Does Invisalign Work on Misaligned Teeth?

I am a 51 year female. I've been wearing a retainer at night from the orthodontist for the past 5 years. My top front teeth are shifted over I was told 1/3 of a front tooth, they are not centered. They never have been. I was told by my new dentist that I wasted my $2000.00.

He is suggesting invisalign, he provides the service. Do you think they really would work for me or will I be wasting yet more money? I also have 7 crowns on my back teeth from breaking them grinding. I wear a bite guard.

Doctor Answers 7

Is invisalign for me?

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You sound like an ideal patient for Invisalign!.....Given the difficulty of getting braces to stick to crowns and the protection Invisalign provides for people who grind their teeth I would much prefer to use Invisalign for patients such as yourself

Saint Louis Orthodontist

Invisalign does work for misaligned teeth.

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If you are talking about your two front teeth being off center then invisalign can move them laterally to correct that. If the movement needed falls within the the guidelines. Having molar crowns is fine with invisalign because there is no bonding that needs to be done like tradtional braces.

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

Invisalign for shifted midline and crowded teeth

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Invisalign will work to correct the crowding; getting a noticeable shift of the midline is a little more problematic.   I would re-evaluate your feelings about "wasting" of your money on previous treatments.  Maybe the previous treatment accomplished something that has remained, for example an improved bite.  Also, maybe better retainer wear is needed to prevent relapse in your case.  The bottom line is this: you now have enough information to correct the crowding of your front teeth and keep them from crowding again. 

Brian Povolny, DDS, PhD
Seattle Orthodontist

Beware of Scare Tactics from Your Dentist

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Any dentist that will bad mouth another dentist is usually a doctor and a person who is insecure. Saying that you spent 2000$ for nothing is not productive nor does it make you feel better. That being said Invisalign is a wonderful modality to straighten teeth. Before starting make sure you have a list of what you want to change within your teeth and your smile. Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder. No all imprefections have to be corrected. Uneccessary movement of teeth may cause you problems especially if it is done for the wrong reasons.

Invisalign is very good for working with crowns but watch the TMJ issue!

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As far as moving teeth with crowns, Invisalign can be superior to braces.  Braces on crowns have a tendency to come loose as the bond strength may be less.  However you may be bringing up a bigger problem.   Clenching and grinding can be related to TMJ Dysfunction.  A comprehensive evaluation including TMJ condition should be evaluated (this should be done with all patients as well)  and would include x-rays.  Then a plan can be followed.  Caution, most dentists and orthodontists do not have the expertise to successfully treat a TMJ patient from start to finish.  We never learned this in dental or orthodontic school.  Find one who has taken the extra training and has successfully treated these complex cases for many years.

Can Invisalign Correct a Midline

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Great question, believe it or not, some very well known people (Tom Cruise, for example) have had to deal with this same dental cosmetic issue. Invisalign can correct what we call midline discrepancies that are mild in nature (up to about 3mm). It looks like your discrepancy fits within Invisalign's parameters.

Good luck!

Be wary of your dentist

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The main purpose for using Invisalign or any appliances for orthodontic correction is to correct misaligned teeth. You mentioned that your dentist suggested that you wasted money paid to your orthodontist who made your “retainer” for you. My first issue is that your dentist has planted an inappropriate thought in your mind by speaking unprofessionally about another dental colleague. Maybe the “retainer” that you speak of is actually a removable appliance that will make corrections to that overlapped tooth that
you mention. I feel it is inappropriate for one dental professional to speak disparagingly about the work of another dental professional to you, the patient. If your dentist does not know what your orthodontist’s goal is for you or does not understand what treatment is being provided for you, it would be best and most professional for the dentist to contact your orthodontist (with your approval) to discuss your case. I would be wary of the motives of your dentist.

Janet H. Stoess-Allen, DMD
New York 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.