Question - I have a large gap between my two front teeth that makes me self-conscious and uncomfortable. But, as an adult, I don’t want to wear metal braces to correct the situation. I’ve heard about Invisalign®, and I wonder if it will work for me?
Answer- Thanks for taking the time to ask a great (and common) question. Many Philadelphia residents inquire about whether Invisalign® will correct gapped teeth, so you are not alone. Clinically known as a diastema, a gap between front teeth can negatively affect the appearance of your smile and your self-confidence. As one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments available, Invisalign® incorporates untraditional, inconspicuous orthodontic aligners to reposition teeth that are crowded, overlapped, oddly spaced, or gapped.
What Causes Gapped Teeth?
Spaces between teeth can result from the size differential between the jawbone and the combined length of all teeth on one arch. A person with a jaw too small to accommodate all teeth may experience overlapping, crowded teeth. On the flip side, gaps between teeth occur when the jaw provides more than adequate space for all of the teeth. They simply spread out in the available space to evenly disperse the workload of chewing and biting.
While Madonna, Elijah Wood, and Michael Strahan opted to keep a diastema as part of their image, not everyone appreciates a gaping space between their upper, two front teeth. Gapped teeth typically cause no functional problems, unless they don’t align properly with the rest of the teeth. If you aren’t a fan of how your diastema looks, Invisalign® may provide a low-key, highly effective treatment option.
How Invisalign® Works
Let’s begin by understanding exactly how Invisalign® braces differ from traditional metal braces with wires and brackets.
With Invisalign®, a series of custom-made plastic aligner trays, worn for about two weeks each, incrementally move teeth into proper alignment. The trays are made from smooth, clear acrylic and are worn over teeth for 22 or more hours a day.
Often considered more comfortable than metal braces, Invisalign® can be removed when the patient is eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. Because of this, Invisalign® makes maintaining healthy gums and good dental hygiene easy.
Treatment requires a checkup at the dentist about every six weeks. Another advantage, especially to some adults - no one will see your “braces” while you undergo orthodontic treatment.
Typically, patients use Invisalign anywhere from nine to 15 months, although this varies depending on the severity of the misalignment and patient compliance with treatment. More than 730,000 people have worn Invisalign® or are undergoing treatment, according to the manufacturer.
Correcting Gapped Teeth
Invisalign® easily addresses gapped teeth by gradually moving them closer together. The team at Artistic Expressions Dentistry makes sure the teeth roots become straightened as well, which helps prevent the gap from returning.
We may suggest using the last set of aligners as a retainer, and we will recommend a permanent retainer, if needed, to keep the space closed.
A suburban cosmetic dentist, Dr. Bruce Wilderman, wants you to have confidence in your smile. Don’t live with gapped teeth - ask about Invisalign®. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.