These days, more patients than ever before are opting into Invisalign to straighten their pearly whites and achieve the smile they’ve always dreamed of! And if you’re thinking about hopping on the bandwagon and trying out the aligners for yourself, you might be wondering if the trays can still work their magic if you’re prone to bruxism, or grinding your teeth. Here’s more from your dentist about the Invisalign process and how it remains a viable option for patients with bruxism.
The Invisalign Process
Simply put, Invisalign is an alternative orthodontic treatment to metal braces; rather than relying on metal brackets and wires to realign teeth, the system relies on a series of clear plastic aligners to gradually shift a patient’s teeth into a healthier position. Each successive set of aligners works to move the teeth ever closer to where they should be, and compared to braces, the process is considerably more discreet and less invasive.
How Teeth Grinding Impacts Invisalign Treatment
Since bruxism has the potential to damage teeth by wearing down their enamel layer, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the condition might also cause damage to Invisalign aligners; after all the trays are small and made from a special, flexible plastic material, which can seem fragile at first glance.
But while bruxism can wear down your aligners faster, in reality, it isn’t a very serious problem. Since patients are generally given sets of aligners that they wear for two weeks at a time, even if your teeth grinding wears out a set of aligners, it is more than likely you’ll be moving on to the next pair before it becomes an issue. If necessary, your provider can simply order a replacement set of aligners for you.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you grind your teeth while you’re awake, your aligners will make you much more aware of the behavior and could even help you curb or eliminate the habit altogether when you’re feeling stressed. But if you wear an appliance such as a nightguard or splint due to nighttime bruxism, your provider will need to decide if the aligners suit your needs.
In short, bruxism does not entirely rule out patients from undergoing Invisalign treatment; in many cases, the condition doesn’t severely impact the process, and if it starts to, your orthodontist can quickly intervene and keep things moving smoothly!
About the Author
Dr. Michael Michel received his DDS from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Dentistry and has proudly served patients and families in Topeka and Silver Lake for several years. His practice is thrilled to offer a comprehensive range of services including Invisalign! If you have any questions about Invisalign or would like to arrange a visit to see if you can benefit from the clear aligners, don’t hesitate to contact the practice today to find a location near you!