Bottom Teeth Aligners

Bottom Teeth Aligners
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When you are looking for solutions to straighten your teeth you may be considering options that include wearing an aligner on only the bottom or the top set of teeth. This article will give an overview of if this is possible and any risks involved.

How Does the Aligner Treatment Work?

Aligner treatment is a modern orthodontic approach that uses a series of clear, custom-fitted trays to gradually shift teeth into their desired positions. The process begins with a dental professional taking detailed impressions or digital scans of the patient’s teeth, which are then used to create a precise 3D model of the mouth. Based on this model, a series of aligners are custom-made, each slightly different from the next, to apply gentle pressure on specific teeth that need to be moved. Patients wear each aligner for about 1-2 weeks before moving on to the next in the series, allowing for gradual and controlled tooth movement.

Aligner treatment is praised for its aesthetics, as the clear trays are far less noticeable than traditional braces, and for the convenience of being removable, allowing for easier eating and oral hygiene. The duration of treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case but typically ranges from 6 to 24 months.

Can you Have Aligners on the Bottom Teeth Only?

It is possible to have bottom teeth aligners only. While it is technically possible, such instances are relatively rare and typically reserved for specific cases. Situations that might warrant this approach include minor alignment issues, such as slight crowding, minimal spacing, or the correction of a single tooth’s position. This method might also be considered for individuals who have previously undergone orthodontic treatment and are experiencing minor relapse in their lower teeth only.

However, it’s important to understand that orthodontic treatment is highly individualized, and the decision to use aligners on only the bottom teeth should be approached with caution. An orthodontist must thoroughly evaluate the patient’s overall dental alignment and bite to ensure that treating just one arch won’t adversely affect the mouth’s overall function or the interplay between the upper and lower teeth. Such cases are uncommon, and comprehensive assessment by a dental professional is crucial to determine if this approach is suitable for a particular patient’s needs.

Can you Have Aligners on the Top Teeth Only?

Similar to the rare instances where aligners might be used on just the bottom teeth, there are also specific, uncommon situations where aligners can be applied to the top teeth only. This approach may be considered for individuals with isolated alignment issues confined to the upper arch, such as minor crowding, slight spacing, or the need for minor adjustments to a few upper teeth. As mentioned in the context of bottom-only aligners, this strategy could also be applicable for those experiencing a minor relapse in the upper arch after previous orthodontic treatments.

However, the caution advised for bottom-only aligners holds true here as well: it’s imperative that an orthodontist thoroughly evaluates the patient’s overall dental structure and bite. Ensuring that treatment of the upper arch alone does not adversely affect the occlusal relationship or the harmony between the upper and lower teeth is crucial. Given the intricate nature of dental alignment, opting for top-only aligners is uncommon and should be carefully considered in close consultation with a dental professional, who can determine the suitability of this targeted treatment approach based on the patient’s unique dental needs.

See our article: How Much Is Single Arch Orthodontic Treatment?

What Kind of Defects Can Be Fixed with Aligners on One Arch Only?

When aligners are used on just one dental arch, either the upper or the lower, they are typically aimed at correcting specific, localized orthodontic issues. These issues might include minor crowding, where teeth are slightly overlapped or too close together, or minor spacing problems, where there are small gaps between the teeth.

Aligners can also be effective in adjusting the position of individual teeth that may have shifted out of place, perhaps due to a previous orthodontic treatment relapsing or other factors. In some cases, aligners on a single arch may be used to make slight adjustments to the dental arch’s curvature or to align teeth that are slightly rotated.

Worth Knowing

The Byte.com website states that it is okay to get braces on either the top or bottom sets of teeth if you have only a few misaligned teeth in one location.

However, it’s important to note that the suitability of single-arch aligners depends heavily on the individual’s overall dental health, the alignment of both arches, and how the upper and lower teeth fit together (occlusion).

See our article: Invisible Braces for Gap Teeth.

Are There Any Risks of Wearing Aligners on Only One Arch?

While clear aligners have become increasingly popular for their convenience and discreteness compared to traditional braces, there are potential risks associated with only wearing an aligner on one arch of your mouth.

When both arches are not being treated simultaneously, the teeth in the untreated arch may move, causing shifts in the way they fit together, which can lead to wear, tear, and misalignment when wearing the aligner.

Additionally, due to a lack of pressure from the alignment happening on both sides of your mouth at once, treatment times may be extended with greater chances of relapse after treatment.

The Byte.com website states that it is okay to get braces on either the top or bottom sets of teeth if you have only a few misaligned teeth in one location. However, this approach may not end up being cheaper or quicker to a resolution and there are risks to the overall appearance of your smile if both sets of teeth are not treated at the same time.

Therefore it is important that whoever is delivering aligners performs a comprehensive examination before deciding whether one-arch treatment is an appropriate course of action.

See our article: Braces by Mail.

Are One Arch Aligners a Good Idea?

Opting for aligners on just one arch comes with its own set of considerations that weigh the pros against the cons. While initially, it may appear more cost-effective to focus treatment on a single arch, this approach might not yield the desired results, potentially leading to additional expenses over time. There’s a risk that if the alignment of only one arch is corrected, it may not harmonize with the untreated arch, possibly necessitating a restart of the treatment or the inclusion of further corrective procedures.

Aligners are generally designed to work in tandem on both the upper and lower arches to foster a comprehensive and balanced smile transformation. Solely treating one arch only could lead to less satisfactory outcomes due to the intricate interplay between both arches in achieving optimal occlusion and aesthetics.

If cost-saving is a primary concern and you’re contemplating aligners for only one arch as a budget-friendly solution, you might want to consider at-home aligner options instead. These can offer a more economical route to improving your smile without the potential drawbacks of single-arch treatments.

See some reviews of the best clear aligners available here:

Byte Review –  The top pick. These affordable aligners have a lifetime guarantee and come with free accessories.

Byte

Byte

An affordable option with refundable impression kits, free HyperByte, and a Byte for Life guarantee.

Check out Byte Aligners

Candid Review – The most similar product to Invisalign aligners this product is great for mild to severe teeth spacing issues and a Candid orthodontist is assigned to your case throughout the treatment.

Candid

Candid

A hybrid of in-office and at-home treatment that provides 1-on-1 orthodontist support.

Check out Candid Aligners

NewSmile Review –  A low-cost option but with premium aesthetics, this product comes with a teeth whitening kit and a free retainer.

NewSmile

NewSmile

Affordable at-home treatment with positive reviews offering superior look and comfort.

Check out NewSmile Aligners

Sources:

Ackerman M. Teleorthodontic treatment with clear aligners: An analysis of outcome in treatment supervised by general practitioners versus orthodontic specialists Journal of Dental Research and Reports. (2019). DOI: 10.15761/JDRR.1000114. Available online at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341619741_Teleorthodontic_treatment_with_clear_aligners_An_analysis_of_outcome_in_treatment_supervised_by_general_practitioners_versus_orthodontic_specialists

Mortazavi,M., et al. An updated systematic review on the effectivity of clear aligner therapy: A review. Journal of Craniomaxillofacial Research. (2020). Available online at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/349579223_An_updated_systematic_review_on_the_effectivity_of_clear_aligner_therapy

Iza Wojnarowski

Content contributor

Iza is a dedicated content contributor for Toothific. Having worn braces twice and currently using Invisalign to correct a mild overbite, Iza brings a unique perspective to her writing. She spends her time staying updated on the latest dental trends and treatments, ensuring her readers have the most current information for their dental care needs.

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