Invisalign has skyrocketed in popularity as more and more people look for subtle ways to straighten their teeth. Over 14 million people have used the transparent aligner system to transform their smiles—but not every dental situation is suitable for Invisalign, as we’ll see.
For those self-conscious about large gaps or missing teeth, finding the best path to a perfect smile may feel overwhelming. Understandably, you want answers to questions like, “Can you have Invisalign with missing teeth?”
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at missing teeth and Invisalign and answer some of the most commonly asked questions, including:
- Can I get Invisalign with a missing tooth?
- Can you still get Invisalign with missing teeth?
- Can Invisalign fix missing teeth?
- Can you get Invisalign with missing back teeth?
First, how does Invisalign straighten teeth?
How Does Invisalign Work?
Before answering, “Does Invisalign work with missing teeth?” let’s review some Invisalign basics.
Invisalign uses a set of clear, plastic aligners to gradually shift teeth into their desired position. At the beginning of your treatment, your orthodontist will likely use a 3D scanner to obtain an accurate picture of your mouth, which will be used to create several sets of customized aligners.
Although not everyone requires the use of attachments or buttons, your orthodontist might recommend them depending on your specific needs. Certain jaw issues, for example, can be remedied with the use of Invisalign buttons and rubber bands.
Each set of aligners is worn for one week before switching them out for the next consecutive set of trays. You will need to visit your orthodontist for occasional check-ups, but Invisalign greatly depends on patient compliance. We recommend wearing your aligners for no less than 22 hours per day, otherwise, you risk extending your treatment time.
What Can Invisalign Treat?
Invisalign can correct a wide range of dental issues, including:
- Crooked and crowded teeth
- Gaps between teeth
However, there are some cases where clear aligners might not be the most effective option.
Who Isn’t A Candidate For Invisalign?
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign. If you fall into any of these categories, you may not be eligible:
- Your teeth are severely misaligned
- Your dental hygiene is poor
- Your teeth are abnormally shaped
- Your jaw requires surgery
This is not an exhaustive list, and there are exceptions, so we encourage you to work with an experienced orthodontist who can help you find the best option for your unique needs.
Does Invisalign Work With Missing Teeth?
People with missing teeth or tooth gaps often wonder, “Can you still get Invisalign with missing teeth?” In short, yes! Most cases of missing teeth can be treated with Invisalign.
Because Invisalign uses clear aligners, they can easily fit over the gap created by a missing tooth, providing a more aesthetically pleasing solution than traditional braces. As teeth shift, the gap(s) may become smaller, but aligners will fit over your tooth gap(s) without a problem.
During treatment, Dr. Bates can fill the space left by your missing tooth using what’s called a pontic (artificial tooth) in your aligners. It’s a temporary solution that completes your smile while Invisalign straightens your teeth and maybe makes room for an implant. A fake tooth is convenient if, post-treatment, you plan to get an implant, so there’s no gap between when your treatment ends and when a new, permanent tooth fills that space.
It’s important to note that if you already have an implant, it will not move with orthodontic forces (e.g., Invisalign or traditional braces). For that reason, it’s best to complete orthodontic treatment before getting implants.
Can You Get Invisalign With Missing Back Teeth?
Another common question orthodontists get is, “Can you have Invisalign with missing teeth in the back of your mouth?” Just because you have missing molars doesn’t mean you’re no longer a good candidate for Invisalign.
However, there are situations where Invisalign is more challenging or simply not possible if you don’t have molars. Invisalign often uses attachments and rubber bands that rely on your back teeth. If they’re missing, Invisalign may not be able to move your teeth into the desired position.
All that said, your orthodontist will need to examine your unique case before approving you for Invisalign.
Ask Dr. Bates If Invisalign Is Right For You
If you’ve been feeling self-conscious about your missing teeth and came here curious to know, “Can you do Invisalign with a missing tooth?” you now have your answer: Yes! However, it’s important to understand that Invisalign alone may not provide the desired results. In these cases, Dr. Bates can help you determine the best course of action.
At Bates Orthodontics, we strive to provide our patients with the very best care. With the right treatment plan, you’ll have a beautiful, natural, healthy-looking smile. We believe a great smile can change a life, and that starts with finding an orthodontist you can trust.
If you’ve been looking for a Richmond orthodontic office that can treat your teeth with Invisalign, schedule a consultation to meet with Dr. Bates.