Clear aligners (Invisalign)
Problems with how the teeth come together (malocclusion) – affects roughly 56% of the population. Generally, braces and clear aligners are associated with straightening teeth and improving esthetics. While this is an important outcome for many patients – it is not the whole picture. Many functional issues with how teeth come together are less evident and not commonly associated with aligning teeth. Proper tooth alignment provides both functional and aesthetic benefits.
Does your jaw hurt?
Jaw joints are complicated, and many issues can cause them to hurt. A unilateral, or one-sided- bite, will cause imbalance in the joints of your jaw. This can cause pain in both the teeth taking extra force and pain in the jaw joint itself. Digital scans of your teeth can show how your teeth come together and identify this issue. Proper tooth alignment can balance the bite and create even forces shared across the teeth on both sides which can help to reduce jaw pain.
Have you or your dentist noticed that your teeth are wearing down faster than expected?
If this has been identified, it is likely that clenching, grinding, or diet was discussed. In the past, a patient’s daily habits were used to determine a common diagnosis for excessive tooth wear but this explanation may not be addressing the whole problem. With advancements in digital dental scans, areas where tooth contact is not ideal can easily be identified and with multiple scans tooth wear can be tracked and measured. If teeth are misaligned causing areas of the tooth to take more force than other teeth, they will wear down faster. Aligning teeth can stop teeth from hitting early and evenly distribute force across multiple teeth to help reduce or eliminate excessive tooth wear.
Are there some spots that are very difficult to clean despite your best efforts?
Not all tooth alignment requires braces. Clear aligners are a modern treatment modality that integrates technology and clinical dentistry. Digital scans can help to visualize functional problems with how teeth come together and predict the outcome of treatment. Having your dentist analyze your progress using remote monitoring can reduce the number of in person visits throughout your treatment. Aligning teeth may not take as long as you think – many cases can be completed in as little as 6 months. Clear aligner trays are nearly invisible and are removable. Tooth alignment can be accomplished aesthetically and without giving up the foods you love.
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