In the last two decades, Invisalign clear aligners have risen to become one of the most popular orthodontic solutions to address bite problems, misalignment, crowding, and gaps between teeth. The treatment is custom-tailored to fit each individual patients’ needs, which is why it’s not uncommon for patients to ask whether they can receive aligners for just their top row of teeth. Read on to learn the situations in which straightening one arch of teeth may be appropriate, and why many providers may not recommend this.
Why Would Single-Arch Invisalign Treatment Be Recommended?
It’s not typical for Invisalign dentists to only recommend treating one arch of teeth. However, some patients may only have misalignment and gaps that affect their top row of teeth and feel as though there’s no reason why they would need to treat both arches.
When you meet with your dentist for a consultation, they’ll conduct a thorough examination of your mouth and speak with you about your smile goals and oral health history. Based on their findings, they can make a recommendation in accordance with what’s most appropriate for your unique situation.
Some cases that may warrant single-arch Invisalign aligners include:
- Minor spacing or gaps in the top arch
- Slightly crooked front teeth that impact the overall appearance of your smile
- A single tooth is out of alignment
- Relapse from previous orthodontic treatment has caused minor misalignment
What are the Risks of Only Straightening One Arch of Teeth?
The reasons why single-arch treatment isn’t typically recommended by Invisalign providers is because it could lead to changes in your bite, which could cause a domino-effect of issues, including nightly teeth grinding, jaw discomfort, and TMJ dysfunction. That’s why providers typically treat both arches at once, to ensure that throughout each step of your journey, your arches are moving together, minimizing any development of overbite, underbite, or crossbite.
Would it Be Less Expensive to Treat a Single Arch of Teeth?
If you’d prefer to just straighten one arch of teeth for cost-related reasons, know that this isn’t always the less costly route. Depending on the complexity of your case, going against a dentist’s recommendation to straighten both arches could lead to more expensive and extensive problems developing down the road, like broken teeth as a result of grinding and clenching, an increased risk of oral health problems, and general discomfort.
These issues can ultimately require the need for more expensive treatments down the road, making it much more affordable to simply align both arches at once. If you’re concerned about cost, you can always consult with your dentist’s office to see if they offer additional financing plans or you can receive coverage through your insurance provider.
About the Author
Dr. Erika Whitehouse became a dentist so she could help her patients realize the best versions of their smiles, whether that was repairing damaged teeth, helping them avoid developing cavities, or undergoing orthodontic treatment. She is a certified Invisalign provider and takes pride in staying up-to-date wit the latest advancements and treatments in her field. Utilizing state-of-the-art dental technology and transparent Invisalign orthodontic plans, her patients are able to straighten their smiles with confidence. Visit Derby Dental’s website or call 512-795-0128 to schedule an Invisalign consultation today.