Are You An Invisalign® Candidate? Dr. Stone Explains

Invisible braces are all the rage these days. Clear aligners like Invisalign® offer an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable alternative to traditional metal braces. But how do you know if you’re an ideal candidate? Dr. Jay Stone at Premier Birmingham Dentistry details who’s suited for Invisalign and what it can treat.

Call (248) 644-8520 to schedule your consultation and learn whether you’re a good candidate for Invisalign clear aligners at our Birmingham, MI, dental office.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign consists of clear plastic aligners that incrementally move the teeth into place over time. Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks before switching to the next. The Invisalign process typically lasts between one to two years, with the average being 18 months.

Invisalign aligners are custom-made with SmartTrack material that applies gentle forces to shift the teeth into place based on a personalized treatment plan. Aligners are nearly invisible, so most people won’t even notice you’re straightening your teeth.

Young girl holding Invisalign - dentist in Birmingham, MI

Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign offers a host of advantages over traditional braces:

  • Aesthetics: Invisalign aligners are practically invisible, allowing you to straighten your teeth discreetly. 
  • Removability: Aligners can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. You’ll also be able to enjoy the foods you love without restriction.
  • Comfort: Aligners are smooth and comfortable. No brackets or wires digging into your cheeks.
  • Hygiene: Removable aligners allow better brushing and flossing compared to braces.
  • Speech: You’ll avoid the minor speech impediment sometimes caused by braces.
  • Shorter Treatment Times: Invisalign average treatment times are generally faster than braces.
  • Fewer Office Visits: You’ll have fewer adjustments compared to monthly braces tightening.

Invisalign Candidacy Requirements

While Invisalign can treat a wide variety of cases, the best candidates meet these criteria:

  • Fully Erupted Permanent Teeth: All permanent teeth must be erupted, especially molars, to ensure Invisalign can effectively move teeth.
  • Mild to Moderate Alignment Issues: Invisalign works best for crowding, gaps, crooked or twisted teeth, and bite problems. Severe cases are better treated with braces.
  • Good Oral Health Habits: Responsible brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are a must for proper use and results.
  • Healthy Teeth and Gums: Cavities, gum disease, or other pre-existing conditions need treatment before Invisalign.
  • No Jaw Surgery Necessary: Invisalign cannot change skeletal structure needing surgery.

What Invisalign Can Fix

When used as intended, Invisalign can successfully treat:

  • Gap Teeth: Invisalign can close gaps efficiently with custom-made movements.
  • Crowding: Aligners can create space and align crowded teeth for an improved smile.
  • Crossbite: Invisalign can correct both anterior and posterior crossbites.
  • Underbite: Mild to moderate underbite issues can be improved with Invisalign treatment.
  • Open Bite: Aligners can help close an open bite by bringing down over-erupted teeth.
  • Overbite: Invisalign can help reduce excessive vertical overlap of front teeth.
  • Crooked Teeth: Rotated, twisted, or tilted teeth can be straightened with Invisalign.

Who Isn’t An Invisalign Candidate?

While Invisalign can treat many orthodontic issues in adults and teens, some cases are better handled with braces or other methods:

  • Severe Bite Problems: Invisalign has trouble correcting overbites over six millimeters or large underbites.
  • Skeletal Discrepancies: Only braces and surgery can align jaw misalignments and facial asymmetry.
  • Narrow Arches: Expanding narrow upper and lower arches is extremely difficult with Invisalign alone.
  • Blocked-Out Teeth: Impacted teeth need to be exposed before Invisalign treatment.
  • Major Tooth Movements: Teeth needing rotation greater than 20 degrees do better with braces.
  • Children Under 12: Invisalign works best on mature permanent teeth, making young kids poor candidates.
  • Dental Restorations: Crowns, bridges, and implants can hinder Invisalign’s tooth movements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Schedule Your Invisalign Consultation at Premier Birmingham Dentistry

If you’re wondering if you’re an Invisalign candidate, call Premier Birmingham Dentistry today at (248) 644-8520 to schedule an exam with Dr. Jay Stone. He’ll fully evaluate your smile’s needs and determine if Invisalign or braces are right for achieving your goals. Don’t wait any longer for the smile you’ve always wanted! We’re happily taking new and returning patients from Birmingham and the surrounding areas.