Who Shouldn’t Get Invisalign: Understanding the Restrictions

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Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that offers a convenient, discreet way to address crooked smiles. It provides a smile transformation without the metal brackets and wires of traditional braces. While Invisalign may sound promising to many, it still has limitations. As such, it’s not always suited to everyone. There are cases where Invisalign is not the optimal choice to achieve straight teeth.

Keep reading if you’re considering having Invisalign treatment. We’ll look in-depth into who shouldn’t get this dental treatment and why.

Summary of the Article

  • Invisalign offers a convenient and discreet way to address crooked smiles.
  • Invisalign has limitations and may not be suited for everyone, especially those who have extremely overcrowded teeth; active gum disease; lots of cavities or poor oral hygiene; and the inability to commit to wearing the aligners as prescribed.
  • Individuals with missing teeth are not recommended to have this treatment since it relies on existing healthy surrounding structures to provide stability while moving teeth into proper alignment.
  • Individuals with severe bite issues may not be suitable for Invisalign treatment since it won’t be able to provide the stronger force needed to move teeth significantly.
  • The use of Invisalign in patients with gum recession or periodontal disease is still debatable.
  • There are no age restrictions when it comes to using Invisalign. Through Invisalign First, even children 6-10 years old can have Invisalign treatment. 
  • Alternative treatments include ceramic braces, lingual braces & traditional braces.
  • To determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, visit your dentist, who will assess your oral health to determine if Invisalign is for you.
female dentist in dental clinic providing examination and treatm

Who Is Not a Suitable Candidate for Invisalign Treatment?

Invisalign treatment is an innovative approach to teeth straightening. It is a viable option for people with busy lifestyles who want straighter teeth. These custom-made removable aligners address mild to moderate cases of:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite
  • Crowded teeth

Unfortunately, not everyone is in an ideal position to benefit from Invisalign treatment. Those considered not suitable for Invisalign are people who:

  • Has complex malocclusions that require tooth extractions
  • Has severely misshapen teeth
  • Has severely rotated teeth
  • Has severely misaligned teeth
  • Has extremely overcrowded teeth
  • Has active gum disease
  • Has lots of cavities and tooth decay
  • Has poor oral hygiene
  • Cannot commit to wearing the aligners as prescribed
  • Cannot commit to proper oral care

If your dentist determines that the issue can’t be addressed with removable aligners, they will likely suggest other alternatives.

What Are the Limitations of Invisalign Treatment?

Invisalign has become the go-to choice for teeth straightening. However, there are limitations to what this form of orthodontic treatment can do. Invisalign:

  • May not be able to address complex orthodontic problems
  • Cannot resolve significant crowding or spacing
  • Can’t effectively address severe misalignment
  • Cannot adjust severe vertical bite problems (overbites, underbites)

In addition to the limitations of Invisalign treatment, there are also some specific patient-related issues that can decrease its effectiveness. These include:

  • Poor compliance: If an orthodontic patient has difficulty keeping up with the recommended wearing schedule or fails to wear the aligners for the recommended time each day, their treatment will take longer and may not be as successful.
  • Poor maintenance: Aligners must be taken out to eat, drink, brush, and floss. If a patient fails to properly clean the aligners or their teeth before replacing them, this can cause bacteria build-up that can interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Complex anatomy: Certain tooth and jaw shapes can make achieving optimal results with Invisalign more challenging. Conventional metal braces may be a better option.
  • Misaligned bite or crowding: Depending on the severity of the misalignment, traditional braces may provide better results than Invisalign.
  • Cost: Invisalign is more expensive than traditional braces. Cost is an essential factor when considering Invisalign.

Invisalign offers a great alternative to traditional braces. Awareness of its limitations is essential before embarking on your treatment journey.

Why Is Invisalign Not an Appropriate Treatment for Individuals With Severe Crowding or Spacing Problems?

Invisalign can be an ideal treatment for mild to moderate crowding or spacing problems. However, it is not an effective treatment for individuals with severe alignment issues.

Invisalign cannot offer the desired results due to its limited tooth movement capabilities. It relies on gradual, gentle pressure to shift teeth into proper alignment.

When there are large amounts of crowding or spacing, traditional braces can achieve better results. They can provide more control of tooth movements and be precise about which teeth need to move. This type of adjustment requires heavier forces than Invisalign can provide. Traditional braces tend to be the superior choice in such cases.

Why Are Individuals With Missing Teeth Not Recommended to Have Invisalign Treatment?

Invisalign isn’t the appropriate choice for individuals with missing teeth. It relies on the existing teeth to provide enough stability and anchorage to move them into proper alignment. If there are gaps in the dental arch, Invisalign won’t be able to effectively move the other teeth and properly align them.

A missing tooth can result in an unsightly gap in the dental arch. When this happens, surrounding teeth may shift out of alignment. Invisalign treatment won’t provide a satisfactory outcome in these situations. It is not strong enough to move teeth back into their proper positions and align them.

In these cases, traditional orthodontic treatments may be necessary. After the teeth are aligned, a bridge or dental implant can be used to replace the missing tooth.

Why Can't Individuals With Severe Bite Issues Receive Invisalign Treatment?

For severe bite issues, Invisalign might not be a viable option. Instead, traditional braces must be considered. In severe bite cases, the teeth need to be moved drastically to provide a better bite. With traditional braces, dentists are able to do this. The metal wires and brackets provide stronger forces and allow better control of the movement of each tooth.

Meanwhile, the Invisalign system uses invisible plastic aligners designed for more subtle adjustments. This is insufficient to address severe malocclusions because it cannot provide the strong force needed to move the teeth more significantly.

Alone, Invisalign may not be sufficient to address complex orthodontic problems. However, a combination of Invisalign and traditional braces may be more effective.

Are Invisalign Braces a Viable Option for Severe Gum Disease or Recession?

When it comes to patients with severe gum disease or recession, the effectiveness of Invisalign is still under debate. While some dentists suggest it may be suitable for minor issues, others contend that traditional braces would be a better option. Whether you choose Invisalign or other orthodontic treatment options depends on numerous factors, including your particular needs and tailored advice from your dental professional.

For patients with gum problems, consult with a certified dentist first. The dentist would:

  • Evaluate the situation
  • Create a custom treatment plan
  • Recommend an appropriate course of action

In cases where Invisalign may not be suitable, a customised treatment plan using traditional or lingual braces may be a viable alternative.

Are There Any Age Restrictions for Invisalign Treatment?

No, there are no age restrictions when it comes to Invisalign. The treatment is most commonly used among teenagers and young adults. However, people of any age can get their teeth straightened using clear aligners. In fact, Invisalign has helped many older patients with minor dental issues without needing traditional braces.

It used to be that Invisalign was not recommended for growing children. But innovative technology has made Invisalign available for children 6-10 years old through the Invisalign First treatment program.

Invisalign First is ideal for young children with developing teeth alignment problems. The duration of treatment could be as short as six months and could last up to 18 months.

How Can I Find Out if I Am a Good Candidate for Invisalign Treatment?

The appropriate way to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign treatment is to visit a dentist. They will conduct a thorough examination and consultation to determine suitability.

During the in-office visit, the dentist can assess your oral health. They will also take digital scans of your smile to review with you. From there, they can discuss your options. They will explain whether or not clear aligners would be effective, practical, and beneficial for you.

Are There Any Other Orthodontic Options for Those Not Suitable for Invisalign Treatment?

If Invisalign is not ideal for you, several alternative treatments are available. These include:

  • Traditional braces: Traditional metal braces are the most commonly used type of braces. They work by using brackets that attach to each tooth and a wire that runs through the brackets. This wire is changed periodically to slowly move your teeth into alignment.
  • Ceramic braces: Ceramic braces use tooth-coloured or clear brackets instead of the metal ones commonly used in conventional braces.
  • Lingual braces: They are traditional metal braces placed on the backside of the teeth, making them less visible from the outside.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign is a popular treatment option for many orthodontic issues. But despite the advanced technology and its many benefits, it’s not suitable for everyone. Understanding whether you’re a good candidate or not is important. This will help you attain your desired outcome safely and effectively.

At Comfort Care Dental, we provide quality treatment for patients with various dental needs. If you want straight teeth and an aesthetic smile, we can also help determine your suitability for Invisalign.

Book an appointment for an initial consultation through our website, or give us a call today. We look forward to helping you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better, veneers or Invisalign?

Making decisions about your dental care can be difficult. You may be wondering if veneers or Invisalign is better for you.

Veneers are thin, porcelain shells that fit over the front surfaces of natural teeth to give them a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable trays that gradually move your teeth into the desired position over time without using metal braces.

The best option for you depends on what type of results you are looking for and your individual needs. If you have minor teeth misalignment and want straighter teeth for better aesthetics, then veneers may be better for you. On the other hand, if you have severe bite alignment issues, Invisalign might better suit you since it acts as an orthodontic device.

It is always best to speak with your dentist when making decisions about your dental health so they can make recommendations based on what is better for you.

Does Invisalign change your face shape?

In some cases, Invisalign has been known to subtly change the aligner wearer’s face shape when used to correct bites or improve facial asymmetry.

Invisalign cannot create drastic changes in a facial structure like a surgical procedure. However, it can have a subtle impact when combined with other treatments that improve dental alignment and facial symmetry. This can ultimately result in a significant enhancement of one’s profile appearance.

Invisalign is an effective treatment choice for many patients. It offers predictable results and comfort throughout the process.

How long will Invisalign straighten your teeth?

In most cases, Invisalign can achieve the desired results in about 12 to 18 months of wearing the aligners for 20 to 22 hours every day. In some cases, however, treatment time may be as short as six months or as long as two years. This depends on the following:

  • The severity of the misalignment
  • How quickly your body responds
  • Patient’s compliance with treatment

Consult an Invisalign-certified dentist to know how long Invisalign will take to straighten your teeth. They will assess your dental condition and provide a personalised treatment plan.

How much does Invisalign cost?

Invisalign is an incredibly popular teeth straightening aligner system that revolutionises how people achieve a beautiful, confident smile. Invisalign has seen immense success thanks to its convenience and clear aligner technology.

However, one of the important considerations when exploring Invisalign is cost. On average, Invisalign treatment costs somewhere between $6,000 and $9,000. This makes Invisalign somewhat more expensive than traditional braces.

With that being said, Invisalign continues to be one of the most effective and popular teeth alignment options available today.


Dr. Karthik Lakkaraju

For Dr Karthik, dentistry is the complete package. He most enjoys the feeling he gets when he sees a patient achieve a beautiful smile, or can put an end to pain and increase the quality of life. He believes oral health is a mirror of general health and reflects the person’s personality and confidence.

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At Comfort Care Dental, we offer quality care and individualized treatment plans. Our team is passionate about oral health and invested in helping our patients achieve their dental goals. Schedule an appointment with us today to start on the path to a healthy smile!

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