Are you putting off straightening your teeth because you don’t want braces but think your teeth are too crowded for Invisalign? We are here to let you know that clear aligners are more effective on severe crowding than many patients realize.
Aligners offer a number of benefits, and many prefer them to braces. Aligners are nearly invisible, more comfortable, require fewer office visits, and do not limit food choices. For these reasons, when possible, many patients choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces.
At one time, clear aligners were reserved for more mild cases of misaligned or crowded teeth. But this treatment option has become more advanced in recent years. Aligners are now an option for many patients with severe crowding, as well as other orthodontic issues, who would prefer to avoid conspicuous braces.
What Does it Mean to Have Crowded Teeth?
Crowded teeth occur when the teeth are too close together and overlap with one another. This often happens when the jaw is disproportionately small compared with the teeth. Another possible cause is an atypical growth pattern where certain teeth may grow spaced closer together or come in misaligned with one another. Whether teeth are categorized as mildly, moderately, or severely overcrowded will depend on how many teeth overlap and to what extent.
Results of Overcrowded Teeth
Overcrowding can cause a number of dental and lifestyle problems. The most obvious difficulty with crowded teeth that you may suffer from is being unhappy with your teeth’s appearance. Many patients with overcrowding are self-conscious about their teeth, which can lead them to avoid their natural smile. Dissatisfaction with one’s appearance can affect self-esteem as well as contribute to mental health issues.
In addition, crooked teeth are harder to clean. This can lead to more tooth decay, cavities, and even gum disease and recession. Moreover, crowded teeth can cause difficulties with speech and chewing. And, believe it or not, tooth crowding can even trigger migraines.
Treating Severe Overcrowding with Invisalign
Early versions of clear aligners were designed to treat mild crowding while being nearly invisible. Unfortunately, the benefits of this treatment option were not available to those with more severe alignment issues. But today, Invisalign has come a long way, and can treat severe cases much more effectively.
As technology became more advanced, the materials used to make aligners have been improved upon. While these materials are still crystal clear, Invisalign has become more and more effective at correcting overcrowding.
In addition to better materials, aligners can now be fabricated to work with attachments (nearly invisible anchors bonded to the surfaces of the teeth) that are more effective at moving teeth and their roots.
Similar to braces, Invisalign is now capable of utilizing rubber bands to exert more force on the teeth. Rubber bands can come in bright, fun colors or can blend in with teeth to be inconspicuous.
Can Invisalign Treat an Overbite?
Modern clear aligners can not only treat severe overcrowding, but they can correct a number of other orthodontic issues that would have once required braces. These include:
- Open Bite
- Gaps Between Teeth
- Buck Teeth (Protrusion)
Are Aligners Right for Me?
While aligners have come a long way in the past couple of decades, they may still not be right for everyone. Certain types of orthodontic issues may benefit more from braces. Occasionally, a combination treatment is possible, shortening the time in braces by utilizing aligners.
The only way to find out which course of treatment will give you the straightest smile possible is to talk to your trusted orthodontist. If you are curious whether the new advancements with Invisalign clear aligners make them an option for your severe tooth crowding, request a complimentary consultation to learn more.