'm with the others. Im sure everything will be okay. Don't stress about it too much. Hopefully the next tray fits fine!