While straight and beautifully aligned teeth can do wonders for your self-confidence, very few people are endowed with a naturally straight smile. Many people experience mild to severe misalignment.
Minor teeth misalignments can often be corrected with cosmetic restorations like veneers or bonding. However, these only mask the disfiguration without fixing the underlying issue.
While clear aligners are tried and tested methods to correct crooked teeth and align dentition, the question is, can they straighten back teeth?
Clear Aligners – The whole tooth and nothing but the tooth!
Contrary to popular belief, invisible aligners can move back teeth and align them, although this may take a few months longer.
So why is this?
Molars can be awkward to move or straighten because there is less room for movement, and rear teeth tend to be deeply embedded in the jaw bone.
Therefore, the popular opinion is that only metal braces work in this situation. However, this is a misconception:
Clear braces can move rear teeth as well as front teeth.
They move the rear teeth in the same way as they move other teeth, the difference being that moving molars may take longer, depending on the degree of misalignment. In some cases, you may require more aligner trays to move the molars, but this is considered in your treatment plan.
So what about the costs of moving back teeth? Is it more expensive?
In a word, yes and no!
Moving back teeth doesn’t always have to be expensive but will be more costly than a minor cosmetic adjustment in the smile line. That said, costs vary significantly from patient to patient, depending on the complexity of the patient’s orthodontic situation, the type and number of teeth aligners required, and the brand used.
To put this into context, teeth straightening in the UK can cost anywhere between £654 and £7000. That’s a huge price swing, so it’s always best to ask for a direct quote about your particular oral situation – especially if you are considering the movement of back teeth.
This is why, as the UK’s most affordable teeth straightening option, we provide a full refund on the cost of the impression kit if our aligner treatment is not the best fit for you.
Correcting multiple occlusion problems with clear aligners
The good news is that in addition to moving the back teeth, clear aligners in the UK can also fix a range of malocclusion issues.
Here’s a closer look:
An overcrowded dentition can be caused by several problems like abnormally shaped or overly large teeth, premature loss of baby teeth, or a small jaw. Each new invisible aligner can move crowded teeth up to 0.25 mm, thus bringing the dental arch back into realignment. The dentist may also make room in the jaw by extracting one or more teeth if needed.
- Gapped Teeth
Spaces between the teeth not only ruin your smile but also trap food particles and increase the risk of developing gum disease. Personalised teeth aligners can move teeth in a way that reduces or eliminates gaps. Patients are advised to wear retainers after teeth straightening treatment to prevent the re-formation of gaps.
When the upper dental arch extends beyond the lower set of teeth, it causes an overbite. Clear aligners can effectively fix mild to moderate cases. Dentists also use mandibular attachments or motion appliances to aid movement in severe overbite cases.
An underbite occurs when the bottom teeth protrude beyond the upper jaw. An untreated underbite may lead to faster tooth decay, chewing difficulties, and headaches. Teeth aligners can correct some underbite issues, while others may require surgery in addition to teeth straightening treatment.
Crossbite problems are relatively common, and specialised invisible aligners can treat many cases.
A scissor crossbite occurs when the lower set of teeth point outwards and the upper teeth point inwards. On the other hand, a dental crossbite occurs when the upper and lower arches don’t align properly.
Invisible aligners can correct crossbite issues by moving the misaligned or awkwardly angled teeth into the correct positions.
How are at-home clear aligners made?
You can get an initial impression kit delivered to your doorstep. You will then have to make moulds of your teeth using the easy instructions which come with the kit. After you are done making the moulds, you can mail them back to your clear aligners manufacturer.
Once the team receives your dental impressions, a 3D digital plan will be created and sent to you for approval. The fabrication of your custom-made clear aligners will begin once you approve the plan.
You will receive your aligner kit at home. It will have several aligner trays of different sizes. You will need to replace your set of clear aligner trays after a maximum of 10 days.
Clear aligners: How they score over other options
If you want that straight smile but are less enthused about painful and unsightly metal braces to straighten back teeth, aligners may be the ideal solution for you.
Clear aligners in the UK have become a popular alternative among teens and adults as they are as effective as ‘regular’ braces in mild to moderate cases. Moreover, aligners are more than a match in terms of price, with less complex aligners treatments priced considerably less.
How to use your clear aligners for best results?
If you’re just started teeth straightening treatment, chances are, you’re still new to the process and may have questions about how to use clear aligners for the best results.
It’s a good idea to wear clear braces (aligners) for at least 20-22 hours a day. 22-hour compliance is necessary because aligners are only effective when they are in physical contact with your teeth.
If you constantly take aligners out, teeth will shift back to their original positions and delay straightening.
If you fail to comply with the 22-hour rule, you may need to wear the tray for a more extended period, or in some cases, the patient may need a new set of clear aligners. So do take them out when eating and drinking as instructed but also remember to put them immediately back in after food.
Tips to maximise the benefits of clear aligners – including the movement of back teeth
Remember to keep these simple tips in mind throughout your teeth straightening treatment:
- Do not remove the clear braceswhen you prepare to sleep; let them stay in place.
- Be prepared for mild discomfort or soreness when you first start wearing aligners – especially during the first few days. Slight discomfort is a sign that tooth movement is working, particularly on the back teeth.
- If you notice any damaged or missing aligners, report the issue immediately to your dentist.
- Soak the clear aligners in baking soda and water and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush to clear away food debris.
- Avoid soaking the aligners in hot water or coloured mouthwash.
All of the tips above will enhance the many existing benefits of clear aligners in the UK, enabling you to get the most out of your teeth straightening treatment.
Clear aligners for teeth straightening in the UK
If you’re self-conscious about a crooked smile and need assistance with teeth straightening, please contact Straight My Teeth for our personalised clear aligners. Take advantage of our current discount offers and order your dental impressions kit today.
Once we receive the impressions, we’ll create your new smile using the latest imaging technology and formulate a unique treatment plan for your needs.
InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Misaligned teeth and jaws: Overview. 2020 Jan 16. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553375/
Moimaz, S. A. S. (2014, August 4). Longitudinal study of habits leading to malocclusion development in childhood – BMC Oral Health. BioMed Central. https://bmcoralhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6831-14-96
Orthodontic Tooth Movement – an overview. (n.d.). ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/orthodontic-tooth-movement
Bernard, Gabrielle & Rompré, Pierre & Tavares, Jason & Montpetit, Andrée. (2020). Colorimetric and spectrophotometric measurements of orthodontic thermoplastic aligners exposed to various staining sources and cleaning methods. Head & Face Medicine. 16. 10.1186/s13005-020-00218-2.
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Kishor Kumar Pradhan