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Written by Dr. Chaw Su Kyi on February 22, 2023
When you close your mouth, your top teeth should sit outside the lower teeth. If your upper teeth sit inside, you have a bite misalignment issue known as a crossbite. There are two types of crossbites; anterior and posterior. Anterior crossbites affect your front teeth, and posterior crossbites affect the molars at the back of your mouth.
Although there are several potential causes for crossbites, including genetics and abnormal tooth growth, unhealthy childhood habits like thumb-sucking can often make the upper jaw narrower, leading to a crossbite. Repeated and prolonged tightening of the facial muscles while sucking prevents the proper development of the jaw. For this reason, it’s essential to break these habits early.
Early orthodontic treatment can help correct crossbite in cases where the upper jaw is not developing as it should. It is, however, possible to create a suitable treatment plan later in life using metal braces, clear aligners, or additional appliances.
Invisalign is a popular clear aligner system designed to straighten your teeth. The discreet, comfortable Invisalign trays use gentle pressure to gradually transform your smile and improve the position of your teeth. But can Invisalign fix a crossbite?
In this article, we’ll learn more about how an orthodontist can help tackle this common bite issue, discuss whether it’s possible to treat crossbite with Invisalign and find out more about clear aligners.
With any complex orthodontic procedure, time and cost are always important considerations. As any treatment to fix crossbites will take more time than many procedures to address other dental issues, it’s only natural to wonder whether it’s worthwhile.
There are several reasons why you should correct your crossbite. Crossbites are detrimental to both the health and the appearance of your smile.
Although you might not currently have a dental issue relating to your crossbite, if they aren’t properly aligned now, this serious bite issue may affect you in the future.
Health Benefits Of Correcting a Crossbite
When your upper teeth meet behind your bottom teeth, there’s a risk of uneven wear. If this happens, the enamel gradually thins, and your teeth will take on the darker colour of the dentin below. The weaker surfaces of your teeth will also become more prone to tooth decay which could, in turn, also lead to gum disease.
Additionally, your lower jaw may subconsciously move to one side to avoid knocking into the teeth in the crossbite. This results in an uneven appearance and increased force being applied to certain areas of the jaw and teeth.
Because of the position of your jaw, in severe cases, your crossbite may cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which can lead to jaw pain, along with headaches and discomfort in your neck and shoulders.
Cosmetic Benefits Of Correcting Crossbites
If you have a crossbite, it can have an impact on your appearance and, ultimately, your self-esteem.
Anterior crossbites, in particular, can affect your smile and facial appearance. In addition to the position of your teeth, you may also feel self-conscious about how your jaw looks, especially if the symmetry of your face is affected. By correcting your crossbite, you can smile with greater confidence and feel better about your facial features.
What Needs Considering Before We Correct Crossbites?
Although there are always clinical and cosmetic reasons to have treatment, our ability to help you achieve the proper alignment will depend on whether your crossbite is dental or because of the width of your jaws.
If your lower arch is too wide or your upper jaw is too narrow, you may need corrective surgery coupled with orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign is effective when correcting mild crossbites; however, in more severe cases where we need to expand by 3-4mm, we’ll achieve better results using a two-stage treatment plan using a fixed or removable expander, followed by conventional braces.
In other cases, we can start using a fixed appliance. In this instance, we’ll typically use a Damon brace that efficiently widens your arch without an expander.
How Invisalign Works to Correct a Crossbite
Because they are comfortable, removable, and virtually invisible, Invisalign aligners are a popular choice with people of all ages. They make it easy to eat and clean your teeth, resulting in a healthier smile.
Made from a clear plastic called SmartTrack, Invisalign aligners create a consistent gentle force across your teeth. This subtle pressure is barely noticeable but, over time, produces gradual and effective tooth movements that address your overall crossbite.
Your Invisalign treatment will begin with a comprehensive orthodontic assessment. Here, we’ll evaluate your bite and teeth alignment and assess oral health issues like gum disease and tooth decay. A full smile evaluation assesses your smile in relation to your other facial features.
We’ll scan your teeth and jaws using the latest digital technology to create a thorough and precise treatment plan. At the end of our assessments, you’ll see a prediction of your treatment outcome.
Once your Invisalign treatment begins, we’ll provide you with a new set of clear aligner trays every couple of weeks. The exact number of aligner trays you’ll need will depend on the extent of your crossbite. Each aligner is slightly different than the last and is designed to widen your teeth incrementally through gentle expansion.
The Success Rates of Invisalign In Treating Crossbites
Invisalign aligners are successful when the treatment requires a movement to 2-4mm. When we assess your crossbite during your initial consultation appointment, we’ll have a greater understanding of the scale of movement required to achieve proper alignment.
The Limitations of Invisalign In Treating Crossbites
Invisalign is very effective for movements below 2mm. In more severe adult cases, traditional braces are used initially, and clear alignment treatment may follow.
When we’re not using Invisalign, we’ll often use Damon braces, as these are easy to adjust and can correct most crossbites quickly.
What Are the Alternative Treatments?
If you have jaw problems that have caused your crossbite and are not caused by dental issues, surgery is necessary. We’ll follow your surgery with orthodontic treatment.
The time it takes to correct the position of your upper teeth using Invisalign aligners will vary. We’ll have a better idea of how long you can expect Invisalign treatment to last after your initial consultation.
Factors That Affect Treatment Duration
Everyone is unique, and there are several factors affecting how long it’ll take to fix your misaligned teeth. These include:
What Is the Average Treatment Duration for Crossbite Correction With Invisalign?
In children, using either Invisalign or Invisalign First, we can often achieve crossbite correction within six months. Adult treatments take longer, and you can usually expect results after 12-14 months.
The exact cost of your Invisalign treatment will vary depending on various factors. Invisalign starts at £4000 for teens and adults.
In more severe cases, where traditional braces are required, this will also affect the cost of treating your crossbite.
Factors That May Affect Treatment Cost
The main factor that influences the cost of your treatment is the severity of your crossbite. Greater tooth movement may involve using a combination of Invisalign and metal braces.
Each step of your Invisalign treatment means a new aligner. The number of aligners required to treat your crossbite will increase the overall price.
Where traditional metal braces are needed, the type of appliance used will also affect the overall cost.
Payment Options at West London Orthodontics
It’s easy to pay for your clear aligner treatment at West London Orthodontics. You can either pay for your treatment in full or in interest-free monthly payments. To pay in instalments, you’ll first need to pay a deposit and then pay for the remainder of your treatment over the next 12 months.
Invisalign offers a simple but effective solution to correct certain crossbites. The popular clear, removable aligners can make a big difference to your smile and oral health. Your initial Invisalign consultation will determine whether clear aligners will fix your crossbite or if you’ll also need more traditional braces.
Awarding-winning orthodontist Dr Chaw Su Kyi is a Platinum Provider for Invisalign. As one of the country’s leading Invisalign experts and the best specialist orthodontist in London, Dr Kyi has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to treat your crossbite. In every case she treats, Dr Kyi plans every element of the treatment personally, ensuring the best result is always achieved, even in complex cases.
Call today to arrange your crossbite consultation and find out if Invisalign is the right treatment option for you.
West London Orthodontics offers the most advanced orthodontic care for children and adults. Serving patients in Hammersmith, Shepherd's Bush, and Chiswick, Dr Kyi and her team specialise in various brace options, including Invisalign. Book a consultation today.