Chances are, you've heard of crossbites- but you may be wondering what exactly they are and what the most appropriate treatments are. You may even be wondering if Invisalign is an appropriate treatment for this dental issue. Crossbites are common- affecting up to 22% of the population. Experts agree that crossbite is easy to correct and the earlier it is corrected, the better.
In this article, we'll explain five types of crossbites and the most appropriate orthodontic treatments, including Invisalign. If you think you might have a crossbite, schedule your consultation with Arlington Dental Excellence today.
Before we discuss how to fix a crossbite, we must first explain what a crossbite is, as well as the different types. There are five types of crossbites:
- Combo of Anterior and Posterior
If you've never heard of these before, it's okay. We're going to explain each one below:
This type of crossbite is a malocclusion that affects your front teeth. in anterior crossbite, one or more of your upper front teeth sit behind your lower front teeth. Though it might sound similar, it's different than an underbite, in which all of the top teeth/jaw sit behind the bottom teeth/jaw.
In a typical bite, your lower back teeth sit slightly inside your upper back teeth - but if you have a posterior crossbite, it's the opposite. Your upper back teeth sit inside your lower back teeth.
In this type of crossbite, the back teeth of both sides of your jaws are affected. Your top back teeth sit inside of your bottom back teeth
This type of crossbite is characterized by misalignment on one side of your mouth. This is often the result of prolonged pacifier use or thumb sucking.
Combo of Anterior and Posterior
Some patients have a combo of anterior and posterior crossbite. In this case, your entire upper jaw sits inside your lower jaw. This is the result of an overgrowth of the lower or undergrowth of the upper jaw.
What Causes Crossbite?
There are several things that can cause crossbite:
- Abnormal tooth eruption
- Long-term mouth breathing (especially while sleeping)
- Childhood habits (thumb sucking, pacifier use, etc)
How to Treat Crossbite
If not corrected in early childhood, other dental conditions and jaw issues will develop later in life. While treatment for adults is still possible, it's limited since the jaw and teeth are fully developed.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Invisalign came onto the market in 1997. Since that time, over 9 million patients have used it to correct a variety of orthodontic issues, including crossbite. Invisalign is the most widely known and effective brand of clear aligners. The aligners cover the entire biting surface of your upper and lower teeth, allowing the tooth in crossbite to move freely without being affected by opposing teeth.
As we mentioned, crossbites are fairly common and most cases can be treated with braces, if clear aligners are not an option. If you have only one tooth in a crossbite, traditional metal braces can shift the tooth into the appropriate position without assistance from other orthodontic appliances.
Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)
If your crossbite is severe, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend an expander in addition to clear aligners or braces. A rapid palate expander, or RPRE, widens narrow dental arches and corrects a posterior crossbite. The appliance fits over some of your back teeth in the upper jaw and is connected by a screw in the middle. In order to activate the RPE, the screw should be turned a small amount daily.
Reverse-Pull Headgear/Face Mask
Reverse pull headgear is made of pads that attach to the chin and forehead with a frame between. Rubber bands connect the metal braces to the frame. This appliance shifts the upper jaw forward, gradually aligning the teeth in the upper and lower jaws.
If you have a very severe case of crossbite, underbite, or overbite, or you have advanced sleep apnea, jaw surgery may be your best option. During this procedure, an oral surgeon will move your upper and lower jaws forward.
Veneers may be used in adults to fix a mild crossbite. If your bite is stable and you just want to change the shape/color of your teeth, this may be a viable option. That being said, veneers are more expensive and invasive than other options. Schedule your consultation today to speak with the dentist about your options.
Benefits of Using Invisalign for a Crossbite
Over the years, Invisalign has revolutionized the way a variety of dental issues, including crossbite, underbite, overbite, and crooked teeth are treated. Here are several reasons why you would want to choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces.
- Easy to clean
- Improved self-confidence
- Custom-made to fit your mouth
Risk Factors/Complications Associated with Untreated Crossbite
If you have a crossbite, it's very important that you get it treated as soon as possible because there are several risk factors/complications that are associated with untreated crossbite:
- Tooth chips/cracks due to malocclusion between upper and lower jaw
- Increased risk of dental issues, including cavities and gum disease, including periodontal disease and gingivitis
- Receding gums, increasing risk of infection/decay in tooth roots due to improper positioning of tooth, periodontal disease, and malocclusion
- Difficulty closing mouth
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Headaches/ jaw aches
- Severe toothaches
How Long Does Invisalign Take to Treat Crossbite?
According to the experts, Invisalign takes about 12 to 36 months to treat crossbite, based on several factors. The timing could vary based on the severity/complexity of your condition, how well you comply with treatment instructions (aligners must be worn at least 22 hours a day), and the experience of your orthodontist. When you remove your aligners, make sure that you take the time to clean them, and brush/floss your teeth before putting them back in. This is critical for a successful treatment
How Much Does Invisalign for Crossbite Cost?
On average, Invisalign treatment costs $3,000 to $5,000. Traditional metal braces are about the same, ranging between $2,000 to $6,000. It's important to note that some insurance companies will cover Invisalign treatment, or others, at least partially.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
At Arlington Dental Excellence, we are the premier dental clinic in Arlington, Virginia. Our staff is highly knowledgeable and trained on the various dental conditions and the most appropriate treatments. Schedule your consultation today to come discuss your needs.