Will Invisalign Work Even If You Have Dental Implants?
If you are one of the 3 million U.S. residents who have had dental implants, but your teeth are still not as straight as you'd prefer, you may believe that there's nothing that can be done. Although implanted teeth are not able to move, clear aligners could be a solution for moving the teeth around your implant into the correct position.
Clear aligners, known as Invisalign, use a series of clear trays that cup your teeth and slowly move them into the right place. To be most effective and to work in a reasonable timeframe, they must be worn all the time -- between 20 and 22 hours -- when you are not eating, brushing or flossing your teeth.
Some mouths with dental implants are more likely to benefit from clear aligners than others, and the best way to determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign is to have an assessment through a dentist trained in their use. Properly trained dental professionals can even take scans of your mouth and produce 3D simulations that show how the teeth will move and what the end result will be.
However, some dental issues are easier to fix with clear aligners, even when you have implants.
Will Clear Aligners Fix Gaps in Teeth?
Spaces between teeth caused by missing teeth that allow the others to shift or overgrowth of the jawbone can make you unhappy with your appearance. The extra space can also cause problems with your gums where the teeth don't protect the soft tissue. Periodontal disease is the primary risk.
If you do have some missing teeth along with some implants, your dentist may prefer to use aligners to move some of the teeth first before inserting additional implants. This can give you the most even smile.
Will Clear Aligners Fix an Overbite or Underbite?
An overbite, where the top front teeth come over the bottom teeth, or an underbite, where bottom teeth are further forward, can both cause chewing and jaw problems because of the misalignment. The risk in correcting a misaligned bite with clear aligners is that you may push the real teeth ahead of or slightly behind the implants, which are stationary.
If You Just Want to Straighten Your Front Teeth, Will Clear Aligners Work?
If your implants are in the back of your mouth, but your crooked front teeth are what's really bothering you, it's probably possible to make some changes. However, depending on where the implants are located, there may be some limitations on exactly where the teeth can be moved.
What if You Have Bridgework?
If you have bridges that span multiple teeth, it is unlikely that you will be able to use clear aligners, at least on that part of your mouth. That's because the aligners are designed to work by moving each tooth individually and gradually, and two or more teeth together can't effectively be shifted.
Dental implants are not a reason why clear aligners cannot be used to straighten your teeth. Talk to your dentist to find out if they will work in your specific case.