I have been doing a lot of online research to see if Invisalign is the right fit for me. In doing so, I have come across a lot of conflicting information which is making me question what to do next. I am in my late 20s and have never had braces or anything. I vaguely remember being school age and the dentist was telling my parents I needed a palate expander. It sounded pretty elaborate and they simply didn’t have the money for it.
Now, I am an adult and still have a lot of crowding in my teeth and it is pretty narrow. I have heard good things about Invisalign and how it’s much more comfortable than braces and works much more quickly. So, I’m pretty excited about the possibility. However, I don’t know if I still need to have something done to widen my smile before I am a candidate. Can you help point me in the right direction?
-Gena in Idaho
Well, we can provide you with some information about the generalities involved with Invisalign. However, you are likely finding conflicting information since every case is different. Each patient has different issues that need to be corrected. So, without having seen your case in person, it is difficult to give you any individualized answers. For what it’s worth, here is some information about Invisalign and how it works.
The short answer is yes. Invisalign can be used to widen a smile. But it all depends on how much space is available in with your jaw and in your mouth. Your teeth will shift and it all depends on the area available for them to be shifted properly into place. An Invisalign dentist will be able to provide you with a sophisticated computer model which will show you what is reasonable for your situation.
In some cases, a narrow palate and crowding my inhibit the success that Invisalign can provide. It is likely that a palate expander was recommended to you when you were much younger because your jaw and facial structure was still being developed. This type of treatment is recommended for kids under the age of 10. Sometimes an orthodontist will still use this technique in boys up to 14 years old and in girls to the age of 13. Again, everyone is different and it all depends on an individual’s development. Unfortunately, when an expander is required, there is a good chance that braces will not be successful later in life to the level of achieving the results you desire.
The good news is that there are still other options. The treatment plan may end up being more invasive and require extraction of teeth to create additional space. Or there are other orthodontic tools or appliances that will work similarly.
Again, it is important to realize that each case has unique challenges. What works for someone else with a narrow palate may not work for you. The best thing for you to do is to go in for a couple different consultations so the orthodontist or dentist can give you recommendations based on your specific needs. There is nothing wrong in seeking multiple opinions so you can figure out a treatment plan that is right for you.
Thank you for your questions. Hopefully, this is the first step in putting you on the path to a beautiful smile.
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD.