When people use the phrase “open bite,” they’re typically referring to an anterior open bite. An anterior open bite is a condition that prevents the upper and lower teeth from coming together in a closed mouth. While it’s rarely a cause for serious concern, open bite can cause jaw pain, difficulty chewing, speech issues, and hampered confidence in your smile.
Braces have always been an effective open bite solution, but they are no longer the only solution. In recent years, home aligner companies have enabled users to correct dental concerns from the comfort of their homes. This guide will discuss the types of open bite that are treatable with home aligners, explore a few of the best providers on the market, and offer some alternatives if home aligners aren’t a good fit.
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How Do Home Teeth Aligners Work?
Home teeth aligners are exactly what they sound like: aligners designed to treat dental concerns from home, without the added cost or hassle involved in traditional orthodontic treatment. But what does the process of home teeth alignment actually entail?
To get the ball rolling, you’ll take impressions of your teeth using the kit your provider sends you (we’ll go over our recommended providers shortly). Then, you’ll mail the impressions back to them for one of their dentists to review. If the dentist in charge of your case determines that home aligners aren’t the right fit for you, the cost of this step (between $49-$99) is fully refundable. Some companies also offer the option of visiting a physical office to get your teeth scanned for free instead of buying a home impression kit.
After this step, your provider will design a series of custom aligners based on your impressions, and send them to you within about one month. From there, it’s up to you to keep up with the treatment plan (wearing your aligners for the required amount of time each day, keeping up with oral hygiene, progressing through the series of aligners as prescribed) to make sure you get the results you were promised!
Are Home Teeth Aligners Effective for Open Bite?
Home aligners are an effective treatment for some cases of open bite, but they aren’t a universal solution. These systems are most commonly used to treat crowding and spacing conditions, but they can achieve excellent results for some minor bite issues as well.
It’s important to understand the cause and severity of a particular open bite case because these are the determining factors in home aligner effectiveness. There are three main causes of an open bite: dental, skeletal, or habitual. Dental cases are ones that result from an impeded tooth eruptions and do not usually affect the jaw or facial structure. Skeletal open bite (also called “long face syndrome”) arises from excessive growth of the molars or jawbones. Finally, open bite can be caused by poor oral habits typically exhibited in early childhood, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.
In most cases, skeletal open bite is the more severe type, since it deals with jaw misalignment. If your condition falls into this category, there’s a good chance that home aligners might not be enough to achieve a substantial smile transformation. Your dentist might recommend a more robust, hands-on treatment program, one that requires regular office visits to apply supplemental appliances and procedures.
Still, home alignment systems can achieve fantastic results in certain cases of open bite, so if your case is mild or moderate in severity, they might be a perfectly viable option.
With all this in mind, let’s take a quick look at some of the best home alignment services for open bite.
What Home Teeth Aligners Can I Choose From?
With the skyrocketing popularity of home aligner treatment, several providers have sprouted up in the last few years. But the truth is that, despite offering a similar treatment, each company varies in cost, timeline, and services. So, some are ideal for treating open bite while others are more suited for crowding and spacing issues.
In our effort to make your decision-making process as simple and worry-free as possible, we’ve examined and evaluated all the big names in home aligner treatment. Based on this extensive research, here are a few we recommend:
If you’ve got a special occasion coming up in just a few months, speed is the name of the game. And no home aligner company is faster than byte. Plus, they maintain affordable prices, flexible financing options, and an unrivaled lifetime guarantee.
- byte’s dental team includes both dentists and orthodontists, but they guarantee that an orthodontist will be involved in every case.
- byte’s 3-month average treatment time is the fastest in the industry
- The byte-For-Life guarantee provides new aligners if your teeth ever shift
- Their financing plans don’t require a credit check, so everyone qualifies
- byte-At-Night only requires 10 hours of continuous wear per day instead of the usual 22
- byte includes aftercare retainers for free
- byte doesn’t currently have any retail locations, so you’ll need to order an impression kit to get started
- Still young, byte doesn’t have an extensive track record of results yet
- byte’s $1,895 price tag is just average for the industry
byte can correct some mild open bite cases. However, they don’t promise effectiveness with all bite issues. Before beginning a treatment plan, byte’s team of experts will need to analyze impressions of your teeth to determine if their system can achieve the results you want.
Candid’s dedication to quality makes them well worth considering for anyone interested in home teeth alignment. Candid is the only provider that makes sure an orthodontist manages your treatment plan. And they’re the only home aligner company to offer Remote Monitoring, which gives you regular virtual check-ins with your assigned orthodontist.
- Candid prioritizes customer safety by using an orthodontist-only network
- Physical Candid Studios provide free teeth scans that allow you to skip the impression kit
- Remote Monitoring with your orthodontist keeps your treatment on track from start to finish
- Candid’s aligners are manufactured by ClearCorrect, the 2nd-largest clear aligner producer
- Candid offers your first set of retainers free of charge
- Candid treatment costs $2,400, which is more than the competition
- Their financing plans, which run through Affirm, require a credit check to qualify
- Candid’s 6-month average treatment time is middle of the road
Just like with byte, a dentist will have to review the condition of your teeth to determine your eligibility. However, unlike byte, Candid has physical office locations in several major U.S. cities where you can go to get your teeth scanned for free. This is a great option for folks who live in proximity to one of Candid’s offices and want to avoid the hassle of taking impressions on their own.
All home aligners are fairly affordable, but AlignerCo takes it to another level. They offer the industry’s lowest prices, plus accessible financing, all while producing quality products. If your budget is top-priority, AlignerCo is the best bet.
- AlignerCo’s $1,145 price tag makes them the most affordable option in the home aligner industry
- They don’t require a credit check for their SmileFlex Easy financing plan (their standard SmileFlex plan requires a soft credit check)
- AlignerCo uses plastic from Essix in their aligners
- They’ve received consistent praise for their attentive, helpful customer service
- AlignerCo doesn’t have any physical locations that offer free teeth scans
- They use a mixed team of orthodontists and general dentists
- AlignerCo’s treatment often takes 6-11 months, slower than the industry average
AlignerCo’s website says that they can treat various minor bite issues, including overbite, underbite, crossbite, and more. They don’t mention anything about open bite, but like most home aligners, they’re likely able to treat mild (but not severe) cases. Their dental team will need to evaluate your teeth impressions to determine whether your case is treatable.
SmileDirectClub is easily the best-known brand of home teeth aligners on the market today. They’ve been straightening teeth since 2014 and served over 750,000 customers to date. With over 300 SmileShops and a nighttime-only option, they’re a highly convenient option.
- SmileDirectClub is more experienced than their competitors
- SmileDirectClub has over 300 SmileShops located across the U.S. where you can get a free teeth scan and skip the impression kit
- Through SmilePay, every customer can receive financing, no credit check required
- SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Aligners allow you to complete your treatment by wearing aligners just 10 hours per day
- SmileDirectClub has a mixed track record of customer service quality
- SmileDirectClub uses a mixed team of orthodontists and general dentists
- They used to have a manufacturing partnership with Align Technology (makers of Invisalign) but now they produce their aligners in-house
- SmileDirectClub charges an additional $99 fee for retainers after treatment
Like the previous two providers, SmileDirectClub can effectively correct some, but not all, open bite cases. Before making the call, their dental expert team will need to take a look at your teeth impressions to determine whether you’ll be a good candidate.
Need More Information?
Choosing a treatment option is a big, personal decision, so of course you’ll want to gather as much information as possible. If any of the services above caught your eye, take a look at our deeper dive into the home aligner world in this comprehensive review of the top 5 options. There, you’ll find information about the advantages and drawbacks of each provider.
What Are My Other Options?
Let’s recap: home aligners can be a reasonable, affordable option for some mild cases of open bite, but they’re not the consummate solution for everyone. Perhaps you found out that you’re not a candidate, or maybe you would just prefer a treatment that involves more face-time with a dentist. Either way, you have a couple of alternatives:
Braces: Even though they have been on the market for years, there’s a reason that braces are still one of the most popular orthodontic treatments for a variety of bite issues. Sturdy and versatile, they can deliver transformative results, especially when paired with dentist-administered appliances like roller appliances and bite blocks, or procedures like tooth shaving and extraction.
Adults are sometimes hesitant to get braces because of their appearance, but these days you’re not restricted to silver brackets. Low-profile styles, like clear braces and lingual braces (installed behind the teeth), offer less visible options and similar results. The only drawback is that, because braces require more attention from a dentist, they have a higher cost, $5,000 on average. Still, those with more complex cases of open bite may find that paying extra for one on one treatment from their chosen orthodontist is well worth the peace of mind.
Invisalign: Another popular open bite treatment option, Invisalign, boasts the same impressive results as braces, but without the intrusive metal brackets. Instead, it uses invisible trays, much like home aligners, to discreetly correct crowding, spacing, and bite issues. The difference between Invisalign and home aligners is that it’s administered and monitored closely by a dentist.
The benefit here is that your dentist can make course corrections throughout the treatment, employing elastics, bite blocks, Invisalign’s “Smartforce” attachments, and other treatments to achieve more drastic, nuanced tooth and jaw shifts. Once again, the drawback is cost, as Invisalign’s price runs about the same as braces.
ClearCorrect: If you’re set on in-office clear aligner treatment, but aren’t sold on Invisalign, look into their biggest competitor: ClearCorrect. Their process is almost identical to Invisalign – your dentist or orthodontist will evaluate your condition, then administer them and evaluate your progress during regular office visits.
These aligners can also incorporate attachments to treat severe cases and bite misalignments. ClearCorrect isn’t quite as experienced or prolific as Invisalign, but they charge dentists less for lab fees, and your treatment might cost less as a result.
By reading this guide, you’ve taken the first step toward finding the best treatment for your smile. Any of the home aligner brands discussed above could potentially be an effective and affordable solution for you. And keep in mind, if you submit your impressions and don’t end up qualifying for treatment, you’ll be reimbursed for the cost of the impression kit. This provides a low-risk option for people who are unsure if their case will be too complex for home aligners.
Remember, in the end, it’s all about finding the treatment option that fits with your goals, timeline, and expectations. So dig into research, consult your dentist, and evaluate your options. Equipped with that knowledge, you can choose a path that will put you on a journey toward a brilliant, confident smile!