Invisalign is a clear aligner technology to straighten teeth without making it too obvious. It has become hugely popular, and people have a growing interest to know about the hows of Invisalign in treating several dental issues, including tooth gap.
Tooth gap, medically known as diastema, is a minor dental problem that can be effectively corrected with Invisalign. Because of aesthetic reasons, Invisalign is the natural option for most people looking for orthodontic treatment.
But how long does Invisalign take to close a gap? The answer depends on several factors. However, before we dive into the details, let us look more closely at dental gaps and why they occur.
What is Tooth Gap or Diastema?
Despite the seriousness that the medical term Diastema might make tooth gap sound, it is a very common and minor dental issue. A tooth gap is a visible space between two or more teeth but most commonly between the upper front incisors. Tooth gaps can range from small to large gaps that are easily noticeable, impacting your face’s overall aesthetics. If you have tooth gaps that are bothering you, it might relieve you to know that several procedures can successfully treat it, with Invisalign clear aligners being one of them.
What Is The Cause?
There are several contributing factors for tooth gaps. One reason is the difference between the size of teeth and the jawbone. If your teeth are too small for the jawbone, they will be spaced too far apart, and gaps will be visible. Genetics play a role in determining the size of your teeth and jawbone.
Tooth gap can also form from an overgrowth of tissues that borders the front teeth and the gum line. The overgrowth of tissues causes the teeth to separate, often creating a gap.
Tooth gap may also result from bad habits. For instance, kids constantly sucking the thumb may pull the teeth forward and cause gaps. If you continuously push the tongue against the front teeth while swallowing food, it can push the teeth forward and cause gaps.
The teeth gap can also be a result of gum diseases. When the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth get infected, it can lead to loss of teeth forming large visible gaps.
Why should you close gaps?
Unless you have gum disease or have other accompanying complications, a tooth gap is a minor dental issue. It does not require compulsory medical treatment. However, huge gaps can ruin your facial aesthetics and take away your confidence. It can make you feel self-conscious while speaking or even smiling. In such a case, getting orthodontic treatment becomes essential for avoiding embarrassment and gaining back self-esteem. Some people may even consider closing small gaps to improve their smile.
Invisalign and Tooth Gap
Invisalign is the perfect solution for people who want to close gaps for cosmetic reasons. Not only is it highly effective at closing gaps, but it is also nearly invisible. Unlike braces, they are less noticeable, so no one would know you are wearing them unless they look close. Braces can draw people’s attention to your teeth each time you speak, smile, or laugh, which can be uncomfortable. So it is naturally the choice for those who consider braces unsightly.
There are other advantages to choosing Invisalign. Invisalign promotes healthier oral health because they are easy to clean. Unlike traditional braces, they can be removed and cleaned every time you take a meal before putting them back on.
Although moving a tooth is painful regardless of which technique you opt for, Invisalign is a lot more comfortable. They are gentle on your tender tissues inside your mouth and do not scrape or cut. Your soft tissues do not have to deal with metals and wires that can potentially harm you.
How Long Does Invisalign Take to Close a Gap?
Now, the golden question is, how long does Invisalign take to close a gap? Each aligner generally moves about 0.2mm. If you have a minor gap, it may require about ten weeks. For mild gaps, it can 6 to 12 months. If your case is severe, you may even go up to 18 months. In a nutshell, the greater the gap, the longer it will take to close the gap.
However, this time frame is only an estimate. Several other factors determine how long it will take to correct your teeth. Let us look at some of them.
- If your dental issue is just a tooth gap, you can expect a faster result. But if your tooth gap is combined with other complications, it may take longer. For instance, if you have gum disease, your doctor will not dive right into prescribing Invisalign but treat the underlying issue first. In case of overcrowding, you may have to wear your aligners for a few weeks more.
- Your age can also have a significant impact on how well it responds to aligners. Kids and teens generally respond faster to orthodontic treatments.
- Every person’s teeth are unique, and your oral health dynamics affect the length of treatment. Surprisingly, some older adults’ teeth move faster than children. Although we can give you estimates, your teeth’s response may slightly differ from others of the same age and gap width.
- How compliant you are with your orthodontist’s instructions will impact the length of treatment. You must wear the aligners for a minimum of 22 hours per day. Unlike braces, aligners are removable, and many patients tend to remove them for longer than they should.
Invisalign is an effective means to close gaps quickly and effectively. It is more comfortable and convenient than traditional metal, ceramic, or lingual braces. Although every person’s teeth are unique and respond differently, expect anywhere between 10 weeks to 18 months for Invisalign to close your tooth gap.
It might also help you to know that even after your gaps are closed, there are chances that the teeth will revert to their old position. To keep your closely spaced, straight, and beautiful teeth, you will need to wear retainers at night.