I don’t know whether it was because of a little over exuberance in removing my latest aligner, brought on by the thrill of being so close to the end of treatment (tray 31/34), or if it was the result of a few too many “adjustments” to my tray with a nail file, but I have managed to crack my #31 Invisalign tray.
Long time readers will remember that there have been a couple of occasions, particularly earlier in my treatment, where I had very slightly cracked one of my Invisalign aligners. Fortunately after a quick consultation with my Orthodontist it was decided that there was no harm done and I could keep wearing them. This time things were just a little more spectacular. Rather than a hairline crack as my previous ones have been, this aligner is split so that one part of it hangs limply from the other like a floppy, broken limb.
At the moment all the focus of my bottom tray is on opening up a gap sufficiently wide to allow my wayward tooth to move into it. This means that each tray shows a big change from the last one and it has been a struggle to get each new aligner in over the teeth that are moving the most. The aligner also has a slim piece of plastic now at this point rather than a tooth hole, and it is here that it cracked.
As it was number 31 that cracked and I am so close to the end of treatment, my immediate hope was that I could put in tray 32, perhaps wear it for a little longer, and still complete treatment as scheduled. My teeth had other ideas.
A cursory examination of set 32 showed that it was significantly different from set 31- so much so that it was hard to believe the change from one to another. So I knew that it would be a struggle- particularly as I had cracked #31 the first time that I wore it. Still, I was determined, and fairly sure I could get the tray in, one way or another.
Set 32- the unbroken aligner!
After about 2 frustrating minutes of huffing, puffing, wriggling and generally trying to jam my teeth into set 32 I realised that it wasn’t going to be easy. A closer inspection showed that there was a fundamental problem. One of the movements that set 31 must have been designed to achieve was to rotate the lower tooth next to the gap. Whilst this might have not made much difference if the tooth in question did not have an attachment, with an Invisalign button in place it meant that the bubble on the aligner to fit on the attachment was nowhere near the attachment itself. There was simply no way of fitting the aligner onto my tooth.
To cut a long story and a little telephone tag short, after a rather frantic call on my part, my orthodontist called me back to tell me that he has decided that rather than ordering a new #31 aligner- which could take some time given that we are in Australia- he will simply do a refinement to get my teeth to where we want them to be. We are so close to almost finishing this run, and he already knew that refinements would be necessary, that he has decided on balance that this is the best course. This will also allow him to look at the problem of widening both my arches further and so will hopefully solve two issues in one fell swoop.
The only delay now is that I need to wait for my orthodontist to have a long appointment free so that he can take more impressions of my teeth as they are now. He doesn’t have any for two weeks which means that in the meantime I need to wear set #30 lower for 22 hours a day and set #9 upper of my refinements as a retainer at night. This is fine, other than that sometimes it is hard to remember to put the lower one back in after eating, without the upper one needed too.
Nonetheless, I am happy to say that after my initial angst I am not too concerned about this temporary hiccup. I think it may turn out not to delay my treatment too much in the end, and might actually move me towards getting my upper arch perfect more quickly. No doubt it is all part of life’s rich Invisalign journey! Onwards and upwards..