Extraction of teeth necessary for Invisalign?

Hi I am 33 years old and I have an overbite and wanted to get invaslign but Dr recommended I pull out two teeth. Is there another option besides pulling teeth out?

Doctor Answers 6

There are other options...

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We need proper diagnosis and treatment planning to be able to answer that question; however sometimes we can create space by other methods. Expansion or filing of teeth are such examples. Your orthodontist will be able to determine that upon further examination. 

Mission Viejo Orthodontist

#Invisalign question

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It would be better if you had provided photos, but based on what you've described, it sounds like you will likely need to make room for your teeth to come back into alignment.  Another option besides extractions is IPR, which stands for inter proximal reduction.  This is when one or many teeth are made slimmer in order to make room for your anterior teeth to move back into proper alignment without requiring extractions.  This may be an option for you, but it's a good idea to check with a trusted cosmetic dentist or orthodontist.  Good luck to you and I hope this helps. "Follow" me on Real Self to ask more questions of me.
Sarah Thompson, DMD
O'Fallon, IL and St. Louis, MO

Extraction of teeth necessary for Invisalign?

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I'm assuming that because your dentist is recommending extracting teeth that you are dealing with an "overjet" rather than an "overbite". If you have an "overjet" it means your upper front teeth stick out further than your lower front teeth (on "overbite" means your upper front teeth overlap your lower front teeth). An "overjet" is almost always caused by an underdeveloped upper dental arch which causes crowding in the upper arch and a retruded lower jaw (and usually crowding in the lower jaw also). 

Whether you can fix your problem with Invisalign is dependent on how severe the underdevelopment and crowding are. Invisalign is not a good appliance for developing dental arches. If crowding is severe you will either have to extract teeth or severely reduce the enamel on multiple teeth (neither of which is a good option). Also, neither of these options will address your more significant problem which is your retruded lower jaw. The reason this is a significant problem is that it not only adversely affects facial aesthetics but it can also become a significant medical problem. People with retruded lower jaws are much more likely to suffer from TMJ Dysfunction and sleep apnea (both of which are potentially severe medical problems). 

Many doctors who perform Invisalign treatment are simply not qualified to develop dental arches or fix retruded lower jaws. Many other doctors claim it's not possible to develop dental arches or advance lower jaws, especially in an adult patient. Therefore, it is extremely important that you find a doctor who has experience in developing dental arches and advancing lower jaws in adults. Ask lots of questions and be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS with anyone who tells you the only way to treat your case is with extractions and surgery.

I develop dental arches and advance lower jaws in adults every day in my practice with extremely stable long-term results. If a doctor tells you it's not possible it simply means he or she doesn't have any experience doing it.

Good luck!  


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In our office and in my experience over the past 15 years of doing Invisalign I have not found it necessary to extract teeth except in very rare circumstances. In most cases expansion plus polishing between teeth, that is removing just a very small amount of enamel between a large number of teeth can create all the room that is necessary in an overbite case so that tooth movement will correct the bite.


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Extracting a / or multiple teeth in traditional orthodontic treatment used to be very common.  These days as much as possible dentists try NOT to extract teeth with traditional orthodontics (Braces). 

Now extracting teeth and asking for Invisalign to move teeth into the spaces created with the extractions and correcting an overbite is a bit much.  I would get a second opinion. 

Your case may NOT be suitable for Invisalign unless the treating dentist is a very experienced Invisalign provider. Is the overbite is that severe, I would also consider traditional braces.

Jean D. Morency, DMD
Houston Dentist

Extraction for Invisalign

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Generally we try to avoid extraction in orthodontics if at all possible.  Space closing mechanics of invisalign is especially tricky.  I would get multiple opinions before moving forward.  You may opt for traditional clear braces instead - Invisalign has it's limitations

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.