How to Maintain Good Dental Health

Can Invisalign Correct Tooth Overcrowding?

There are numerous dental problems that can only be corrected with orthodontic treatment. Overcrowding is, much like the term suggests, a problem with available space. This is when teeth become misaligned due to a lack of available space in your jaw. Instead of growing vertically with adequate interdental space between them, tooth placement becomes contorted, leading to the overall dental arch being misaligned. This overcrowding is sometimes only correctable with traditional metal or ceramic braces. So why is your orthodontist telling you that your overcrowding problem can be corrected with Invisalign?


The transparent thermoplastic tooth alignment system known as Invisalign is less invasive than traditional braces. The retainers themselves will be periodically changed. Once a retainer has reconfigured your teeth to the full extent of its individual capacity, you will swap it for a retainer with a new, tighter configuration to continue the job, and so on until the alignment is finished. Given the fact that Invisalign is usually a gentler option than traditional braces, you might not think that they'd have much use in correcting overcrowding.

Levels of Severity

An orthodontist recommends the best treatment for each individual patient. It must be remembered that overcrowding exists on a scale, with varying levels of severity. Someone at the extreme end of the scale may require jaw expansion surgery. Someone whose overcrowding doesn't quite warrant surgery will need traditional braces. And there are those towards the other end of the scale, such as yourself. With minor to moderate overcrowding, Invisalign can be extremely efficient. Your orthodontist wouldn't recommend it if they didn't believe it was the most practical way to achieve your treatment goals.

Minor or Moderate

In cases of minor overcrowding, the Invisalign system will be perfectly effective by itself. Moderate overcrowding can mean that Invisalign needs a little help, so don't be surprised if the prospect of interproximal reduction is discussed. This is a means of slenderising teeth and involves a small amount of dental enamel being removed from the sides of teeth to aid alignment. This reduces the width of teeth by a fraction (you probably won't be able to see it) and helps your teeth to arrive at their final destination, which is perfect alignment. 

So, yes—Invisalign is perfectly suitable for many forms of overcrowding, either by itself or in conjunction with interproximal reduction. The system wouldn't have been recommended if it wasn't the most practical solution for your specific orthodontic problem.

Contact a local dental clinic to learn more about Invisalign.