July 20, 2020 Tri Le Are you an adult who is thinking about straightening your teeth with Invisalign? Invisalign, a treatment we offer here at Bunker Hill Dentistry, is a great option for most adults because it’s nearly invisible and it straightens crooked and improperly spaced teeth. It can also correct certain types of over, under and crossbites. However, adults often have dental work and restorations, like crowns, veneers and implants. The good news is that Invisalign can, under most circumstances, be used by people with crowns and veneers. It’s important to note that if you have an implant, it cannot be moved because it is anchored into the jaw. What Is Invisalign? Invisalign is a teeth straightening treatment that uses a series of aligner trays to move teeth into their proper positions. Invisalign treats crooked, twisted, improperly spaced and crowded teeth. It also has the ability to treat certain types of mild to moderate overbites, crossbites and underbites, and Invisalign can be worn by individuals who previously had traditional braces as a teenager but whose teeth have shifted since their initial treatment. Individuals wear their trays for at least 22 hours a day, and each tray is worn for about two weeks before moving onto the next set. Many adults prefer Invisalign because it does not require a change in diet and, unlike traditional braces, it’s nearly invisible, which means it doesn’t dramatically affect appearance. Clear Invisalign tray over teeth Getting Invisalign if You Already Have a Crown Crowns are placed over the teeth for both cosmetic and structural reasons. For example, if you have a severely discolored tooth, a crown can help improve the tooth’s appearance. If the tooth is severely decayed, the decay can be cleaned from the tooth, the natural tooth sealed and a crown placed over the tooth to help give the tooth extra support. Since crowns are placed over the tooth and not embedded into the jaw, teeth with crowns can be moved just as easily as teeth without crowns. Invisalign aligners are also custom-fitted to your teeth, which means that if you already have crowns, the impression taken of your teeth to create your aligners will include the space needed for your crowns. There’s also little to no bonding associated with Invisalign. This means that if you have crowns on the front teeth, nothing will be stuck to them in order to help shift your teeth to their correct locations, which reduces the potential for damage to the finish of your crown. If crowns are located on the back teeth, there may be a need to attach buttons to help your Invisalign aligners anchor to your teeth and remain securely in place. The buttons are made from the same composite material used to fill cavities and they attach to the crowns. The downside is that removing the buttons may damage the finish of the crown. The good news is that not everyone needs buttons. Our dentist at Bunker Hill Dentistry addresses the need for buttons and Invisalign attachments on a case by case basis. In general, our dentist simply needs to make sure that your crown is made from high-quality materials and properly cemented to your tooth so that it does not become loose during the straightening process. Invisalign Works Better with Crowns Than Traditional Braces Invisalign works better to straighten the teeth of people who have crowns than traditional braces. This is because the brackets for braces need to be bonded to every tooth, which includes teeth with crowns. While this can be done, the bonding material doesn’t always adhere as well to the crowns as it does the natural teeth. This means that you are more likely to experience loose brackets on the teeth that have crowns. When the brackets are removed, there is the potential to damage the crown, and if the crown is severely damaged, you may need a replacement. By contrast, Invisalign aligners don’t require bonding attachments to every tooth. This means that if you have crowns on your front teeth or on only a couple teeth, there’s a good chance that those teeth won’t need any attachments or buttons. Special Considerations Using Invisalign with Crowns The Location of Your Crowns – The location of your crown may impact your treatment, especially if you need buttons or Invisalign attachments. Bonding cement doesn’t adhere as well to certain crown materials as it does to natural teeth. The Condition of Your Crowns – Your crowns must be in good condition and properly cemented to your teeth. If they are not in good condition or loose, you may need to have the crowns replaced before beginning your teeth straightening treatment. Removing Your Aligners – When you have crowns, it’s very important to remove your aligners carefully. You do not want to pull on your crown as you could cause it to become loose. Getting a Crown or Invisalign First? If you need crowns and you want to straighten your teeth, you may be wondering if you should get the crown first. The decision depends on why you need the crown. If the crown is meant to cover chips or discoloration, it may be best to wait until after you straighten your teeth. If your tooth is severely decayed or damaged and the crown is needed for structural support, then you’ll want to get your crown first. The good news is that our dentist at Bunker Hill Dentistry, Dr. Le, can evaluate your teeth and crowns, as well as the need for crowns, and determine if Invisalign would be the best option and figure out the right treatment sequence. To learn more about Invisalign as well as our other teeth straightening options and to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 832-834-5281. Tri LeA practicing dentist since 1987, Dr. Le has been running successful dental practices in Texas with his wife Ann since 1990. A member of the ADA, AACD and AADSM, Dr. Le has also contributed to several leading dental journals.