If you have large or missing teeth gaps in your teeth, or if you have to extract the tooth for orthodontic treatment, you might want to know, “Can Invisalign fix gaps?”
Invisalign clear aligner fixes any types of gaps within 6 mm by putting pressure on the teeth and creating an ideal tooth movement. Whether it can close the big and missing teeth gap depends on the cause and the size of the gap. If your teeth are extracted to align teeth, it can also close the gaps. However, clear aligners can’t close gaps more than 6 mm.
But, if the cause of the missing tooth isn’t for tooth alignment purposes, you need other treatment options such as a crown, bridge, or dental implant.
Moreover, there are some orthodontic cases when clear aligners may not be helpful.
You may wonder, what are the factors that determine if the gaps can be closed using a clear aligner like Invisalign?
Let’s find it out.
Types of gaps that Invisalign can fix
You may have gaps between teeth due to many causes. Let’s know when Invisalign can close the gaps.
Generalized spacing between teeth
When you have spacing between most of the teeth, called generalized spacing, Invisalign clear aligner can fix the gaps quite nicely.
These types of spacings are genetic. It may occur due to excessive space in your arch or jaw than the size of teeth.
Small to medium teeth gaps
Invisalign system helps you close small to medium gaps between teeth easily. Whether the gap is in between two or more teeth, that’s not the problem.
Gaps in front teeth
A gap between front teeth may not give you a good look. The good thing is the aligner can correct that and give you straight teeth. This gap may be responsible for an extra tooth between the teeth, an abnormal frenal tissue presenting between teeth, or a habit.
Missing teeth from childhood
Some people have a missing tooth from childhood. It can be prevented under the gums or may not erupt at all. Some loss their teeth years ago due to some reasons.
These conditions cause uneven tooth alignment and lead to crowded teeth or an overbite. Invisalign can help you correct all of these issues caused by the missing teeth.
After the extraction of extra teeth
When you have an extra tooth, known as a supernumerary tooth, it’s mandatory to extract it before the treatment.
So, it creates a gap between your teeth. But, nothing to worry about that. The clear aligner closes the gaps and gives you a beautiful smile after the treatment.
Wisdom tooth gaps
If wisdom teeth are placed abnormally or causing any problems, it’s better to get rid of them. During the orthodontic treatment, they may need to be extracted.
As these teeth don’t affect any functional problem after removal, Invisalign can work effectively if there are any gaps.
Gaps due to habits
When children have bad oral habits such as thumbsucking and tongue thrusting, it puts pressure on teeth.
This shifts the teeth from their position and causes various problems including spacing between front teeth. A clear aligner can close the gap completely in that case. However, you must give up the habit.
Some tooth extraction cases
When there is not enough room in your jaw to rearrange the teeth to align them properly, tooth extraction is necessary.
Invisalign may correct some of those cases because of the invention of various attachments.
Gaps after braces treatment
Rarely small amount of gaps may persist or the previous gap may reopen after braces treatment. In that case, you can choose Invisalign to fix the spaces.
Types of gaps that Invisalign can’t fix
Here are the cases when Invisalign can’t close the gaps between teeth.
Severe tooth extraction cases
To treat crooked or crowded teeth, we need space in the arch. Sometimes two or four teeth may need to be extracted before the orthodontic treatment. In those cases, Invisalign may not work nicely like the braces. In my opinion, braces treatment is still the best choice to treat those conditions.
Missing tooth due to an injury
If you lose a tooth due to an injury, you need to see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. A clear aligner isn’t suitable for the case.
Tooth extraction due to reasons other than aligning teeth
Sometimes you may have your one or more teeth extracted due to teeth decay, gum disease, or other dental condition.
Besides, you may or may not have misaligned or crooked teeth. In those cases, Invisalign is not the option.
Too big gaps
When the size of the gap is large, especially more than 6 mm, the clear aligner may not be helpful.
Moreover, it may not be helpful in some extraction cases, when several teeth need to be extracted and there are a large number of gaps.
If the gap is due to an injury or any dental condition, it needs other alternatives such as the dental implant, crown, or bridge.
How does Invisalign close gaps?
During Invisalign treatment to close gaps between teeth, you get many sets of Invisalign trays. Each set of trays are designed to put pressure on your teeth to close the gaps gradually.
When the pressure is applied, changes occur within the bone. This allows teeth to move towards the gap and close it completely.
One set of trays can’t close the gap completely. You get a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks.
Eventually, all gaps are closed over time. But, fixing the spaces aren’t the only goal of Invisalign treatment.
Even if we close the spaces between your teeth, we also have to correct the bite or, it can go back to its normal position again, and your teeth and jaws can’t function properly.
Who can get help from Invisalign to close the gaps?
Children, as well as adults, can get Invilsaing treatment to close gaps between teeth if the case fulfills all the criteria. However, it’s better to treat the case at an early age to get a better outcome and quicker result.
How long does Invisalign take for closing gaps?
Invisalign may take anywhere from 3 to 12 months to close gaps between teeth. However, it may take up to 24 months to correct all the orthodontic problems.
Duration of treatment depends on the number and size of gaps, the complexity of cases, the age of the patient, and other factors.
You get many Invisalign trays in the course of treatment. One aligner can move teeth to 0.2 mm. You get a new set of trays every one or two weeks.
Suppose, you have 2 mm gaps between the teeth. So, it may take three to three and a half months to close the gap.
But, keep in mind that it varies from case to case. The young patient may get a quicker result than the adult. Moreover, Simple cases need less time than complicated cases.
Why should you get Invisalign to close gaps?
If you don’t want to wear those rough braces that may not be especially pleasant for you, get Invisalign to fix the gaps. Clear aligners can work effectively just like braces to close gaps.
Moreover, you don’t have to attach it to the teeth as you need to do for braces. You can remove it anytime you want.
Invisalign aligners are made of plastic that is transparent. As a result, none can notice while you wear those trays.
The aligners are also very comfortable to use. So, you can choose Invisalign treatment to fix gaps if your case permits.
What you have to do when Invisalign can’t fix the gaps (Alternatives)?
Here are the alternatives to Invisalign to close the gaps due to an orthodontic condition.
If your case is severe or Invisalign is not indicated to close the gaps, braces should be the best choice. In fact, braces can fix any orthodontic problem easily and more effectively.
In mild cases such as single tooth gaps, children may have an active retainer to close the gaps. However, it can’t be effective as braces or Invisalign.
Closing teeth gaps due to a cause other than the orthodontic condition
You may need the following treatment if you lose teeth due to dental caries, extraction, or trauma, and if you have missing teeth due to other causes.
- Dental crown
- Dental implant
- Removable prosthesis
Check out my other article to know how to close teeth gaps without braces.
Invisalign or clear aligner can fix a gap that’s less than 6 mm and the cause of gaps is due to an orthodontic condition. However, when the gap is more than 6 mm and there are other problems associated with that like skeletal problems, you may need braces and other treatment options.