Invisalign for Gaps: How it Works

May 29, 2018 — by Dr.Thomas Tang
Tags: Invisalign

Up close photo of woman wearing Invisalign® traysGapped teeth are common. Some individuals have a condition known as diastema, characterized by a space between the teeth. This is often present between the two central incisors. Many people embrace this unique trait as part of their individuality. Not everyone is thrilled with it, however.

Those who wish to eliminate spaces between the teeth can benefit from Invisalign® to straighten the teeth at our Brookfield, WI practice. Here, we discuss Invisalign for gaps, and including how this treatment can help you achieve the smile you desire.

What Causes Spaces between the Teeth?

There are several different reasons why diastema may be present. For example, this condition can be hereditary, or it can be caused by childhood habits or disease.

Some of the most common causes of diastema include:

  • Missing teeth: In some cases, individuals are born without one or more permanent adult teeth.
  • Oversized jawbone: Sometimes the teeth are too small for the jawbone, or the jawbone is too large for the teeth. If either of these is true, gaps can develop between the teeth.
  • Prominent labial frenum: The tissue between the teeth that connects the gums to the lip is called a frenum. In some cases, this piece of tissue is either too thick or connected in an abnormal way. This can cause the teeth to separate, leaving a gap between them.
  • Tongue thrust: Typically, the tongue should press against the roof of the mouth when swallowing. Patients with tongue thrust move their tongue forward instead, placing force against the front teeth. Over time, this repeated motion can cause the teeth to separate.
  • Childhood habits: Behaviors developed in early childhood can lead to spacing. This includes thumb-sucking and prolonged bottle or pacifier use.
  • Periodontal disease: Patients who suffer from advanced gum disease can lose a significant amount of bone around the teeth. This leads to shifting, mobility, and in some cases, tooth loss.

Invisalign Treatment for Gaps

Invisalign is a reliable and successful alternative to traditional braces. Popular with teens and adults, this system straightens your teeth without the use of metal brackets, bands, or wires. Instead, the teeth are gradually moved into their proper positions with a sequence of clear, thermoplastic trays. Fortunately, gapped teeth can usually be easily corrected with Invisalign treatment.

First, impressions will be taken so our trusted dental lab can fabricate your new aligner trays. Each set of trays will be worn for approximately two weeks for at least 22 hours a day. Then, the current set will be changed out for the next one in the series. Over time, the subtle differences in the trays will shift your teeth into the desired locations.

Exploring Invisalign Candidacy

Invisalign can correct the majority of malocclusion cases. However, it is important to understand that this treatment is not for everyone. Specifically, if your orthodontic issue is too severe or complex to be corrected with Invisalign, then traditional braces may be recommended. During an initial consultation at our practice, Dr. Thomas Tang can determine if Invisalign can achieve the results you desire.

Contact Us to Learn More

If you have gapped teeth, or any other orthodontic concern, consider what Invisalign treatment could do for you. To explore your options, schedule a consultation at Brookfield Family Dentistry. You can contact us online or give us a call at (262) 821-1000.