I got invisilign to fix two teeth in the front that were crooked. I had a good bite and just needed some minor improvements. I used 8 aligners for the top and 13 for the bottom. Now I'm wearing modified retainers to fix my bite. The last 4 molars have been sculpted out of the retainer. Basically, only the front 6 teeth are being held in place. Is this normal? I'm very nervous about my bite!
I'm Wearing Modified Retainers After Invisilign to Fix my Bite. Is This Normal?
Doctor Answers (3)
Modified retainers are normal
Nearly all retainers are customized or modified to fit each person and their needs. It is not unusual to have a retainer not touch posterior teeth, and often the goal is to allow these teeth to move on their own to touch again, allowing much less stress to the front teeth when completed.
Retainer after Invisalign
It sounds like what your doctor is doing is holding the teeth that I presume were satisfactorily corrected with your aligners while they let the back teeth "settle in to place". Settling is a phenomenon where molars that are not quite touching each other when you bite, are allowed to move towards each other until they achieve contact. In other words, the retainer may be made to ALLOW this to happen rather than to MAKE it happen. When Invisalign first came out 10+ years ago, many doctor were concerned that it would cause an opening between the upper and lower back teeth. In reality, we rarely see this. In theory it could happen if someone is a really good aligner wearer.
Correcting the bite after invisalign treatment.
The one downside of Invisalign aligners is that they have a certain thickness. Our jaw function on a pivot which is the jaw joint. As a result there is more "thickness" in the back, where the molars are, and as a result sometimes wearing the aligners causes the back teeth to get pushed in or intrude. To correct this we sometimes take away the thickness of the aligners in the back of the mouth there by allowing the teeth to settle into the normal bite. Hope this helps alleviate your concern. If you are unsure just ask your doc!!
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.