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Bite Alignment: Can Invisalign Fix a Crossbite?

Invisalign clear aligners for fixing crossbite

Crossbite is a common dental issue where one or more teeth may be closer to the cheek or the tongue than their opposing teeth, causing misalignment. Crossbites can be either anterior, affecting the front teeth, or posterior, impacting the back teeth. This malocclusion can cause various problems, including difficulty biting or chewing, jaw pain, and even wear down the enamel of the affected teeth over time.

Invisalign, a modern approach to teeth straightening, offers a discreet and effective solution for correcting crossbites without needing traditional metal braces. The aligners are also more comfortable than metal braces because they are not glued to your teeth and don’t have sharp edges that can cut your mouth.

What Are the Types of Crossbites?

Crossbites can broadly be classified into two types, each affecting the teeth’s alignment differently and requiring unique approaches for correction. Knowing these types can help you get the most effective treatment strategy.

Anterior Crossbite

In an anterior crossbite, one or more of the upper front teeth bite behind the lower front teeth. It’s often caused by uneven jaw growth, where the upper jaw is narrower than the lower jaw, or by delayed or irregular teeth eruption. Anterior crossbites can cause aesthetic concerns, difficulties in biting or chewing, and, in severe cases, speech impediments.

Without treatment, this condition may cause abnormal wear patterns on the teeth, increasing the risk of chipping, fracturing, and enamel erosion. Invisalign treatment for an anterior crossbite includes aligners that incrementally adjust the position of the front teeth, bringing them into proper alignment with the lower teeth.

Posterior Crossbite

This type of crossbite happens when one or more of the upper back teeth bite inside the lower back teeth. This misalignment can be attributed to a narrow upper jaw, a wide lower jaw, or a combination of both. It might also come from the improper eruption of teeth or a lack of proper dental care during early childhood.

If left untreated, posterior crossbites cause chewing difficulties, jaw pain, or even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. They can also unevenly wear the tooth surfaces and contribute to asymmetrical jaw growth. The Invisalign treatment for a posterior crossbite focuses on widening the upper jaw to allow the upper teeth to fit properly over the lower teeth, thereby correcting the bite.

Can Invisalign Fix Crossbite: How It Works

Invisalign corrects a crossbite through a series of custom, clear plastic aligners that slowly move teeth into the correct positions. Here’s a step-by-step overview of how Invisalign can fix a crossbite:

  • Custom Treatment Plan. The process starts with your orthodontist taking 3D digital images of your teeth. They use the images to create a precise treatment plan that outlines the step-by-step transformation of your teeth from their initial position to the final outcome. This plan also includes the movements required to correct your crossbite.
  • Custom Aligners. Based on the treatment plan, a series of custom aligners are manufactured. Each aligner can make slight adjustments to the proper position of your teeth. The material used in Invisalign aligners is a clear, BPA-free plastic that is comfortable and virtually invisible when worn.
  • Sequential Alignment. You will wear each set of aligners for one to two weeks before switching to the next set in the series. Each aligner exerts gentle pressure on specific teeth, slowly moving them into better alignment. Over time, these incremental adjustments compound to correct your crossbite.
  • Interproximal Reduction (IPR) and Attachments. Sometimes, you might need slight modifications to provide the space needed for tooth movement or to increase the aligner’s grip on the teeth. IPR involves lightly filing between teeth to create small amounts of space. Attachments, which are small, tooth-colored ridges bonded onto the teeth, might also help the aligners apply force to move teeth effectively.
  • Wearing Time. To make the Invisalign treatment effective, you must wear them 20 to 22 hours daily, only removing them when eating, brushing, and flossing.
  • Monitoring Progress. You will undergo regular check-ups with your orthodontist to monitor your progress and make adjustments to your treatment plan. The treatment length will depend on the crossbite’s complexity but typically ranges from 12 to 18 months.

What Are the Unique Features of Invisalign?

Invisalign stands out from traditional braces because of its unique features, making it a popular choice for many seeking orthodontic treatment. Here are the distinctive features of Invisalign:

  • Clear and Virtually Invisible. One of the most appealing features of Invisalign aligners is that they are made from a clear, flexible thermoplastic material called SmartTrack®. This discreet treatment makes them appear invisible when worn, which is a huge advantage for self-conscious adults and teens.
  • Removable Aligners. Unlike traditional braces fixed to the teeth, the wearer can easily remove Invisalign aligners. It provides more convenient eating, brushing, and flossing, improving oral hygiene during treatment.
  • Customized Treatment Plan. Invisalign treatment begins with a digital scan of the patient’s mouth to create a personalized treatment plan. This plan outlines the exact movements of the teeth and the duration of treatment, giving patients a visual representation of their orthodontic journey.
  • Reduced Discomfort. The aligners use a smooth, flexible material that can fit snugly over the teeth, minimizing irritation to the cheeks and gums. Additionally, Invisalign’s SmartForce features apply targeted pressure to the teeth, causing less discomfort than traditional braces.
  • Fewer and Quicker Office Visits. Since there are no brackets to adjust or wires to tighten, Invisalign appointments are typically quicker and less frequent. Patients usually receive several sets of aligners at each visit, changing to a new set every 1–2 weeks.
  • Designed for a Wide Range of Cases. Initially thought to be only for minor dental corrections, Invisalign technology has evolved to treat many orthodontic cases, including complex orthodontic issues like overbite, underbite, crossbite, gap teeth, and crowded teeth.
  • Invisalign Teen®. There’s a specific line designed for teenagers, which includes compliance indicators to monitor wear time and features to accommodate growing mouths and erupting teeth, making it a practical solution for this demographic.

It’s important to note that while Invisalign can fix your crossbites effectively, it may not be suitable for severe crossbite issues. You will need to get traditional metal braces for more severe cases to achieve better results.

Can You Fix a Crossbite With Invisalign? Hear These Success Stories

Richard From Taiwan

Richard was a patient who got Invisalign aligners during adulthood. His condition was severe because his parents could not afford to get him braces in Taiwan. Over time, he developed crooked teeth and eventually a crossbite, affecting his overall smile. He was also against conventional braces, so his best option was Invisalign. He used Invisalign daily for two years, and the dental appliance gave him straight teeth without causing excessive discomfort.

Bryan From Texas

Bryan is a 30-year-old patient from Texas who started his Invisalign journey years ago. He finished his treatment in 2017, and his life has changed for the better. Before wearing Invisalign, Bryan had no confidence in smiling because of how badly misshapen his teeth were. But after wearing Invisalign every day, he didn’t have to hide his smile anymore and gladly showed it off whenever he could.

Seeking for Ways to Fix Your Crossbite Concerns? Visit Massanutten Dental Team Today!

A crossbite is a difficult dental issue to deal with, especially if you have difficulty forming a wide, healthy smile. Fortunately, the Massanutten Dental Team can provide Invisalign aligners for crossbite correction. Wearing them can also fix overbites and misaligned teeth, ensuring your teeth become straight and aesthetically pleasing.

Reach out to us now and book a consultation to achieve excellent oral health. You will be talking to one of our expert dentists and answer your questions.