Invisalign® for Gaps
Gapped teeth can detract from the appearance of your smile. Most importantly, they can have a negative impact on oral health and function. At The Smile Center in Virginia Beach, VA, we recommend closing gaps and spaces to improve health and reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.
Invisalign® can correct most of the same conditions as traditional metal braces, including crowding, overlapping, and gaps. In this article, Dr. Scott Parr and Dr. Tara Frey discuss Invisalign for gaps and explain what patients can expect when undergoing this treatment.
What Causes Gapped Teeth?
Gaps and spaces between the teeth are clinically referred to as diastema. This condition can be caused by a number of different factors. Most often, diastema is the result of genetics. Gaps are more likely to develop if a patient has small teeth or a large jaw.
Another common reason for diastema is irregular frenum attachment. The frenulum is a small piece of tissue that connects the lip to the gums. Whenever this rope of tissue is connected too high or too low, it can cause excess tissue to push the teeth apart. This is the reason why many individuals develop a gap between their two front teeth.
Childhood habits can also be a factor. For example, thumb-sucking can push the teeth forward and apart, resulting in gaps. Additionally, individuals who develop a “tongue thrust” may notice an increase in gaps and spaces over time. Patients with this condition push their teeth forward with their tongue when swallowing, instead of pressing the tongue to the roof of the mouth.
Why Correct Gaps and Spaces?
In some instances, diastema is not harmful to oral health. However, gaps are likely to cause food, plaque, and bacteria to become trapped in the pockets around the teeth. Should this occur, it can lead to gum disease and other oral health issues. Our Virginia Beach team recommends correcting gapped teeth to preserve your smile for years to come.
How Does Invisalign Address Gaps?
Unlike metal braces, Invisalign closes gaps by using a series of clear aligner trays. Patients wear each set of trays for approximately two weeks each. The subtle differences in the aligners move the teeth into the proper positions over time. To be effective, aligners must be worn at least 22 hours every day. When worn properly, Invisalign is extremely successful in addressing gapped teeth.
How Long Will Treatment Take?
The answer to this question is different for every individual. The length of your treatment timeline depends on the severity of your misalignment, but typically averages 12 to 18 months. Those with smaller gaps are likely to complete treatment sooner than those with large spaces. During a consultation at our office, we can give you a better idea of how long your Invisalign treatment will take.
Contact Our Practice for More Information
Are you thinking about orthodontics to eliminate gaps in your smile? Invisalign is just as effective as traditional braces, and much more discreet. To explore your treatment options, schedule a visit at our Virginia Beach, VA, practice. Contact us online anytime or call our office at (757) 473-8482.