Hello Dr. Hall,
I never got braces as a kid. However, my bottom teeth are quite crooked. I have 2 second bicuspids that are baby teeth, one that has been pulled already because it was hurting. The other one I presume will have to come out. Also, my very back molar was taken out on my bottom left. I feel like a hillbilly!
My question is this: how good is Invisalign when working around missing teeth? I really don’t want to have regular braces at my age. And is it likely I’ll need to have dental implants to replace those missing teeth?
Also, I have a bit of an underbite and there isn’t enough space between my top and bottom teeth to straighten only my bottom teeth. We’ll have to move the top ones out to make room.
Thanks, Marlowe in North Dakota
Invisalign works with missing teeth. There are other factors governing whether you are a candidate for Invisalign. Your underbite may prove to be more of an obstacle to being an Invisalign candidate than your missing teeth. And there is a reluctance to use Invisalign in cases of severe crowding.
Different dentists have different degrees of bravery in tackling certain tooth crowding cases with Invisalign. Orthodontists tend to be more conservative–they have been trained to work with wire and brackets and they shy away from the new technology. But general dentists tend to be more willing to use the Invisalign. And the cases are always supervised by expert orthodontists that are on the Invisalign staff, that work at their headquarters, so any case they approve is pretty safe.
So I’d recommend visiting a two or three Invisalign general dentists in your area and see what they say about your case.
Invisalign could close the spaces in your lower jaw, so I doubt you’d need to replace the missing teeth. It could also move your upper teeth out–that can be done. But again, it depends on the severity of your case and the actual positions of everything.
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