Did you know that overbites make up almost 70 percent of dental disorders? There are several treatments available for this orthodontic condition, but one sometimes surprising option is clear aligners. We are often asked “can you fix an overbite with Invisalign?” Invisalign, a relatively new treatment option (compared to braces) and many people are curious to understand more about how it works.
It is important to note that the most important factor in determining your outcome is the skill, knowledge, and experience of your practitioner. As to whether or not clear aligners will fix your overbite -well, this depends on your unique needs and your commitment to aligner wear. Invisalign is simply one tool (of many) which an orthodontist may select from to address your needs. It is best to focus on getting the best treatment and outcome, rather than focusing on the product/s used to get you there.
Orthodontists can in some cases treat an overbite with clear aligners (Invisalign is just one brand – although seems to be the most well-known), depending on the significance and severity of the case.
Different Types of Overbites
There are two core types of overbites: vertical and horizontal. A vertical overbite involves your top teeth significantly overlapping your bottom teeth. Horizontal overbites occur when your top teeth ‘jut’ out in front of your bottom teeth.
While these 2 types of overbites appear different, they have a lot in common. Each one is caused by dental or skeletal issues. Dental overbites involve teeth placement issues, while skeletal overbites indicate a jaw problem. Whether your overbite is skeletal, or dental, will have an impact on your orthodontic treatment and your orthodontist’s approach.
Often, overbites are hereditary. However, they can also stem from poor oral habits in childhood, like tong thrusting, nail-biting and prolonged pacifier use or thumb sucking. It’s during the early developmental stage that most of your jaw growth occurs, so bad habits lead to uneven growth.
Overbites Cause Problems
Once an overbite develops, it can result in a number of physical problems. Some of the main physical issues that overbites have the potential to cause include:
- problems with eating and chewing
- speech impediments like lisps
- jaw pain from strained muscles and jaws.
What’s more, overbites can lead to worn out tooth enamel which in turn results in gum disease and cavities. You may even experience soft tissue damage when the bottom teeth knock on the roof of your mouth. Other problems that can be caused by a bad bite include migraines, headaches, joint-related issues, arthritis, digestion problems and even the need for fillings.
Whether your overbite is caused by jaw placement or teeth has a direct impact on the orthodontic treatment that’s right for you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a child, a teenager or an adult: overbites could be hereditary or the result of lingering childhood habits. A specialist orthodontist has the best experience to advise the ideal course of treatment. You may be able to correct your overbite with clear aligners, a more discrete option than traditional metal bracket and wire braces.
The Severity of Your Overbite
How bad is your overbite? A severe overbite is sometimes referred to as a class two overbite. In severe cases there can be a very significant bite overlap. In extreme cases like this, clear aligners may not be the most appropriate option to realign your teeth. Alternatives, depending on an individual’s case, could include traditional braces, extractions or jaw repositioning surgery.
How to Fix an Overbite with Clear Aligners like Invisalign
Clear aligners have quickly become a popular option for multiple orthodontic treatments, including fixing underbites and overbites.
The procedure effectively straightens your teeth without the need for brackets and wires. In the case of Invisalign (a well-known brand of clear aligners available to dental practitioners), you receive a series of clear, customised and removable trays that are referred to as aligners. The trays are made from clear plastic, which means they are more discrete than some other popular treatment options.
The Invisalign system combines the century-old science of orthodontics with highly advanced 3D graphics and technology. The aligners are designed to slowly move your teeth in small increments to a straighter final position. Each aligner is precisely designed and manufactured to fit your teeth at every stage of your treatment. The series of trays each place pressure on the teeth to push them toward a new position.
If your orthodontist determines that you are a good candidate for Invisalign treatment, x-rays will be taken along with 3D dental impressions. The custom aligners and treatment plan will be digitally designed to suit your case.
Each fortnight or so, you will switch your current tray with the next tray in the series, thus moving your teeth incrementally. Over time, your overbite will diminish and you can look forward to a healthier, straighter smile.
The Benefits of Clear Aligner Treatment
Compared to traditional metal braces, correcting an overbite with clear aligners is far more discrete. What’s more, aligners allow for easier dental hygiene as you just remove your them to brush and floss, rather than navigate the metal brackets. Best of all, the trays can be removed for up to 2 hours per day, so eating and drinking doesn’t require the same level of care or boundaries that braces will.
How Long Does it Take to Correct an Overbite with Clear Aligners?
While each case is different, it can be difficult to predict just how long it can take for clear aligners to correct an overbite. However, the average treatment time is anywhere from 6 to 20 months.
Are Clear Aligners Right for You?
If your orthodontist decides that clear aligners are the ideal treatment for your overbite (or even underbite), you’ll find there are a number of lifestyle benefits to look forward to. As we’ve mentioned, you can remove the trays to eat and practice good oral health habits. Take note though, you must keep your aligners on for 22 hours per day so as not to delay treatment time. The biggest benefit, though, is that the aligners are discrete for the entirety of treatment, which depending on how severe your overbite is, can take as little as 6 months to 20 months. Discuss your lifestyle and treatment options with your orthodontist to determine if clear aligners right for you.
Book an Assessment Today
Schedule an appointment at Fine Orthodontics to discuss the correction of your overbite with clear aligners.
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