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What Aligners Can and Can't Fix

What Aligners Can and Can’t Fix

We think clear aligners are pretty amazing. Little plastic trays, made especially for you, that take your smile from “Meh” to “Wow!”, all while staying nearly-invisible? That’s pretty neat!

But maybe you look in the mirror at your own smile and think, it can’t be that easy, can it? Well, read on for some real talk about what clear aligners can and can’t fix. You might be surprised!

Aligners can fix…


Crooked Teeth. Aligners excel at setting crooked teeth straight for a beautiful, even smile.

Overbite. If your top teeth are too far forward, almost or completely covering your bottom teeth you have an overbite. Overbites can make it difficult to chew or bite some foods. In some cases, aligners can move the top teeth up and backwards, so they align with the bottom teeth properly.

Underbite. An underbite is when the bottom teeth extend in front of the top teeth. Underbites can cause wear and tear on the teeth, and even speech problems. In some cases, aligners can move the bottom teeth back, so they align behind the top teeth.


Crossbite. If you close your jaws and some of your upper teeth sit inside your lower teeth, instead of outside, you have a crossbite. Crossbites can cause teeth to chip, wear down and even cause gums to recede. In many cases, aligners can be used to move the incorrectly positioned teeth into their proper place.

Gaps. There are some famous and well-loved gap-toothed smiles out there, but if you have one or more s

crooked teeth

paces between teeth you know that the excess space can be a pain. Food can get stuck between the teeth and gums, causing pain and gum disease. Aligners can help close gaps between teeth by shifting teeth closer together.

Crowded teeth. If there are more teeth than space in the jaw, teeth get overlapped and crooked. This is called crowding. Crowded teeth are prone to food getting stuck, and tartar and plaque build-up, which leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Aligners can even out some cases of crowded teeth.

Aligners don’t work so well on…

Certain teeth shapes. Teeth that are short, round or “pegged”, or that have severe tips can be harder for aligners to grip, making the treatment less effective.

Intruded or extruded teeth. Only braces have the force needed to make teeth sit at the same height by raising or lowering their position in the jawbone.

Large gaps. Aligners can close gapped teeth, but their effectiveness on very large gaps can be limited.

Old dental work. Permanent implants and bridges can’t be moved.

New dental work. If you got a new veneer or crown after your aligners were fitted, your aligners won’t fit or work anymore. New dental work that will change the shape of any of your teeth should be done after your aligner treatment is finished.

Extreme tooth positions. If a tooth is rotated or tilted beyond a certain point, aligners won’t be able to straighten it completely or move it into the ideal position.

Tricky cases

Aligners can only achieve a limited amount of movement and force. For most people, that’s enough to get desired results! But some cases will require braces or other orthodontic treatments that aligners can’t offer. These include severe bite problems, extreme crowding, larger gaps, or very tilted or twisted teeth.

The best way to find out what aligners can do for you is to let us see your smile

The first step to a perfect smile is a visit to a PureScan Shop. There, we’ll take a free 3D rendering of your smile. If there’s no PureScan Shop near you, you can order an at-home impression kit.

Using this 3D scan, our orthodontic professionals will be able to tell you exactly what aligners can do for you and your smile. Then, they’ll get right to work creating a plan to set your smile straight.

Don’t just wonder what aligners can do, visit a PureScan Shop today to begin your journey to the smile of your dreams!

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