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Who Is a Good Candidate for Invisalign®?

By Byron J Nordhus D.D.S. on March 25, 2015

An Invisalign® tray sliding over the top row of teethNowadays, there are multiple ways to correct crooked teeth. From traditional braces to instant orthodontics with porcelain veneers, patients can achieve a straighter smile in a way that best suits their cosmetic and dental needs. Only one option, however, offers the orthodontic effectiveness of braces with substantially greater subtlety and aesthetics. Namely, Invisalign® allows patients to permanently straighten their teeth without those frustrating and embarrassing metal brackets and wires.

If you are looking for a way to straighten your smile but are unhappy with the prospect of braces, Invisalign® may be right for you. Refer to the following information on candidacy for treatment to learn whether you may be able to benefit from this innovative orthodontic technique, as offered by our Wichita dental practice.

Candidacy for Invisalign®

Invisalign® is used to correct crooked teeth and misalignment, much in the same way as traditional braces. Good candidates for treatment are therefore patients who wish to permanently straighten their teeth but do not want the orthodontic appliance to cover their smile in the process. In many cases, Invisalign® is able to address the same problems as regular braces, within a similar timeline and with comparable results. This does not mean both treatment options are necessarily interchangeable, however; Invisalign® is intended for teeth that are mildly or moderately crooked, and cannot correct some of the more complex problems that braces may be used for.

Assuming a patient’s smile can be adequately corrected through Invisalign®, good candidates must also be willing to commit to their treatment plan. This means wearing the customized aligning trays for 22 hours each day, taking them out only for meals and hygiene. If a patient does not consistently wear his or her aligners, treatment may be prolonged or not fully effective. 

Finally, patients should have accurate expectations for the Invisalign®process: they should understand the limitations of treatment, the sort of results they should expect, the projected treatment timeline, any potential side effects, and what will be expected of them throughout the process.    

Treatable Problems with Invisalign®

It can be difficult to recommend an appropriate treatment option without personally examining a patient’s teeth. Still, there are a few general problems that are often treatable through Invisalign®, which are commonly cited as guidelines for its capabilities. Such problems include:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Minor crookedness
  • Overbites
  • Underbites

A good frame of reference for Invisalign’s®limitations is that it can accomplish horizontal - but not vertical - movements. For example, teeth can be shifted toward or away from each other but not up or down the gum/jaw. Likewise, Invisalign® can be viewed as a predominantly cosmetic procedure. If teeth are so crooked or impacted that they pose a viable threat to one’s dental health, they will most likely require braces.

Who Is Not a Good Candidate?

As noted, patients with severe or complex alignment issues may not be good candidates for treatment. Similarly, teeth that are impacted or significantly rotated cannot be shifted through Invisalign®, although the aligners can be used with teeth that simply still need to grow in.

The presence of tooth decay or advanced gum disease may also present a problem for treatment. Rather than undergoing Invisalign® treatment and later requiring restorative dental work, it is best that patients receive any necessary restorative dentistry prior to beginning cosmetic or orthodontic treatment. Before deciding on Invisalign® or an alternative technique, speak with your dentist to gauge whether or not you are currently in a good position to begin treatment.

Come In for a Consultation

We will be happy to address any of your questions or concerns regarding the Invisalign® process, although the best way to learn about your potential treatment is to meet with a qualified dentist. Contact us today to schedule appointment with Dr. Nordhus.

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Wichita Office

11940 W Central Ave
Ste 100
Wichita, KS 67212

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (316) 721-6730