Dentist Says Invisalign Caused Toothache and Not a Concern

Man Calling Emergency Dentist for Invisalign Tooth Pain

I just started Invisalign two months ago and had a horrible toothache flare up a few days ago. I called my dentist and they told me that it was normal to have some discomfort when you start treatment or switch aligners. I asked if the doctor could look at it and they told me just to take ibuprofen and monitor it for a few days. I understand that orthodontics can sometimes cause tooth pain, but I don’t think that’s what this is and I told them that. It’s a single tooth that’s throbbing. I’ve had some pretty bad cavities in the past and that’s what this feels like.

I don’t know if they reviewed my x-rays or whatever before they talked to me. I do go in for regular checkups and they just took a full set a month or so before we started treatment. I kind of understand it if they’ve already got all the info they need, but I’m a little upset they won’t even look at it. They totally dismissed me. Is this something I can trust their judgment on and just monitor or should I just go down there and insist on being seen? Or find another local dentist to check it out?



Dear Wally,

You should either be seen by the dentist providing your Invisalign treatment or find another dentist to give a second opinion.

General Discomfort is Normal with Invisalign, Toothaches are Not

The achy feeling people get when they go through orthodontic treatment is generally from the ligaments stretching, though sometimes the teeth, themselves, can become irritated too. If one tooth is being tugged on more than others, you might feel some localized discomfort, but it really tends to be more generalized, where you can’t pinpoint which tooth it’s coming from.

Sharp or Throbbing Tooth Pain Needs to Be Checked Out ASAP

The type of pain you’re describing is not usually associated with orthodontic treatment. However, as you noted it is common when you’ve got a cavity. While something like that should have been discovered during your last exam and would likely be evidenced on your most recent x-rays, sometimes decay can be elusive. There are other causes for it too. For example, you could have cracked the tooth or it could have been injured and is now infected. These are things you do not want to take a wait-and-see approach with. It’s a bit alarming that your dental office didn’t volunteer to bring you in, let alone honor your request to be seen. Try them again, but this time, make sure it’s crystal clear what symptoms you’re experiencing and that you want to see the doctor. If they don’t jump right in and get you scheduled in the next 24 hours, you should find someone who will, and maybe even consider staying with that office if they treat you well.

Best of luck to you.

This blog is sponsored by Elgin Invisalign provider and emergency dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.

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