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What If I Only Want Invisalign for My Top Teeth?

September 19, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_resnick @ 3:39 pm
Woman wearing red plaid in front of sunny trees inserting top Invisalign tray

Invisalign is a popular way to get a more unified smile without the hassle of bulky metal braces. That said, many patients who are happy with their lower teeth wonder whether they can reposition just the upper set. While this kind of single arch treatment is possible, it’s not always recommended. Keep reading to learn why!

What Is Single Arch Treatment?

Our mouths have two u-shaped arches which make up our upper and lower teeth. If you’re interested in only addressing issues in your upper set, that’s referred to as single arch treatment.

Usually, though, both arches are included. Your dentist needs to take into account other important factors like your bite alignment and the relationship between the lower and upper teeth, in addition to straightening them. That means they will need to thoroughly examine the specifics of your case to decide if it’s feasible to treat just one arch.

What Are the Risks of Single Arch Treatment?

Our teeth and jaw rely on a very precise relationship to close together correctly. Invisalign adjustments can alter the placement of your pearly whites enough to impact pressure points when you bite down. As your upper teeth shift, they might not line up correctly anymore with your lower ones. This can lead to toothaches, unevenly worn down enamel, and even TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain. Your dentist won’t want to correct your upper teeth just for it to throw off your bite and cause jaw tension!

Such misalignment can be both uncomfortable and unhealthy. Teeth that are out of place are more susceptible to tooth decay because bacteria can flourish in the areas where they have been inappropriately worn down. Cavities and gum disease are more likely as a result of this kind of deterioration.  

When Does Single Arch Treatment Make Sense?

Those with minor issues are more likely to be candidates for single arch therapy. There are some instances in which it can be helpful, like if you want to address:

  • Minor gaps or spacing
  • Slightly crooked front teeth
  • Addressing orthodontic relapse

If you have a minor aesthetic issue in your top teeth that you’d like to adjust with Invisalign, it’s possible your dentist will agree. Otherwise, they might want to fit your aligners for both top and bottom arches to ensure that your bite lines up correctly once treatment is completed. Either way, they can help you reposition your teeth so that you can have the smile you deserve!

About the Author

Dr. David Rosenfeld graduated from the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery in New York City, then completed a post-doctorate general practice residency at the Jamaica Hospital and Medical Center in Queens, New York. He is also a certified preferred provider for Invisalign and has years of experience. That makes him an expert at treating any flaws in your smile that you’d like to address. You’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (908) 668-7838.

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