Maybe you have crooked front teeth but the rest of your smile is straight. Or perhaps as you’ve gotten older, your bite has changed a tiny bit.
If you’re worried that seeing an orthodontist to correct slightly crooked teeth will mean years in braces or Invisalign, I have good news. At Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics, my team and I offer limited Invisalign treatment for mild, cosmetic cases.
Limited treatment, or express Invisalign treatment, is when I create a treatment plan to achieve very specific tooth movements. I then have the exact number of Invisalign aligners you need printed. This offers a faster, more affordable option for minor teeth alignment.
Let’s dive in.
Comparing Teeth Straightening Options for Minor Misalignment
If you’re wondering how to fix one crooked tooth or even several, metal braces and clear braces probably aren’t the best solutions.
While, yes, they’re all effective for mild cases and you can technically get braces for one tooth, having brackets and wires placed and then removed within a few months may not be particularly convenient for you. That’s why fixed appliances are generally reserved for comprehensive treatment plans.
InBrace works very well for this if it’s crowding of the lower front teeth. I always help patients weigh all of their options, so based on your needs, it could be a contender.
Ordering clear aligners online to straighten teeth at home isn’t advisable. As you may have recently heard, the direct to consumer orthodontic company, Smile Direct Club, just filed for bankruptcy. This has left many customers stranded without the supervision necessary to ensure a good result and proper bite.
Additionally, shifting even a single tooth will change your bite (the way the upper and lower teeth come together). Without a treatment plan based on x-rays and an in-person examination and an orthodontist overseeing your care, at best, the results will be underwhelming and, at worst, you could be left with serious issues. Read more about the dangers of at-home clear aligners here.
Can a retainer straighten teeth? No, not really. A retainer is designed to hold your teeth in their current positions. While if your teeth have shifted slightly and your retainer still fits, it will bring them back into their proper places, it won’t straighten teeth beyond that. Wearing a retainer will, however, prevent misalignment from getting worse.
This is the best teeth straightening option for minor misalignment. A JKO team member will take digital scans of your teeth and gums to create a digital 3D model of your mouth. I’ll plan out your treatment directly on the model, even showing you a preview of what your smile will look like.
An aligner lab, like Invisalign, will print out your custom clear aligners based on my specifications. The aligners will be pre-programmed to achieve the specific tooth movements needed to correct your mild misalignment. While it depends on your needs, limited Invisalign treatment can take as little as six months. When treatment is finished, I’ll design a custom retainer for you to wear to maintain your results.
Who is a Candidate for Limited Invisalign Treatment?
- People who had orthodontic treatment in the past but whose teeth shifted after not wearing their retainer.
- People who never needed orthodontic treatment but have developed minor misalignment over time.
- Patients with an aligned, stable bite and just a few slightly crooked teeth or small gaps.
Can I Get Invisalign on My Bottom Teeth or Top Teeth Only?
If your bottom teeth are straight, getting Invisalign on the top teeth only might seem like a great, cost-saving measure. However, as I mentioned above, moving even a single tooth changes the bite (like a dental filling that feels too high). To create the ideal relationship between the upper and lower arches, we usually need to use Invisalign on the bottom teeth and top teeth.
There are specific cases where single-arch Invisalign treatment could be a possibility (check out my post on getting braces just on the top or bottom teeth), but they’re pretty rare.
Is Invisalign Cheaper if Your Teeth Aren’t That Bad?
Yes, Invisalign is cheaper if your teeth aren’t that bad and you only require limited treatment. The cost for minor tooth movement will depend on your individual case and how long your treatment lasts. That said, express Invisalign treatment will be less expensive than comprehensive Invisalign treatment.
At Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics, we accept most insurance and offer in-office, no-interest financing to make Invisalign work for your budget.
See if Limited Invisalign Treatment is Right for You
Get a confident smile and better oral health by fixing slightly crooked teeth with expert-led Invisalign treatment. To find out if you’re a candidate for limited Invisalign, book a free consultation at Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics in El Dorado Hills, CA.