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Some orthodontists can perform a single arch Invisalign treatment, which means correcting the top or bottom teeth only. However, it’s more common for your dentist to treat the top and bottom arches simultaneously.
Single arch treatment corrects a specific problem or makes cosmetic improvements to your teeth. Dentists rarely recommend this procedure because of the risks to your bite formation. However, there are cases where having it won’t lead to potential complications.
In this article, we cover the pros and cons of single arch aligner treatment so you can determine if it’s right for you.
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Making sure that your lower and upper teeth are aligned can prevent you from various dental health risks. Depending on your teeth’s condition, treating both lower and upper teeth may not be necessary.
Single arch treatment may make sense if you have minor aesthetic issues, including:
A single arch treatment could also correct a previous Invisalign treatment or when a dentist is treating children’s baby teeth. Ultimately, you should consult your dentist about whether you qualify for this treatment.
Opting for a single arch aligner treatment that focuses solely on the top or bottom teeth may lead to complications. One primary concern is the potential for a malocclusion or misalignment between your top and bottom teeth.
It can also change where your jaw rests, making it sit either too far forward or move back. If this kind of misalignment happens, it may affect your smile and change your appearance, causing self-esteem issues.
Malocclusions arising from disrupted bite alignments can cause various long-term health problems, including:1
The two dental arches function together as an integrated system. Treating only one arch presents challenges for orthodontists and enhances the probability of alignment errors. For the most effective results, it’s generally advisable to receive holistic dental treatments.
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Invisalign treatment works the same way for one arch as it does for both arches. Here are the general steps you should expect when undergoing the procedure:
Invisalign aligners can move your teeth between 0.25 to 0.3 millimeters every two weeks.2 Some people may only need half a year to complete treatment if they have minor issues.
It can take longer for people with more complicated bite issues. Wearing your aligner less than 20 hours a day will also prolong the treatment. This is why following your orthodontist’s instructions on what you can and can’t do while under treatment is important.
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The national average cost is around $2,500 to $5,500.2 Other sources place the price as high as $9,000.5 For minor treatments, however, it may be closer to the lower end.
Some people mistakenly think single arch treatment is a way to pay half-price for two dental arches. However, treating both arches is not significantly more expensive than treating just one.
At some dentists’ offices, Invisalign costs the same for one or both arches.3,4 There’s no standard flat rate for Invisalign treatment.
Costs for Invisalign treatment can vary based on many factors, including:
Many insurance policies cover Invisalign, which can be paid with a Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Your dentist or orthodontist may also offer payment plans as alternative financial options.
Getting Invisalign for only the top or bottom teeth is possible for minor aesthetic issues. However, treating only the bottom teeth or the top teeth isn’t recommended as it can lead to teeth misalignment or malocclusion.
A single arch treatment can cost between $2,500 and $9,000, but it’s not half the cost of a double arch treatment as some expect. Many insurers cover Invisalign, and there are several payment options you can choose from.
If you’re thinking about getting Invisalign to fix a few crooked teeth or your teeth bite, consult your doctor to determine the right orthodontic treatment for you.
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