As patients become more educated about the types of orthodontic options available to them, many ask the orthodontists about options that aren’t as noticeable as traditional braces. However, even though treatment such as Invisalign can correct a wide variety of orthodontic issues and technological improvements continue to broaden the spectrum of cases that are treatable with Invisalign, there remain some cases that are too complicated for Invisalign alone.
In those cases, the orthodontics experts often recommends combining the old with the new: traditional braces and/or appliances combined with Invisalign treatment.
Combining Old and New
There are many traditional techniques, such as the use of rubber bands and different appliances that can be used in combination with Invisalign for achieving optimum results for patients.
Orthdontists also can use partial braces on some teeth that would be more difficult to move with Invisalign. Even in those cases, however, patients don’t have to worry about having highly noticeable braces on their teeth. Often the braces have to be placed just on the back teeth or the bottom teeth, neither of which is highly noticeable. They also use clear or ceramic brackets that more closely match the color of the natural teeth, making them less visible.
Invisalign cases that may require the use of some braces include severe rotation or tipping of the teeth or the long distance root movement of the teeth. Rotation is when a tooth has turned to the point that it faces sideways instead of aligning properly alongside the surrounding teeth.
The roots of the teeth need to be straight, just as the crowns of the teeth need to be straight. Rubber bands frequently are used in conjunction with Invisalign to correct overbite, underbite or to help with bite alignment and correction. In those cases, clear attachments are affixed to the teeth to provide a stable mechanics to which the rubber bands can be attached.
With the use of some appliances and rubber bands in combination with Invisalign for more severe cases, orthodontists ensure that they get the best results.
Invisalign and Orthognathic Surgery
The orthodontists also use Invisalign with patients who require orthognathic surgery. Orthognathic surgery involves surgically moving facial skeletal elements to achieve an appropriate functional and anatomic appearance in patients with facial structure and growth abnormalities that cannot be treated effectively with braces only.
There have been cases in which orthodontists have used Invisalign to get the teeth into proper alignment prior to surgery to better prepare the teeth for the surgical procedure.