My dentist is recommending that I get Invisalign because my teeth are crowding. I’m somewhat surprised since I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was a teenager. At that time, the dentist that removed them told me that I wouldn’t require any type of orthodontics in the future since the wisdom teeth removal provided more space.
However, as I have gotten older, there have been more crowding and I realize it needs to be fixed. Will Invisalign fix my crowding or is there an alternative treatment option?
-Dusty in Indiana
Thank you for your question. There are many causes for crowding, even if you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed.
When teeth start crowding each other, it is referred to as overcrowding. The teeth are influenced by many factors and aren’t permanently set. In fact, that is why orthodontics and treatments like Invisalign are successful in straightening teeth.
The current shifting of your teeth could have been due to something causing it or it could be predetermined genetics.
Here is a quick overview of some of the reasons overcrowding occurs:
- Genetics: Some individuals have naturally smaller jaws or teeth that are too large to function well in their mouths. A narrow palate is an issue that can also cause other alignment issues. If the teeth don’t come together correctly, the continuous biting and chewing forces may force them out of position.
- Clenching or grinding: You may not realize it, but you may clench or grind your teeth while you are asleep. This can cause teeth to shift or move out of position.
- Childhood habits: If you sucked your thumb or used a pacifier while you were a child, it can influence your teeth as an adult. The reoccurring pressure is a factor that may cause crowding.
- Missing teeth: If you have a tooth that is missing, other teeth can shift into the open space.
- Oral hygiene: Regular cleanings and exams are imperative to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Periodontal disease can cause teeth to become loose and shift.
- Ill-fitting dental work: Sometimes a crown, filling or other dental restoration can cause teeth to reposition. If you ever have dental work that doesn’t feel right, contact your dentist to have it adjusted.
- Trauma: Accidents or injuries can loosen the ligaments that hold teeth in place.
- Medical issues: Tumors or other medical conditions can impact your jaw and position of teeth.
- Patient noncompliance: If you had a retainer and didn’t keep up with it and wear it as directed, your teeth may shift back to their original positions.
Invisalign for Overcrowding
Patients love Invisalign for straightening teeth. It is a great solution to correct overcrowding if it is minor. People prefer Invisalign over traditional metal braces because they are more comfortable, they are removable and act much faster than braces, in about half the time.
A set of clear aligners is worn for two weeks and then a new set is provided that gradually repositions teeth to their desired positions. You should discuss your specific treatment plan with your dentist.
Best of luck.
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD