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Am I Suitable for Invisalign?

Maybe? If you’re asking about Invisalign, you are probably hoping to straighten your teeth or otherwise restructure your smile. There are a few things that would make clear aligners unsuitable for you. Obviously, to get a definitive answer, you should see a local dentist like Clear Braces Direct but until then, this article will explore if clear aligners in general, or Invisalign to be specific, are appropriate for you.

What types of teeth can Invisalign help with?

Aligners are considered an effective treatment for mild to moderate orthodontic conditions. This has led to them being considered cosmetic, even though that is not strictly true. In turn, Invisalign and other clear aligners are not being used for more serious meshing problems or severe crowding/gaping, for instance, your molars (the big teeth at the back), are not meeting or you have a complex tooth arrangement. When some of your teeth are in front of the others you should seek a referral from your dentist to an orthodontic specialist or consultant if you are an adult.

What can aligners resolve?

  • Crooked front teeth/malocclusion
  • Rotated teeth
  • ‘Slanted’ or protruding teeth
  • Gaps between teeth

Are there age restrictions?

No, and in orthodontics, there never has been. Contrary to public opinions and assumptions, there is no strong evidence supporting the idea that orthodontic treatments are less effective with age (they are less effective with poor tooth and gum condition, but not necessarily age). The teen-braces stereotype is slowly fading with people of all ages engaging in orthodontics in ways never seen before. This may be due to the subtlety and ease of use of these aligners over traditional braces, or the convenience of receiving clear aligners via the post. The newest fitting techniques don’t even involve taking a dental mould.

If your teeth and gums are in good condition and you have all your adult teeth present, your age shouldn’t be a problem. To use Invisalign in particular, you must be least 13 and have parental permission for legal reasons. There are no upper age limits but the bone density of the jaw will become a factor in much older patients.

What could stop me being able you use clear aligners?

  • Advanced gum disease (that causes discomfort while chewing)
  • Multiple missing teeth in a row
  • A dental bridge which is anchored to your teeth
  • Dental implants

What are the options if I can’t use clear aligners

There are multiple options for treatment if you can not use aligners; there’s always a traditional brace with its excellent track record. If you find the appearance of a regular brace unpleasant, you could use lingual braces. They are similar to a standard metal brace but are affixed to the back of the teeth.

The halfway point between the clear aligners and metal braces would be ceramic braces, which have the same mechanism as a standard but are transparent.

There are many more possibilities, and you should talk to your local dentist to make an informed decision about your care and the treatment you wish to receive.