Invisalign® for Overbites: Guidelines for Patients
Patients throughout the greater Philadelphia area have been asking us about Invisalign®, a clear orthodontic alternative to braces. They allow patients to eat their favorite foods and have their teeth straightened without those unsightly brackets and wires.
Given the use of clear plastic retainers rather than brackets, many wonder if Invisalign® is effective for all kinds of malocclusion issues. Let's consider overbites for a moment and see whether or not Invisalign® can do the trick.
What Is an Overbite?
An overbite refers to a case in which the teeth of the upper dental arch vertically cover the teeth of the lower dental arch. While the upper front teeth ought to ideally be in front of and over the lower teeth, an overbite refers to cases in which the upper teeth cover up too much of the lower teeth. This is not an ideal alignment, and it can lead to a number of dental problems.
An overbite often associated with an overjet, which refers to the amount of space that the top teeth project in front of the bottom teeth. If the teeth are set too far in front of the lower teeth, this is not an ideal alignment situation either.
Common Causes of Overbites
The most common cause of an overbite is genetics. If you have parents or relatives who have an overbite, chances are that you will have an overbite as well. These issues are best addressed before you reach adulthood. Since a person is still growing, it is easier for orthodontists to improve dental alignment through various orthodontic procedures.
Can Invisalign® Treat Overbites?
Invisalign® has proven quite effective at treating both overbites and overjets in many situations. Typically, Invisalign® is best when the predominant issue is simply the alignment of the upper dental arch relative to the lower dental arch and vice versa. Using a series of clear plastic alginers worn for two-week intervals each, patients can shift their teeth into a more ideal position.
Ideal Candidates for Invisalign®
The best candidates for Invisalign® are teens and young adults who have all of their permanent teeth in place. They should have a solid understanding of what the Invisalign® procedure entail, which includes the very minor risks and multiple benefits involved.
When Is Invisalign® Not a Good Option for Overbites?
If the overbite is and overjet is severe, Invisalign® alone may not be the ideal treatment option. For instance, the shape of the dental arch itself may need adjustment as well as the teeth along the dental arch.
In more involved and complicated cases of malocclusion, orthodontists and dentist may have to use other and often multiple means to improve dental alignment. Palate expanders, lingual arches, headgear, traditional braces, and perhaps even oral surgery may be required to improve overall dentla alignment. Invisalign® may be used in combination with these other options as well, though it may be saved for a little bit down the line as part of a multi-year treatment plan.
Carefully Considering Your Orthodontic Needs
During your visit to our practice, we will be more than happy to go over all of your treatment options in greater detail. We can discuss Invisalign® as well as many other treatment options with you so you or your child can experience the joys of having a smile that's perfectly aligned and healthy as well.
Learn More About Invisalign®
If you would like more information on Invisalign® and whether or not it's right for you, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. Our team looks forward to your visit and discussing orthodontic and general dental care matters in greater detail.