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Hi guys, long time lurker etc.
I had four extractions at 12 and retraction orthodontics with all the side effects you’d expect. Mouth breathing, recessed maxilla, narrow smile, snoring etc. I’m now 44. Was looking at ways to reverse this without a permanent appliance for aesthetic reasons. Here in the UK I came across an orthodontist who seems to have acheived a full reversal with implants through Invisalign alone.
If you want to see the original article in The Dentist magazine the archive link is here. Page 118-120.
I’ve been in touch with him to try and get some full face and profile shots to see how much the maxilla is moving and general aesthetics. He’s halfway through the process with a couple of other patients; looks like it takes a couple of years. Cost to be discussed but typical for upper lower invis and implants. He’ll come back to me shortly with some more info and hopefully full face photos.
Any thoughts anyone? Anyone else tried this, or seen it done elsewhere?
I’m just at the very beginning of having this done myself with Invisalign. I’m using another dentist however. Right now I’m expanding the width of my arch, and then after that my front teeth will be moved forward to reopen the lost spaces. I’m 3-4 weeks in, but so far so good! My intermolar width is expanding by 8-9mm over the course of ~7 months which seems huge to me (I’m a small girl with a small mouth…)
@recessedjawline Interesting. Did the 8-9mm intermolar width expansion come from Invisalign alone? That sounds interesting.
Was there outward tilting of the teeth or was that prevented by using some sort of power ridges that would torque the teeth lingually while expanding the crowns?
@limebike It hasn’t happened yet, but my final (20th) Invisalign tray is 8-9mm wider between the molars than the first tray. Right now I’m only on Tray 3 of 20. After the 20 trays of lateral expansion, we’ll work on moving the front teeth forward to reopen spaces.
My teeth are quite badly tilted inwards so definitely some of that is purposeful and necessary outward uprighting of the molars, but teeth can only tilt so much. It’s still a significant expansion of the maxilla. The aim is to increase the volume and improve my airway. Whichever way it happens, there is still a huge increase in tongue space which is very important, and even with the 1-2mm I’ve gotten so far, it’s already significantly easier and more natural to achieve correct tongue posture.
My dentist is adamant that the light, consistent forces of Invisalign are exactly what the jaws need to remodel effectively and achieve expansion, and that Invisalign can be a very powerful tool in the right hands. Let’s see if he’s right… I’m treating this as a very expensive experiment. Feel free to share skepticism – I won’t take offence.
@limebike Actually I’m looking at my treatment plan now, and it’s only the bottom ones that tilt inwards significantly. Those are rotating outwards throughout the 20 trays. The upper (or maxillary I guess they’re called?) teeth are supposedly not rotating. The arch is just widening.
It almost seems too good to be true! But the light, constant force theory does make sense, and I feel good having the tongue space available to me that other expanders often take away. The tongue is the real expander here. You’ve just got to give it the right conditions to do its job.
Hi recessed jawline, original poster here. Thanks so much for your reply!
Can I ask you to keep us updated? I’m particularly interested in any symptoms of movement of just the teeth, ie: sensitivity, gum recession, tooth instability etc. Also, would you mind telling us how old you are? I’d like to widen my maxilla but have been told any widening is just from the teeth tipping or being pushed off the bone. I’d love your experiment to prove that theory to be wrong!
@gravamen Sure! I’ll keep on updating you. I didn’t know those were symptoms so I’ll pay attention to them now. I hope that doesn’t happen :\
I can’t say I asked too many opinions, I just went for it with this one dentist. His speciality is TMJ treatment. But, from browsing the Invisalign forums on Reddit, it seems like it’s pretty common for Invisalign to significantly broaden the arch for aesthetic reasons. So I’m guessing if there was a problem with teeth tipping and gum recession, it’d be reported frequently? Could be very wrong. My dentist seems pretty confident he’s expanded many maxillas though, even in older folk. He’s even done the treatment on himself since he had extractions when he was a teenager.
Thanks for getting back to me. Not sure that’s a particular side effect of invisalign, just of arch expansion in general, though this is much debated in both directions.
If you have any links you could post, either to your dentist (are you happy to name them?) and to some of those forums on reddit where invisalign and expansion are discussed, that would brilliant. Good luck on your journey!
Hi, @recessedjawline, Merry Christmas! Do you have any updates with your progress so far? Regards, J
@gravamen Merry Christmas to you too!
So far so good, although I’d still classify it as relatively early days. I’m putting in Tray 9 of 20 today, so I’m half way through the “lateral” expansion phase. A bizarrely low amount of pain to be honest – no tray feels very “tight” when I put it in. Hard to comment on how much my jaw has moved since it will be subtle and the main movement will occur once the lateral expansion has occurred, but I think I can notice a positive difference.
No sensitivity – but I’ve never had sensitivity before. Hmmm what other updates can I give??? If you have any specific questions let me know 🙂 Happy to answer anything. I’m hesitant to put up progress pics just because… it is my face and it’s SO hard to get it accurate even though I’ve drawn literal marks on the wall to try and keep things constant. I think I’ll be happier to do that at the end a bit more if/when the change is more pronounced.
@recessedjawline thanks for replying so quick! Totally understand about progress pics…
You mention 2 stages of movement, first lateral, then forward movement. Are they both being achieved only through Invisalign? No other appliance? And any idea why they’re not done at the same time? Also, how long does your dentist envision the whole process taking?
Great to hear that you think you can see a difference, and that you’re not in pain. Will leave you alone now for a few months to get that progress going!
@recessedjawline Hey, may I ask how your expansion is going? I’m thinking of using invisalign to expand my arch as well as to fix my open bite on my left side. I haven’t seen an orthodontist though, just want to gather some info first. Thanks!
Do you have any the details of any places that are doing this in the UK please ? – And is your treatment still progressing well?
The situation here is in general want the top teeth ‘moved forward’ a little, and widening of the dental arch
Also, one for Gravaman as well as the group – the dentist featured in the article does not do this procedure any more but was (as per Gravs note) doing it as recently as last year – I contacted them this week