Posted on September 3rd, 2020
You’ve made the decision to meet with one of our licensed orthodontists. You are interested in fixing something about your smile - maybe your bite or a gap. And, you’ve now come into one of our modern clinics for your free consultation and found out you will need to have dental work done before you can start your clear aligner journey. It can be very discouraging, and our team understands that.
We are here to help and explain the common reasons patients need dental work before starting their invisible aligner treatment.
What kind of dental care do patients often need?
Most commonly, patients are recommended by their orthodontist to have a general cleaning before they begin treatment. A general checkup is beneficial for everyone to make sure all of your teeth and gums are healthy and that you do not have any infections. Moving teeth in a healthy oral environment is very important.
For patients who have not seen the dentist recently for a checkup or teeth cleaning, may have cavities. Before treatment can start, cavities need to be cleaned and filled and this may delay the treatment process. It is important to catch cavities quickly because they can progress and weaken tooth structure. Orthodontic forces can cause teeth to break if the cavity is big enough - this is why it is important that they are filled. Additionally, if left untreated, cavities can progress to the nerve of the tooth, and then root canal treatment or extraction may be needed. Moving teeth when there is gingival inflammation can cause any existing bone loss or periodontal disease to progress. Although these situations are considered extreme in some cases, teeth should be moved on a healthy periodontium (in a healthy oral environment).
Many patients wonder, if you are getting clear aligners, should your wisdom teeth be removed first? The answer is: not always. This depends upon the case, but wisdom teeth removal is usually NOT required by our orthodontists unless the wisdom teeth are causing significant hygiene issues or pain, at which point removal of the teeth becomes mandatory. If you do have your wisdom teeth, and they are not impacting you negatively, you are still able to get clear aligners with your wisdom teeth still present. Research shows that wisdom teeth do not cause further crowding of the front teeth, which is a common misconception.
If you have been seeing your dentist regularly, you’re more likely to begin treatment right away because your dentist would have addressed most issues keeping you from qualifying from teeth straightening treatment with Uniform Teeth. If you have not seen a dentist recently and still have come in for your free consultation, our orthodontists can refer you to a local dentist to deliver your comprehensive dental care in preparation for your orthodontic treatment.