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What is Expanding the dental arch and why?

The dental arch is defined as the space within which the teeth sit in a comfortable uncrowded position. The width of the arch is usually wider than the depth, but this can vary amongst humans with disproportionate jaw length etc.

The arch can narrow over time owing to teeth clenching muscle action, tongue thrust, thumb sucking or even orthodontic relapse. This can lead to tooth crowding.

Tooth crowding due to arch collapse can create unsightly smiles, gum problems, tooth wear and even the odd fracture of a tooth.

Arch collapse can cause teeth to drift upwards, inwards, outwards and downwards.

The drift causes other teeth to fall into the space created. This can lead to bite issues, food trapping, gum disease and even decay.

Some patients have airway issues with arch collapse as the tongue tends to sit further back and patients are known to snore.

Invisalign is a great tool to reverse arch collapse and create a great smile.

In this case, a young male aged 25 presents with dental crowding and anterior tooth wear. The lower teeth are not seen much as they have drifted upwards and this has lead to a deep bite with upper teeth wear and tooth shortening.

He also had a deep bite that can lead to tooth wear and joint problems.

Some patients may want a quick fix with dental veneers and we certainly can recommend them in suitable cases. What we do not recommend however are stick on composite bondings as they can fall off and also make the teeth look bulky and non translucent.

The young patient wanted a noninvasive treatment without fixed braces.

We agreed Invisalign treatment and the idea was to expand the dental arches outwards, lower anteriors downwards and the upper anteriors upwards.

By tilting teeth into an upright position, we can increase the dental arch width and straighten the arch. This creates the pleasing effect of a wider smile with teeth aligned into an acceptable position.

The deep bite can also be addressed by the pushing forward and downwards of the lower incisors and the up and outwards movement of the upper incisors.

After 1 year of treatment we levelled off the incisor edges and the patient was very pleased. In fact 98% of Forma patients are pleased!

Take a look for your self.

We provided 3 upper and 3 lower Invisalign Vivera retainers and free tooth whitening.

The patient rang us up after 11 years and asked for new triple retainers, proving that his teeth were stable and in good health.

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