Can Invisalign® Treat Gapped Teeth?
By Andrew Mortensen, DDS on June 21, 2018
More and more people with crooked teeth have been turning to Invisalign®, an alternative to braces that uses clear plastic aligner trays. These trays are so inconspicuous that most people don’t notice they are in place. This has helped Invisalign® earn the nickname “invisible orthodontics”.
Plenty of patients at our Fountain Valley, CA who suffer from tooth gaps can benefit from Invisalign® treatment. Let’s consider why tooth gaps are a problem and how effective Invisalign® is at treating spacing issues.
Problems Caused by Tooth Gaps
If you have gaps between your teeth, there are several cosmetic and health problems to consider.
In terms of smile aesthetics, gaps between your teeth can leave you feeling quite self-conscious about the appearance of your smile. This is particularly true of spacing problems affecting your front teeth. You could feel reluctant to laugh, smile, and speak, even around people you have known for many years.
As far as dental health is concerns, tooth gaps can result in difficulty biting and chewing. This might even be painful depending on the size and location of the gap. Tooth gaps also contribute to risks of teeth grinding (bruxism) and TMJ disorders (TMD).
How Invisalign® Works
Invisalign® uses clear plastic aligners to straighten people’s teeth instead of brackets and wires like traditional braces. Invisalign® patients wear their aligners at all times except when eating, drinking, and cleaning their teeth. This adds up to around 22 hours a day.
After two weeks, the old Invisalign® aligner is discarded and a new Invisalign® aligner is worn instead. The process repeats itself. Gradually, over the course of several months, the Invisalign® aligners help close tooth gaps and improve overall dental alignment.
Good Candidates for Invisalign®
Good candidates for Invisalign® are people with crooked teeth and other malocclusion issues. Their problems with tooth alignment and spacing should not be too severe, and the issues should not involve the shape of the palate or the position of the jaw.
During the consultation process, we will determine if Invisalign® or a more advanced orthodontic procedure would be most ideal for you and your needs.
How Long Does Invisalign® Take?
For more patients, Invisalign® treatment takes about a year to two years. This is roughly the same amount of time they would wear traditional braces. The benefit is that the Invisalign® aligners are not as conspicuous as traditional metal braces.
Keep in mind that treatment times can vary. An estimated treatment length can be determined during your consultation at our practice.
The Results of Invisalign® Treatment
The results of Invisalign® are comparable to the results of traditional braces treatment. Patients will have straight, nicely spaced teeth with major gaps narrowed. They will experience improved dental aesthetics as well as better dental health thanks to the use of Invisalign® aligners.
Alternatives to Invisalign® for Treating Gapped Teeth
Sometimes a patient with tooth gaps will not be a good candidate for Invisalign® treatment. In such cases, alternatives will need to be considered.
For minor tooth gaps that are purely cosmetic in nature, porcelain veneers may be used to help conceal the gap and alter the size and shape of a tooth. For gaps too serious for Invisalign®, traditional braces and more advanced treatments may be considered.
Learn More About Invisalign®
For more information about Invisalign® and whether or not it’s the right option for you, be sure to contact an experienced dentist. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters in greater detail.
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“I am proud to have served patients in our community. Through continuing education and state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to offer you and your family the high level of care you're looking for.” Andrew G. Mortensen, D.D.S.