How effective are clear aligners for closing gaps in my teeth?

Doctor's Answers 1

With a compliant patient, space closure with clear aligners is quite successful. Aligners need to be worn for at least 20-22 hours daily for sufficient forces to be applied on to the teeth for space closure.

Below is a case with spacing in the lower front teeth that is being treated with Invisalign.

Invisalign has additional features such as attachments that can help upright teeth (such as the 2 lower central incisors below) as the space is being closed.

The reason for the spacing needs to be assessed so that the appropriate treatment can be selected. Space closure may not be beneficial for someone who has very narrow teeth (the final result may not be very aesthetic) or if you have a buried tooth/teeth that is the cause of the spacing. If your teeth are not ideally proportioned, you may benefit from veneers or composite bonding to correct the shape and size of your teeth while simultaneously closing the spaces.

Diastema closure with composite

Some patients with a prominent labial frenum may also need this removed to prevent re-opening of the space after treatment has been completed.

Long term retention is a must, preferably with fixed wire retainers and clear retainers worn over that to ensure that the spaces stay closed.

Example of a fixed wire retainer bonded to the teeth

Similar Questions

Do braces change your facial profile?

You have asked a very interesting question and I am afraid the answer is yes and no! I will try to explain it as best I can. Braces CAN change profiles: Braces can change profiles only when the orthodontists and the patient plan to get it changed from the START of the treatment. A good example is when patients complain that when taking photographs, they notice that their side profile is sticking out and they have a very full smile (most patients use the terms, I look like a horse!) In this case, braces can help to retract the teeth to allow the patient to have a softer, gentler profile.

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Answered By

Dr Sylvia Tan


Should I do my dental crown or braces first?

It is better to get your braces done first before your crown. This is because the tooth and gum position will move and it may affect the final crown work. The crown surface may also be damaged during braces work (risk is small) which means that you may need a new crown after braces. If you want to be treated with subsidy you will need a polyclinic referral letter. However please note that there are no subsidies for any orthodontic treatment. You can be seen by the postgraduate students at NUS for a slightly reduced price for braces if you wanted to.

Photo of Dr Sylvia Tan

Answered By

Dr Sylvia Tan


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