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Can Invisalign Fix a Crossbite?

May 11, 2022
by: Dr. Ammons

If you want to straighten misaligned teeth, clear aligners could be the perfect treatment option. Invisalign aligners are one of our specialties at Ammons Dental by Design - and it could be the key to your best smile ever.

Can Invisalign fix a crossbite? Here is what you need to know:

What Is a Crossbite?

First, let's identify and define what a crossbite actually means: The American Association of Orthodontics states that a crossbite is a type of dental misalignment affecting the upper teeth and where they sit. When you have a crossbite, your upper teeth are positioned behind the lower teeth. Furthermore, the crossbite can be one of two different types, anterior or posterior. So, what is the difference? You should know that an anterior crossbite is characterized by the bottom front teeth sitting in-front of the upper arch of teeth. An anterior crossbite is also considered an underbite. A posterior crossbite involves the lower front teeth sitting behind the upper front significantly, an overbite of sorts. There are various traits that determine whether the posterior crossbite is a lingual or buccal posterior crossbite- your dental provider can offer more information pertaining to the exact type of crossbite that you are coping with.

Should You Be Worried About your Crossbite?

Should you worry about your crossbite? If you have difficulty speaking clearly or eating and chewing comfortably, you should see a dental provider about options to address your crossbite. You should also know that a crossbite is a common issue that millions of people contend with daily- the question is, how much longer do you want to deal with your crossbite?

If you have a child that sucks their thumb, deter them from doing so. This is one of the ways that a crossbite or overbite can develop, causing a lifetime of discomfort and dental issues.

Talk to your dentist about a smile assessment and evaluation to determine if your mouth is well suited to Invisalign clear aligners for treating and correcting your crossbite. They can consider factors like the severity of the misalignment, your dental history, genetics, and more to find the teeth straightening solution that works best for you and that delivers the results that you want.

What Causes a Crossbite?

Thinking that you might have a crossbite? It is estimated that around 5% of the population does- here are some of the common causes of a crossbite:

  • Genetics
  • Short dental arches
  • Having extra or too many teeth
  • Loss of baby teeth late in life
  • Thumb sucking
  • Cleft lip or palate

Your dental provider must take x-rays to correctly diagnose a crossbite.

What are the Complications of a Crossbite?

It makes good sense to correct and treat a crossbite. A severe crossbite may have medical ramifications which make treatment, like Invisalign, quite prudent. For example, a crossbite may contribute to sleep issues and breathing difficulties if left untreated.

A crossbite can impede oral hygiene which may result in gum disease. In extreme cases, bacteria and plaque can travel through the bloodstream, compromising bodily systems and organs along the way. Furthermore, a crossbite may impact your appearance and cause self-consciousness or withdrawn behavior.

What Can You Do About a Crossbite?

The first thing to do is to schedule an appointment with a trusted dental provider in your area. Depending on the severity of your crossbite, your dentist may opt for traditional braces or clear aligners—or both in some instances.

If your jaw is particularly small, you may be prescribed a palatal expander, which can help widen the jaw to rectify the issue. Some other crossbite treatment modalities include:

  • Removal of enamel from the lower teeth
  • Wearing elastics or rubber bands on the teeth
  • Tooth extraction(s)
  • Face mask or orthodontic headgear
  • Surgery to correct jaw alignment

The best approach is contingent on an accurate diagnosis. The best treatment protocols depend on the severity of your crossbite, as well as the condition of your teeth. Talk to your dental provider to learn more.

Can Invisalign Help a Crossbite?

Probably the most common treatment approach for a crossbite is clear aligners. With nearly 12 million patients widely, Invisalign is the popular choice and most convenient option available today. One of Invisalign's true benefits is its inherent capacity to restore and correct bite issues, including crossbite. Generally speaking, there are two reasons why you may have crossbite- either your jawbone is misshaped, or the teeth are misaligned when they come in. The result is that the teeth do not line up properly when you bite or close your mouth. This can cause issues with eating and speaking if left untreated. Typically, your dental provider will correct crossbite with either traditional braces or clear aligners as these are the most effective ways to shift and change the patient's bite. Invisalign is the preferred choice of patients, as the alignment trays are comfortable, discreet, and removable when you eat or want to brush your teeth. Invisalign can resolve a crossbite in less time than traditional braces usually, taking anywhere from six months to over a year- about half the time of metal braces. This is compelling news to many prospective Invisalign patients!

How Long Will Treatment Take?

There is no way to say for sure how long it will take to straighten your misaligned teeth- there are too many factors that come into play. Your dental provider should be able to give you a better timeline but know that typically it takes anywhere from six months to 18 months to correct a crossbite, on average about a year.

If your crossbite is not too severe, you may be a candidate for Invisalign Express, which can straighten your teeth in just six months.

If you have a crossbite, contact us today at Ammons Dental by Design to find out if you are a good candidate for Invisalign treatment. Dr. Michael Ammons is our in-house Invisalign specialist; schedule your appointment at one of our convenient locations in downtown Charleston, Summerville, Camden, and James Island. We look forward to meeting you!

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Multiple Convenient Dental Locations Near Charleston

Ammons Dental By Design has four locations so you can find the most convenient office for your family.
1015 Fair St.
Camden, SC 29020
Monday – Thursday:
8am – 5pm
P: (803) 969-0365
F: (803) 432-2625
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14 Lockwood Dr,
Charleston, SC 29401
(Suite A on the exterior of the Ashley House Building, across from the marina)
Monday – Thursday:
7am - 4pm
P: (843) 380-2734
F: (843) 577-4464
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1739-B Maybank Hwy.
Charleston, SC 29412
Tuesday – Friday:
7am - 4pm
P: (843) 380-8889
F: (843) 990-9504
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1710 Old Trolley., Ste.B
Summerville, SC 29485
Tuesday – Thursday: 8am – 5pm
Monday & Friday*: 8am – 5pm
*Rotating schedule
P: (843) 380-8904
F: (843) 871-0617
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