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What Can Invisalign® Fix?

Since its introduction to the market in 1998, Invisalign has been a revolution in orthodontics. Millions of patients have found Invisalign to be an attractive alternative to traditional braces because of its aesthetic appeal and the ability to enjoy more food options during treatment comfortably. 

While the technology used in clear aligners can resolve many dental issues, depending on your individual needs, your orthodontic specialist may recommend another kind of treatment. 

Read on to learn how Invisalign treatments can correct common issues like open bites, fix gaps, crowding, and overbites.

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Can Invisalign Fix:

Can Invisalign Fix Open Bites?

If you are dealing with a malocclusion (where your teeth don’t align properly) like an open bite, then Invisalign may be a good fit. Clear aligners like Invisalign are an excellent option for closing an open bite without the need for traditional wire-and-bracket braces. 

Can Invisalign Fix Gaps?

In many cases, it does! Invisalign can often correct spacing issues and close the gap between teeth. A space between two teeth can allow for food to get easily trapped, thus creating an environment where gum disease and other issues can develop.

Can Invisalign Treat Overcrowding?

If your jaw doesn’t have enough space to accommodate all your teeth, they can overlap and become overcrowded. If you have mild overcrowding with your front teeth, the Invisalign system typically takes only 6-8 months. For more moderate to severe cases of overcrowding, it could take up to 18 months or more to see the full results. 

Can Invisalign Fix Overbites?

Invisalign has also proven to be effective at correcting mild to moderate overbites. Over time, the pressure applied by the clear aligners will naturally shift your teeth to a more comfortable position, allowing them to fit properly together.

Can Invisalign Fix Underbites?

An underbite is a condition where your bottom teeth sit in front of your top teeth; this can impact speech and create excessive wear on your teeth over time. Invisalign can also be used to treat underbites, using the pressure created by the aligners to adjust the bottom teeth to a more comfortable position behind the top teeth. 

Can Invisalign Fix Crossbites?

A crossbite is when some upper teeth sit inside lower teeth instead of outside. This condition can cause teeth to wear down, chip, and the gums to start to recede. In many cases, Invisalign can be used to treat mild to moderate anterior or posterior crossbite and adjust these incorrectly positioned teeth back to the right place.  

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What Can Invisalign Not Fix?

Whether you are seeking to fill the gaps between your front teeth or simply straighten out your smile, Invisalign can generally be recommended for most people! That being said, some dental complications are not a good fit for Invisalign treatment.

Tooth Shape

If your teeth are small, round, pegged, overly sharp or misshapen, clear aligners may not be suitable to fit your needs. Instead, your orthodontist may recommend braces or other options to improve your smile.

Tooth Position and Location

When your teeth become overcrowded, a tooth may rotate itself to fit. Invisalign can be a good choice to fix rotated teeth, but it has limits. If your molars rotate over 20 degrees, clear aligners may not be able to adjust them to the desired position. 

Some teeth, like incisors, canines, and premolars, are more malleable and may be corrected beyond 20 degrees of rotation. In such cases, braces will usually be recommended to correct severely rotated or tilted teeth. Similarly, if a tooth is tilted over 45 degrees, Invisalign may be ineffective.

Large Gaps

While Invisalign is often suitable for correcting smaller gaps between your teeth, it has some limitations. If you have a gap between two teeth more prominent than 6mm, Invisalign is not recommended as a treatment option. However, 6mm is quite a large gap and is generally uncommon. 

Intrusion and Extrusion

Invisalign is also not a viable solution for intrusion or extrusion, which means it can’t be used to vertically move the teeth up or down in the mouth. While it can slightly raise or lower the teeth, braces may be the better solution for teeth that require a vertical shift. 

Midline Movement

The midline is the imaginary line down the middle of the face. Some patients seek Invisalign treatment to help correct their front teeth and straighten their midline. While Invisalign can correct the midline up to 2mm, anything larger than that will probably need to be treated with alternative appliances.

Prior Dental Work

It’s also important to consider that some prior dental work may disqualify Invisalign as a treatment option. For example, having a dental bridge is not compatible with Invisalign. Similarly, some porcelain veneers or crowns may impede Invisalign because they prevent the aligners from bonding to the tooth’s surface. 

Once your aligners have been made, any other major dental work must be paused until after the treatment is complete. This is because Invisalign is a process, and working on teeth can cause your aligner system to no longer work correctly. 

Is Invisalign Right For You?

Over the years, Invisalign has grown in popularity because its “invisible” design makes it a great option if you are considering aesthetic practicalities. That being said, aesthetics should never be the #1 consideration when looking for treatments, and it’s essential to focus on finding the right solution for your needs and lifestyle. 

Whether the answer is clear braces or a traditional system, you should have a personal consultation with a trusted orthodontist to help get you on the path toward the smile you’ve been dreaming of having.

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