When it comes to orthodontics, there are a number of different treatment options with varying orthodontic devices. Braces, palate expanders, headgear, spacers, and Invisalign are all different types of orthodontia. These devices each target common orthodontic issues and, by the end of treatment, offer each patient a perfect smile. Methods like palate expanders, traditional braces, and spacers have been around for years and are proven effective. What about the new kid on the block, Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that is quicker and cheaper than traditional braces. Instead of metal wires and brackets, the treatment uses a series of clear trays, which gradually move the teeth into position throughout the process. Each tray is worn for one to two weeks and then the next tray is introduced to shift the teeth into their next position. By the end of treatment, the teeth will all have shifted into the exact position they are supposed to. Invisalign are praised for their discrete and nearly undetectable form, but what are their limitations?
What Orthodontic Issues can Invisalign Treat?
Invisalign can treat almost every single thing traditional braces can. Here is the full list:
- Overbite: An overbite is characterized by front teeth that protrude over the bottom teeth. With Invisalign, this condition can be considerably reduced and effectively eliminated.
- Underbite: Pretty well opposite to an overbite, an underbite is where the bottom teeth are in front of the top teeth. To correct this, the bottom teeth need to gradually be shifted back as the lower jaw is drawn backwards as well.
- Overcrowding: Overcrowding in mouths is fairly common, it can mean teeth are closer together and may cause frequent shifting within the mouth if not corrected.
- Crooked teeth: Crooked teeth happen for a number of reasons; luckily, Invisalign can shift each tooth into the correct smile position and leave a patient with a glowing grin!
- Gaps: Invisalign treatments can close gaps less than 6mm between teeth. Closing gaps in a smile is cosmetic but can improve eating habits, as well as speech.
- More open bite: Open bites occur when the top front teeth are unable to meet the bottom teeth. This can cause speech problems as well as issues with eating.
What are the Limitations?
As you see, the orthodontic reaches of Invisalign are vast. The only true limitations of Invisalign come in extreme cases. Traditional braces can bring down teeth if they begin in the wrong position, unfortunately, Invisalign cannot bring down teeth into the correct position. Additionally, if a tooth is rotated more than 20 degrees, Invisalign cannot turn it fully around. Finally, Invisalign cannot alter tooth shape. Certain tooth shapes may have better luck with an alternative orthodontic procedure.