Overbite, or “deep bite”, occurs when the upper teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth. This type of misalignment has a whole spectrum of severity, but most cases are mild – hardly noticeable and easily treated. Rarely is overbite a dire medical concern, but it can sometimes make dental hygiene and eating difficult, accelerate enamel damage, and cause jaw discomfort or headaches (not to mention, it can affect your confidence in those pearly whites!). Symptoms like these can make certain aspects of day-to-day life a struggle, which is why adults often seek corrective treatment.
There are plenty of treatment options out there, but one of the most popular is Invisalign, and for good reason: this invisible aligner program is as effective as it is discreet. Although braces have long been thought to be the most reliable method for correcting bite issues, Invisalign offers similar results for approximately the same price ($5,000 on average) and without any metal in sight. Read on and you’ll find a lot more details about treating overbite with Invisalign, as well as some alternative clear aligners with significantly smaller price tags.
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Is Invisalign Effective for Treating Overbite?
Yes. Invisalign is a versatile technology that can correct a variety of dental conditions, including overbite.
At one time, Invisalign employed simpler clear aligners that functioned mainly to straighten teeth but not correct more complex alignment issues like overbite. With the advancement of dental technology in the past two decades, these aligners can now be supplemented by elastics and “Smartforce” attachments to allow for more complex and nuanced tooth and jaw adjustments. This gives your dentist a whole toolbox of options for correcting your overbite.
Invisalign may not be able to produce sufficient results in severe cases where the overbite is caused by a significant misalignment of the two jaws. In these cases, jaw surgery may be necessary to achieve the dramatic before-and-after a patient may be seeking for their facial profile. But again, for the majority of overbite conditions, Invisalign will work exceptionally well when administered by an experienced provider.
All that said, these days there are many other companies offering clear teeth aligners. If you’re looking for a treatment that’s more affordable than Invisalign — or are simply curious about what other brands are out there — keep reading!
What Is it Like to Wear Invisalign?
The leading reasons adults favor Invisalign over braces are that they’re 1) clear, and 2) removable. This means they’re much less noticeable than metal (or ceramic) braces, and you can take them out to eat, brush your teeth, or attend an important meeting or special occasion. If your treatment plan includes Smartforce attachments, these will remain fixed to your teeth for all or most of your treatment duration — but again, these appliances are hardly noticeable.
Invisalign also tends to be more comfortable than braces. Since they’re made of plastic, Invisalign trays cause less irritation on the cheeks and tongue than the metal wires and brackets of traditional braces. This isn’t to say, however, that Invisalign doesn’t cause any discomfort whatsoever. Moving your teeth is going to result in some pain and discomfort, regardless of the dental appliance you select. But all in all, Invisalign tends to offer more comfort and flexibility to the user than conventional braces.
On the flip side, it’s worth keeping in mind that Invisalign treatment calls for a significant amount of discipline not required by braces. Since Invisalign trays are removable, it’s up to you to keep them in your mouth for 22 hours each day in order to progress through the alignment process successfully. If you’re not motivated enough to play through the pain for the long-term payout, Invisalign may be TOO flexible of an option for you.
If you think you’d have trouble integrating Invisalign into your day-to-day routine, it might be worth considering braces instead. These days there are many more options available than the traditional metal braces you remember from your childhood. We go over the various types of braces that exist today (and much more) in our guide to correcting overbite with braces.
Alternative Invisible Aligners
While Invisalign pioneered the clear aligner market and remains among the most popular providers out there, there are a few other clear aligner brands that can be administered by dentists around the country. Additionally, there’s a whole new industry on the rise for at-home teeth alignment that can be completed without ever having to visit a dentist.
Whether you’re simply interested in an alternative clear aligner brand or you’re looking to correct your overbite from home, there’s most likely a solution on this list for you. Below, we’ve broken down the most common alternatives to Invisalign and several reasons you might consider going with one of these options instead.
Align Tech (makers of Invisalign) is no longer the only company that partners with dentists and orthodontists to provide clear aligner treatment. Today, many dentists instead offer aligners produced by a Texas-based company called ClearCorrect.
Though comparable to Invisalign in terms of effectiveness, ClearCorrect aligners are made using a different material and production process. Their aligners are slightly thinner and said to be less noticeable, but some patients find that they cause a bit more soreness and sensitivity in the teeth and gums.
Although ClearCorrect is less well-known than Invisalign, some dental providers prefer these aligners because they cost significantly less. Occasionally these savings are passed along to the patient — however, this totally depends on the particular dentist you’re working with and the type of treatment plan you’ll require. The average cost of treatment with ClearCorrect is still similar to Invisalign.
Express aligner systems offer a shorter treatment period and more affordable pricing than traditional clear aligners. Most express systems include 10-15 sets of aligners (as opposed to the roughly 30 required for a full course Invisalign or ClearCorrect treatment) and cost one half to two thirds as much as standard treatment.
Most often, express aligners are used to treat crowding and spacing in the front six teeth. But depending on the case, they can be a viable (and affordable) method for minor bite correction as well. If your overbite is slight, one of the following could be a potential treatment option for you:
- Invisalign Express: Unsurprisingly, Invisalign offers its own express treatment option. Invisalign Express is typically only used for mild misalignments, often recommended for folks who fail to wear their retainers after braces. Treatment typically costs between $1,800 to $3,500 and lasts from 5 to 10 months. Dentists tend to recommend traditional Invisalign instead of the Express system for most cases because of its reliability and versatility. Invisalign Express is a limited service for a small slice of dental adjustment needs.
- Simpli5: A competitor to Invisalign, Simpli5 offers fast-paced treatment plans that last just five months on average. Simpli5 costs significantly less than traditional Invisalign treatment, but just like Invisalign Express, is limited in capability and not well-suited to address some patients’ smile concerns. Pricing is typically a bit lower than Invisalign Express, averaging around $2,000.
- Six Month Smiles: Although best known for their 6-month braces treatment, Six Month Smiles also started offering express clear aligner treatment as well. However, as with other Express services, Six Month Smiles aligners are not nearly as robust as traditional clear aligner treatment. They’re also somewhat more expensive than other express options, averaging $3,500 to $5,000 for a six-month course of treatment.
Home Invisible Aligners
In recent years, a number of online companies like Smile Direct Club, Candid Co, and Byte have entered the industry to provide a more affordable option for adults seeking to straighten their teeth or correct minor bite issues from home. Similar to the Invisalign treatment process, you’ll receive a set of clear, removable aligners customized to your teeth by a dental professional — but unlike Invisalign, your care will be handled entirely remotely and won’t require any trips to the dentist’s office.
Home alignment products are more affordable than any other corrective treatment option, with an average cost of just $1,900. The companies that sell home aligners typically provide an opportunity to review your expected results before purchasing a full course of treatment, so you’ll know exactly what to expect before moving forward. In short, if you have a mild overbite, home teeth alignment may be a perfectly viable option for you.
To learn more about home teeth alignment, check out our review of the top services.
When Standard Treatments Options Aren’t Enough
The cases are few and far between, but occasionally an overbite will be too severe for orthodontic treatment like Invisalign or braces. In these situations, the overbite is so pronounced that it requires jaw surgery to correct. Given the procedure’s seriousness, you should consult a dentist to make sure that standard orthodontic treatments alone will not be enough to produce the results you’re seeking.
Corrective jaw surgery is performed inside the mouth, so there won’t be visible scarring. But it’s a significant procedure that comes with up to 12 weeks of recovery, including (potentially) additional orthodontic work. Fortunately, most cases of overbite don’t require surgical intervention, and can be effectively handled using one of the options discussed above. If you have a very severe overbite, an orthodontist can help you determine if surgery is warranted.
When it comes to treating overbite, there’s a lot to like about Invisalign: it’s highly effective, removable, and unobtrusive. Not surprising that it’s become such a popular and well-respected method for correcting common smile concerns. Still, like any other treatment, Invisalign has its downsides. It’s more expensive than many other options, like home teeth aligners, and it requires discipline and frequent dentist visits.
As you mull over your options, it helps to evaluate each one’s pros and cons. Most importantly, have your condition evaluated by a dentist and/or orthodontist before making a decision. They’ll provide the expertise and guidance necessary to help you find the most effective treatment. Once you’ve chosen a route, go for it! And before you know it, you’ll be flashing those pearly whites with newfound confidence.