Can Invisalign close spaces? Of course it can. To see before and after pictures of how Invisalign closes gaps, scroll to the end of this blog, or check out our youtube video
Bill (patients names are changed for our blog) is a man who had grown up with spacing in his front teeth and he felt that this was getting worse with time. Bill looked around for an Adelaide dentist that would look after his needs and give options for his smile makeover. At his first free consultation, Bill first question was, ‘Can Invisalign close spaces?’ Dr Jack assessed Bill’s mouth and noted that this was possible, his teeth were a good shape, the colour could be improved with whitening and there were other cosmetic dentistry options for him also. All of these options were explored for Bill and then the payment plans for each were discussed.
What options are there to close gaps in your teeth?
What can dental veneers do? - Resin
The first option was dental veneers. Dental veneers can be resin- which are the same material used in dental fillings but highly glossy and look terrific. They can change the shape and/or colour of your teeth. The dentist places them directly onto the tooth usually with little tooth structure removal. This allows the process to be ‘green’ or very conservative. The type of filling material we use can change the shape and colour of the teeth quite dramatically. You can really go as light as some of the lightest porcelain veneers.
Resin veneers are very cost effective and allow for a dramatic smile makeover for an affordable price. They are about a quarter of the price of porcelain veneers. The key aspect of resin veneers is to make sure that you cover enough teeth to make the entire smile appear uniform. If the veneers are just placed on the front teeth, we have the potential a difference in shape and colour. The other problem is that the smile doesn’t achieve that big rounded smile that you would see in Julia Roberts or that type of beautiful Hollywood smile.
What can Porcelain Veneers do?
The second option was porcelain dental veneers which are in our opinion the best way of an ‘instant’ smile makeover. They aren’t instant because it will take a good quality dental laboratory several weeks to construct each porcelain cover for each tooth. However, we make the temporary veneers to be as close to the final product as possible, allowing you to experience the shape and size of the new teeth. We use dental laboratories here in Adelaide and in Melbourne depending on the case. This is important to ensure quality Australian work is used in your mouth.
Bill didn’t want to use porcelain veneers to modify his smile, because he felt the teeth would become too square and not appear the same. He also preferred to have his teeth intact at the end of the treatment rather than having some tooth structure removed in order to place the veneers. In the end these types of choices become a personal preference for the smile makeover.
Bill chose orthodontics to close the spaces in his mouth and deliver the new smile he was looking for. The options were then a choice of clear braces such as porcelain brackets or Invisalign which are a series of clear trays that help to move the teeth orthodontically. Bill wanted to ensure his treatment was as aesthetic as possible and so he elected for Invisalign.
How do we begin Invisalign?
Impressions or moulds of his teeth were taken at the beginning of treatment. This is combined with a series of photographs and x-rays (radiographs) to provide Invisalign with the complete picture. A 3D set up of the teeth is constructed from the moulds and then the Invisalign team moves the teeth to the ideal fit. A lengthy discussion with Jack and the Invisalign team results in many treatment plans being developed. These treatment plans are adjusted and modified until we are satisfied with the final predicted outcome. As Bill’s main concern was ‘Can Invisalign close spaces’, Dr Jack made sure he was completely pleased with the treatment plan to achieve Bill’s request.
Sometimes Invisalign treatment plans are too long or ask for too much smoothing of the teeth. We aim to make the treatment plan as smooth as possible and reduce the amount of time taken.There are a number of factors that we identify and analyse to make sure the outcome is as predictable as we can make it. Can Invisalign close spaces if the bite needs to be corrected? This is another focus in which Dr Jack will take into account when designing your treatment.
Before and after pictures of Invisalign Treatment plan
Bills treatment plan:
Once the plans from Invisalign are approved, the trays are processed and delivered to our practice. Invisalign sets up ‘tags’ or buttons that are little bumps of filling material bonded to your teeth. In our practice we place them on at the second tray. The first Invisalign retainer we place does not have the buttons on them. This makes the tray easier to remove. The effect of the Invisalign trays is to stretch the ligaments that join the tooth to the bone and allow tooth movement, making the tooth a little bit wiggly during the process. This means that when we put the bumps on the teeth in tray number 2, you can get the Invisalign trays on and off the teeth easier. We have found that putting the Invisalign tags on the first tray tends to make the patient experience difficult; removing the trays is very challenging. There are some funny YouTube videos showing just how hard this can be.
Putting the tags on is the longest appointment for Invisalign. We allow 30 minutes for this appointment. It involves brushing the teeth to clean the surface. Preset trays from Invisalign are filled with the filling material and this is bonded to the teeth. The tags allow for the teeth to move during treatment and act like the handle on a door, it is easier to turn the tooth with them on.
Do I have to keep coming back for each Invisalign tray?
We give multiple sets of trays for you to change every 1.5 to 2 weeks. Jack then reviews the progress over time. Bill returned every 6-8 weeks to change his trays. Each Invisalign retainer is slightly different from the last. As they change, the teeth move with them correcting the gaps.
That is how we ended up with the final result that is shown here. You can see the spaces in his teeth have closed and Invisalign has closed his gappy teeth. Bill was very happy with the final result as you can imagine, a straight smile that has given him the chance to smile with confidence.
Before and after pictures of closing gaps with Invisalign
So can Invisalign close spaces? You betcha!