Imagine a line down the exact center of your face. It should go between your eyes, over the tip of your nose, and between your two front teeth. But a midline misalignment (also called midline discrepancy or deviated midline) means your teeth are slightly off-center. It’s mostly a cosmetic concern, but in certain cases, it can lead to bite issues and uneven wear.
Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatments for midline, including home aligners. But while convenient, home aligners aren’t a perfect fit for everyone. This guide will walk you through home aligner treatment for midline misalignment. And if you decide that they’re not quite right for you, we’ll supply a few alternatives.
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How Do Home Teeth Aligners Work?
Home teeth aligners are exactly what they sound like: aligners designed to treat dental concerns from home, without the added cost or hassle involved in traditional orthodontic treatment. But what does the process of home teeth alignment actually entail?
To get the ball rolling, you’ll take impressions of your teeth using the kit your provider sends you (we’ll go over our recommended providers shortly). Then, you’ll mail the impressions back to them for one of their dentists to review. If the dentist in charge of your case determines that home aligners aren’t the right fit for you, the cost of this step (between $49-$99) is fully refundable. Some companies also offer the option of visiting a physical office to get your teeth scanned for free instead of buying a home impression kit.
After this step, your provider will design a series of custom aligners based on your impressions, and send them to you within about one month. From there, it’s up to you to keep up with the treatment plan (wearing your aligners for the required amount of time each day, keeping up with oral hygiene, progressing through the series of aligners as prescribed) to make sure you get the results you were promised!
Are Home Teeth Aligners Effective for Midline Misalignment?
This is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. Their effectiveness ultimately depends on your specific condition, but fairly mild cases of midline misalignment can be a good fit for home aligner treatment.
This is generally only the case if your condition is confined to the front teeth, caused by minor crowding or a childhood habit like prolonged thumb-sucking. Cases of minor crowding and small anterior teeth shifts are home aligners’ specialty, so they should have no problem achieving those moves.
In some cases, however, a deviated midline is more significant or stems from a deeper bite issue, usually a posterior crossbite that affects your molars. This kind can shift all of the teeth to one side, moving the midline. The teeth and jaw movements required for these corrections might be too complicated or significant for home aligners.
If you’re wondering whether home aligners can work for your condition, order an impression kit from the company of your choice and submit molds of your dental arches. Using these molds, the company’s team of dental professionals can let you know if their treatment program will be enough to make the transformations you want. You should also consult your dentist, who can provide a thorough analysis of your condition and a professional recommendation.
The good news is that there’s still a good chance that your midline discrepancy will respond well to home aligner treatment. If so, your next question is, “Which company should I choose?”
What Home Teeth Aligners Can I Choose From?
Compared to Invisalign and braces, home aligners are a relatively new orthodontic advancement that’s gained significant popularity over the past few years. Adults seeking straighter teeth have turned to them over traditional options because of their convenience and affordability. If you think that home aligners might be a good option for your midline misalignment, you have several options. Each one might be able to do the job, but each also has its own unique advantages and procedures. But we’ve done some of the legwork for you, researching each option extensively. Here are our top three choices:
If you’ve got a special occasion coming up in just a few months, speed is the name of the game. And no home aligner company is faster than byte. Plus, they maintain affordable prices, flexible financing options, and an unrivaled lifetime guarantee.
- byte’s dental team includes both dentists and orthodontists, but they guarantee that an orthodontist will be involved in every case.
- Their byte-For-Life guarantee provides new aligners if your teeth ever shift
- byte’s financing plans don’t require a credit check, so everyone qualifies
- byte-At-Night only requires 10 hours of continuous wear per day instead of the usual 22
- byte includes aftercare retainers for free
- byte doesn’t currently have any retail locations, so you’ll need to order an impression kit to get started
- Still young, byte doesn’t have an extensive track record of results yet
byte excels at treating cases that only need minor shifts, but can’t always achieve comparable results with larger bite realignments. If your midline discrepancy is caused by crowding or another issue in the front few teeth, byte could be a solid option. But if it stems from crossbite or other backbite irregularities, you might not be a candidate. Submit your teeth impressions and byte’s dental experts can determine whether their aligners can achieve the desired results.
Candid’s dedication to quality makes them well worth considering for anyone interested in home teeth alignment. Candid is the only provider that makes sure an orthodontist manages your treatment plan. And they’re the only home aligner company to offer Remote Monitoring, which gives you regular virtual check-ins with your assigned orthodontist.
- Candid prioritizes customer safety by using an orthodontist-only network
- Physical Candid Studios provide free teeth scans that allow you to skip the impression kit
- Remote Monitoring with your orthodontist keeps your treatment on track from start to finish
- Candid’s aligners are manufactured by ClearCorrect, the 2nd-largest clear aligner producer
- Candid offers your first set of retainers free of charge
- Candid treatment costs $2,400, which is more than the competition
- Their financing plans, which run through Affirm, require a credit check to qualify
- Candid’s 6-month average treatment time is middle of the road
Candid doesn’t address midline issues specifically on their website. However, their FAQ page states that their treatment is most effective for mild and moderate crowding or spacing, and that some bite issues might be better off with in-office orthodontics. So, if your midline misalignment is caused by a minor issue, you could be a good candidate. To find out for sure, visit a Candid Studio or complete and submit and impression kit.
All home aligners are fairly affordable, but AlignerCo takes it to another level. They offer the industry’s lowest prices, plus accessible financing, all while producing quality products. If your budget is top-priority, AlignerCo is the best bet.
- AlignerCo’s $1,145 price tag makes them the most affordable option in the home aligner industry
- They don’t require a credit check for their SmileFlex Easy financing plan (their standard SmileFlex plan requires a soft credit check)
- AlignerCo uses plastic from Essix in their aligners
- They’ve received consistent praise for their attentive, helpful customer service.
- AlignerCo doesn’t have any physical locations that offer free teeth scans
- They use a mixed team of orthodontists and general dentists
- AlignerCo’s treatment often takes 6-11 months, slower than the industry average
While they don’t specifically address midline shifts on their website, AlignerCo does confidently say they can treat mild cases of crowding and spacing, as well as some small bite issues. So if your midline shift is caused by one of these conditions, AlignerCo should have no problem with it. You’ll want to submit an impression kit to find out.
SmileDirectClub is easily the best-known brand of home teeth aligners on the market today. They’ve been straightening teeth since 2014 and served over 750,000 customers to date. With over 300 SmileShops and a nighttime-only option, they’re a highly convenient option.
- SmileDirectClub is more experienced than their competitors
- SmileDirectClub has over 300 SmileShops located across the U.S. where you can get a free teeth scan and skip the impression kit.
- Through SmilePay, every customer can receive financing, no credit check required
- SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Aligners allow you to complete your treatment by wearing aligners just 10 hours per day
- SmileDirectClub has a mixed track record of customer service quality
- SmileDirectClub uses a mixed team of orthodontists and general dentists
- They used to have a manufacturing partnership with Align Technology (makers of Invisalign) but now they produce their aligners in-house
- SmileDirectClub charges an additional $99 fee for retainers after treatment
When it comes to midline misalignments, SmileDirectClub is similar to the previous three companies. Midline issues that stem from simple crowding or spacing in the front teeth are perfect cases for them. But a deviated midline that comes from crossbite or another jaw misalignment may or may not be ideal for SmileDirectClub’s aligners. You can easily find out by submitting impressions or getting a free teeth scan at one of 300+ SmileShop locations.
Need More Information?
Choosing a treatment option is a big, personal decision, so you’ll want to gather as much information as possible. If you like the idea of correcting your midline misalignment from home, we encourage you to read our comprehensive comparison of these services before making a final decision.
What Are My Other Options?
As we mentioned before, home aligners aren’t a universal solution for everyone. Based on their conditions, some people aren’t candidates for treatment. And others might just prefer the personalized care of an in-office option. There are a few viable alternatives, each with its own unique advantages and drawbacks. Be sure to research and evaluate them to see if which ones line up with your priorities, lifestyle, and goals.
Braces: Braces are the oldest orthodontic treatment out there, and they’re highly effective at treating a broad range of conditions, midline misalignment included. Braces are sturdy, durable, and you won’t have to worry about removing and replacing them like clear aligners. Plus, your orthodontist can achieve more complex tooth and jaw movements by supplementing them with elastics, expanders, and other appliances.
So, if your midline issue stems from a bite misalignment or severe spacing, braces can handle it. The two reasons adults hesitate to get braces is their visibility and price. They’re not as discreet as clear aligners and will cost around $5,000 on average.
Invisalign: This is the most experienced and accomplished clear aligner company. After innovating the first clear aligner in 1997, they’ve spent the last two decades refining their products and procedures to cement their position atop the industry. Like the home aligner companies listed here, Invisalign’s trays are clear, removable, and customized for your teeth. But unlike home aligners, they must be administered and monitored in-office by your dentist or orthodontist.
The advantage here is that your dentist can use elastics or Invisalign’s “Smartforce” attachments to resolve more severe conditions. So, whether your deviated midline is caused by simple crowding or a posterior crossbite, Invisalign can take care of it. Plus, during regular office visits, your dentist will ensure that your treatment stays on track every step of the way. The trade-off is that Invisalign is considerably more expensive than home aligners and even slightly more than braces.
ClearCorrect: If you’re set on in-office clear aligner treatment, but aren’t sold on Invisalign, look into their biggest competitor: ClearCorrect. Their process is almost identical to Invisalign – your dentist or orthodontist will evaluate your condition, then administer them and evaluate your progress during regular office visits.
These aligners can also incorporate attachments to treat severe cases and bite misalignments. ClearCorrect isn’t quite as experienced or prolific as Invisalign, but they charge dentists less for lab fees, and your treatment might cost less as a result.
Veneers: These are small, durable porcelain tabs your dentist can affix to your teeth, giving the superficial appearance of a perfectly-aligned smile. If your midline issue is confined to your front teeth and doesn’t have any backbite complications, veneers could be a good option, but they’re not helpful for severe spacing or bite issues.
Veneers’ draw is that they offer an instant solution, avoiding the time-consuming process of moving teeth. To craft an ideal porcelain smile, however, your dentist will need to shave down your tooth enamel, which is irreversible and might weaken your teeth in the future.
On top of that, they don’t solve the underlying misalignment and you’ll need to replace them within 7-20 years, as they aren’t permanent. If you’re seeking more permanent results, you might think about spending the $500-$2,000 per tooth elsewhere.
Even as you review all of these treatment options, remember: there’s not an overall best option for every midline discrepancy. Your teeth are unique, so it’s all about finding the route that best fits your condition, finances, and goals.
Home aligners can be a great option that offers the convenience of at-home treatment without draining your bank account. Plus it’s low-risk to get started with an impression kit. If you’re not a candidate, they will refund your money and you can look into one of the alternatives.
But as you dig further into all of your options, don’t lose sight of the fact that this is about your specific midline case. Whether you go with home aligners, take an alternative route, or skip treatment altogether, do what’s best for you, your teeth, and your budget. Do this, and you’ll soon be on your way to a confident smile that fits your priorities and lifestyle.