Can Invisalign Fix an Overbite?
Since receiving approval from the FDA in 1998, Invisalign clear aligners have been a highly popular alternative to traditional braces. This treatment involves custom, clear trays that must remain in your mouth for approximately 22 hours of the day. These clear trays make small adjustments to the teeth over time, improving alignment and spacing.
One of the most common reasons patients choose aligners is to fix an overbite. An overbite describes when your upper teeth extend past your lower teeth. There are many reasons people choose to fix an overbite, including:
- Irritating gums, tongue, or teeth
Current research indicates that Invisalign can be used to rectify mild to moderate overbites. The time needed varies from one patient to another. However, if you have a severe overbite, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend traditional braces instead.
In this article, we are going to explain how Invisalign can fix an overbite compared to traditional braces. Hopefully, this can help you make the best choice for your smile.
How Does Invisalign Fix an Overbite?
The primary reason people choose Invisalign treatment is that it is transparent and there's no bulky hardware. Though it's not 100% invisible, it is much less obvious than metal braces and many people find that it's more comfortable.
Invisalign clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that need to be worn for at least 22 hours per day. They are removable so that you can eat, drink, and care for your teeth as usual. The trays will be swapped out approximately every 2 weeks for new ones, with each one being slightly different from the last, based on expected progress.
The trays gradually increase the force that is placed on the teeth, with the pressure slowly increasing as treatment progresses. Your teeth are progressively shifted into proper alignment, which eventually corrects your overbite.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
The amount of time it takes for Invisalign treatment to work depends on the severity of your overbite, the amount of work required to align your teeth, and the overall condition of your teeth. Here's a look at some things that affect the timeline:
According to the Invisalign website, you will wear the aligners anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
If you remove them from your mouth for more than 2 hours per day, you will probably have to wear them longer. You do need to take them out to eat and to practice oral hygiene (brushing, flossing), and you should wear them while you are sleeping
After the treatment is completed, you will still need to wear a retainer to make sure your teeth remain in their new position
The retainer will give your jawbone time to regain bone tissue to anchor the teeth in place and if you don't use it, your teeth could move back to their previous position. The dentist will determine how long you need the retainer and how many hours a day it needs to be worn.
It is important to note that age does factor into the length of Invisalign treatment. A child's jawbone is still growing, which means they will be more responsive to the movement and realignment of teeth through orthodontic treatments including Invisalign and traditional braces.
Adults, on the other hand, have fully formed jawbones. They are not as responsive to treatment- but Invisalign can still be used to correct overbites in adults. The process just might take a bit longer.
Can Rubber Bands be Used with Invisalign?
Rubber bands assist orthodontic treatments by placing pressure on teeth to shift them in a specific direction. They are typically referred to as "elastics". While typically used with traditional braces, they can also be used with Invisalign to fix an overbite. During your consultation, the dentist may determine that elastics along with the aligners will speed up or improve the treatment.
The dentist will apply a tooth-colored bonding material to certain teeth to create a button/latch. An elastic will be attached to a button on the top and a button on the bottom. Typically, to correct overbites, buttons are placed on lower molars and upper canines.
Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign
When you have an overbite, it can be challenging to decide between traditional braces and Invisalign. Each one has advantages and disadvantages and vary in speed of treatment, cost, and appearance. The most significant factor determining which is best are the severity of the overbite and whether there are other dental issues that may need to be addressed.
Here are a few factors involved in deciding which is best: traditional braces of Invisalign.
Length of Treatment
There is not a specific time for how long you will need braces or aligners. Your dentist will be able to give you an estimate for each during your consultation. The average treatment duration for Invisalign is 6 months to 2 years, while traditional braces must be worn 1 to 3 years.
Some research indicates that aligners are less effective for providing substantial improvement. Therefore, Invisalign may be better for mild to moderate overbites and traditional braces for severe ones.
Invisalign clear aligners are nearly transparent, which means they are more aesthetically pleasing. This is one of the primary reasons adults prefer them over traditional braces. If you feel like braces will make you less likely to smile or make you want to hide your mouth, they may not be a good option. Some other, less obtrusive options are ceramic braces and lingual braces (worn on the backs of teeth) may be a better option.
While you might feel self-conscious about the way your mouth looks with traditional braces or Invisalign, you're not alone: approximately 4 million Americans have braces or aligners and 25% of those are adults.
Cost is also often a factor in determining which is the better option: the national average for Invisalign ranges $3,000 to $5,000. Traditional braces are typically less expensive than Invisalign. However, both treatments are typically at least partially covered by insurance.
There are some specific daily responsibilities that come with Invisalign that some people may think are inconvenient. Aligners stain easily, so they must be removed while you are eating. This is actually better for your oral hygiene because it's easier to clean your teeth than it is trying to work around the metal of traditional braces.
With traditional braces, you may have to give up some of the things you enjoy, such as nuts, popcorn, and gum.
If you are likely to forget to put them in or take them out- or worse, lose them- Invisalign may not be the most ideal option for you. In order for Invisalign to work, you must wear the trays as directed and store them properly when you take them out. This is one of the most common reasons people choose braces instead.
When Should You Talk to A Professional?
An overbite is not just an aesthetic concern. It can also cause tooth damage, jaw pain, and may even cause you to cut your tongue. Keep in mind that age can affect the adaptability of your mouth and jaw, so addressing an overbite sooner may decrease the length of your treatment.
If you have an overbite and are curious about the options that are available for adjusting your teeth, contact Arlington Dental Excellence today for a free consultation. We will be able to recommend the best treatment based on the dental issues you have, your budget, and the results you would like to see.