Can Invisalign Fix Teeth That Are Horizontally Not Aligned?

I had braces at 12, now I'm turning 20 and the upper and lower plate don't match up, ie the midpoint of upper and lower are at different places. Not just the teeth, but upper and lower lips don't match up either,my face looks slightly distorted and the lips don't match the teeth in the middle either.

I am desperate, but the dentists so far said it takes too much work so its not worth it. Please let me know whether theres still hope with Invisalign. Pictures attached, Thanks in advance.

Doctor Answers 5


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Based on your description it appears that the difference in upper and lower dental midlines is not due to malposition of the teeth but rather asymmetry in jaw development. Orthodontic tooth movment, with either braces or Invisalign, can compensate for minor degrees of underlying skeletal asymmetry but beyond a certain point will not be effective. If the asymmetry is causing problems with bite or jaw-joint function then correction should be considered - but may involve both orthodontics and jaw surgery. It is important to sort out in advance exactly what the goals of treatment are and to be realistic about what can be accomplished with the treatment method chosen. Because of the level of your concern, I recommend that you consult with an orthodontist with whom you are comfortable and get the best possible answers to your questions.

Mercer Island Orthodontist

Invisalign can reduce off center front teeth.

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Most of the time regular braces and Invisalign can correct these discrepancies as long as they arent too severe. The way your upper arch and lower arch were formed during childhood has led to this,not so much the teeth issue.

I always tell patients to think of it this way.."Tom Cruise" makes 20 million dollars a movie and has the worst midline. Look at his pix and you can see he's nearly an entire tooth off. He tried braces for a while and didnt get great results so he ended his treatment. Midlines are nice to have but dont worry about it too much. You can always apply your lip liner and lip stick to counter the look of your uneven lip line...

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

Using a magnifying glass to evaluate teeth can lead to frustration

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Orthodontics does a fantastic job of making thing MUCH better than before, but often fail to satisfy if scrutinized with a magnifying glass or microscope.  If absolute perfection is a goal, then the fee that must be charged to do so would be VERY high.  It takes a lot of time, and often complicated surgeries.

Invisalign is not very effective in cases like this, and even traditional orthodontics may be challenged.  While things CAN get better, the result still might not satisfy you.

You may need several face to face consultations with experienced orthodontists to find a satisfactory plan.

Can invisalign work for me?

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It really looks like you have a skeletal asymmetry which is probably beyond the ability of either Invisalign or braces to correctt completely....Unfortunately, ideal correction might involve jaw surgery which is a pretty big deal.

Many people have facial asymmetry and usually they don't even notice it.  But when it is pointed out to them they can become fixated on it.  Maybe nobody else notices this as much as you do?

Robert Waxler, DMD, MS
Saint Louis Orthodontist

Invisalign for "Horizontal" Bite Discrepancy

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Your photos show that the upper teeth are off to the right side and your upper arch appears narrower than your lower arch. Correcting a problem like this is likely beyond the capabilities of Invisalign.  It CAN align front teeth; for example your lateral incisors are a little rotated compared to your centrals, and Invisalign could correct that.  Your bite discrepancy involves the position of your jaws, or at least the entire set of teeth on each of your jaws.  Re-alignment could require braces and possibly even jaw surgery.  So while Invisalign could do SOMETHING, be sure it will solve your particular problem before committing to it.  An orthodontist who is familiar with all types of applilances and treatment approaches will be able to answer your questions.

PS good job with the photos by the way; showing where your facial midline is located is helpful! 

Brian Povolny, DDS, PhD
Seattle Orthodontist

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.