How Cavities Can Affect Your Invisalign Treatment

Posted on: 8 March 2022

Will your Invisalign braces conveniently and expertly reposition your misaligned teeth? Absolutely. Can this still happen if your teeth have fillings in them? Definitely. Are you able to get a cavity filled during your Invisalign treatment? Well, you can, but it's not the wisest option for the success of your orthodontic treatment, or for your wallet. 


Invisalign braces are custom-made for each individual user. The aligner trays are designed to hug the precise contours of each tooth, with the view that these contours will not change during your treatment. If your orthodontist notes any cavities while inspecting your teeth, you will be advised to have these filled. Your orthodontist will refer you back to your dentist for this to happen. It's really not optional.

New Fillings and Existing Fillings

Any cavities must be filled, and it can be useful to ask your dentist to inspect your existing fillings. A filling can remain intact for a decade (if not longer), so it might be that some of your dental restorations have reached an age when replacement is wise. Fillings may also come to a premature end, weakening and pulling away from the edges of the cavity. This can be partially due to the unnatural bite forces that your teeth are experiencing, which your orthodontic treatment is aiming to correct. You can then proceed with having impressions taken of your bite, which will be used to create your aligner trays.

Further Deterioration

If you don't have a cavity filled prior to your Invisalign treatment, the tooth may be at considerable risk of further deterioration. The average treatment time for Invisalign is 13.5 months (although your own duration may vary), and an untreated cavity can worsen during this time. But what's to stop you from having the cavity filled during your treatment?

A Precise Fit

However minimal the changes might be, the addition of a dental restoration to a tooth changes the contours of the tooth. These changes mean that the aligner trays may no longer be a precise fit. A very small filling may be permitted without disrupting your treatment, but it's difficult to accurately anticipate the size of any filling that might be needed. If you should need to have a cavity filled during your treatment, it becomes possible that you will need to have a new series of aligner trays made for you, and this involves an extra cost.

Invisalign can work with existing fillings, but can't always accommodate the presence of a new dental restoration (unless it's particularly small and doesn't alter the tooth's structure). This is why, for the best results, cavities should be filled before beginning Invisalign.