October 6, 2021
If you’ve had braces in the past, your teeth may have moved a bit over the years. Maybe you missed your chance for braces as a child and are ready for a straight smile? No matter the reason, Invisalign is a nearly invisible solution to fix bite and alignment concerns. Typically, the aligners are used on both arches, but some situations are suitable for just the top or bottom. If you only want to make a few changes, here’s what you need to know to determine if you’re a candidate for single arch treatment.
Is Single-Arch Treatment Possible?
If you have minor alignment issues, like a gap between your front teeth, you can save time and money with single-arch treatment. Generally, orthodontics focuses on adjusting the relationship between your upper and lower teeth while also moving them into their correct positions. When only one arch is being improved, the treatment will focus more on a particular problem area, like two overlapping teeth.
Other than the underlying goal, the process of aligning your teeth is virtually unchanged. You’re provided with a series of custom-made aligners, which must be worn over your teeth for at least 22 hours per day. You will switch to a new aligner every 1-2 weeks, depending on your treatment plan, to correct your alignment concerns. Although every case differs, most patients are finished with single-arch orthodontics in 4-6 months.
Am I a Candidate for Invisalign on Just My Top Teeth?
Using Invisalign on only the bottom or top is possible for several situations; however, not everyone is a candidate. You’ll need a consultation to ensure you can safely move the teeth in one arch without negatively affecting your bite, so your oral health and quality of life aren’t compromised.
Most often, single-arch treatment is recommended for people with only a few crooked front teeth. If you have complex needs, like an improper bite, you will have to treat both the top and bottom. Generally, single-arch Invisalign is recommended to fix:
- Minor gaps or spacing issues
- Slightly crooked front teeth
- Tooth tipped out of alignment
- Relapse after previous orthodontic treatment
- Teeth in your smile zone
What are the Risks of Single-Arch Treatment?
Your upper and lower teeth require a precise balance. Even the smallest adjustment can change bite pressure points, which can lead to tooth wear, toothaches, broken teeth, and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain. Irreversible damage can occur when the harmony between the two arches is interrupted. Your cosmetic dentist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth to ensure you reach your goals without harming your smile.
If you’re ready to get a straight smile without brackets and wires, find out if you’re a candidate for single-arch Invisalign today.
About Dr. Alex Naini
Dr. Naini earned her dental degree from the University of Maryland Dental School before continuing her training at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. She has the qualifications you can trust for single-arch orthodontics. Contact our office today to see if Invisalign is right for you.
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