Overjet is a type of bite misalignment in which the upper front teeth protrude horizontally beyond the lower teeth. It’s commonly confused with overbite, and for good reason: overbite, which refers to a vertical overlap of the lower teeth, often exists alongside overjet. Neither condition is a serious health concern, but both can cause accelerated enamel erosion, jaw pain, and speech disorders such as lisp.
Whether you’re experiencing uncomfortable side effects or simply feeling less than 100% comfortable with your smile, you may be considering aligner-based corrective treatment with Invisalign. It’s one of the most popular treatment methods for adults, but don’t make your decision based on reputation alone — it’s certainly not the only option out there. In this guide, we’ll dig deeper into Invisalign’s program and outline a few more affordable alternatives in case it’s not right for you.
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Is Invisalign Effective for Treating Overjet?
Yes! Invisalign has proven quite effective at correcting a variety of adult bite issues, including overjet.
Two decades ago, Invisalign came on the scene as an innovative method for straightening teeth. And over the years, Invisalign has expanded its catalog of treatment offerings to include more complex issues like overjet, overbite, underbite, and more. Today, this treatment system offers similar results to traditional braces at a comparable price ($5,000 on average), but without all the metal wires and brackets.
When administering Invisalign, dentists can use Invisalign’s proprietary “Smartforce” technology to create a program that’s perfectly customized to each individual’s condition. Smartforce attachments are tiny tooth-colored devices that are fixed to the teeth during treatment to allow for more intricate tooth movements (without sacrificing the aligners’ low profile).
Your provider can also utilize standard dental appliances such as elastics, and additional procedures like tooth shaving throughout the course of treatment. All these integrations make Invisalign a comprehensive system capable of correcting even quite severe cases of overjet.
All that said, these days there are many other providers offering clear teeth aligners. If you’re looking for a more affordable treatment method than Invisalign, or are simply curious what other brands are out there, we encourage you to keep reading.
What Is it Like to Wear Invisalign?
The leading reasons adults often favor Invisalign over braces are that they’re 1) clear, and 2) removable. This means that they’re much less noticeable than metal (or ceramic) braces, and you can take them out to eat, brush your teeth, or even 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 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 of all this, it’s worth keeping in mind that Invisalign treatment calls for a significant amount of discipline not required by traditional 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 overjet with braces.
Alternative Invisible Aligners
While Invisalign pioneered invisible aligner treatment 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 overjet 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 treatment with clear aligners. 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 them to 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 to offer. 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 right around the same cost as 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 come out to about half-to-two-thirds the cost of standard treatment.
These programs are designed for cases of crowding or spacing in which only the front six teeth need to be shifted. In other words, they’re much more limited than traditional Invisalign or ClearCorrect treatment in their ability to correct complex bite issues.
That said, if you have a mild case of overjet that only affects your front teeth, you may respond well to one of these treatment plans. Here are a few express aligner brands your dental provider may offer:
- 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 ranges from 5 to 10 months in duration. When it comes to correcting overjet, dentists tend to prefer traditional Invisalign treatment — but again, if your case is mild, Invisalign Express may be a totally viable option for you.
- 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-months 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 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. These systems offer similar results as the express aligners above, but at a lower-price point and without the hassle of repeated trips to the dentist’s office. If you have a mild case of overjet and like the idea of managing your treatment from home, this option is well-worth considering.
To learn more about home teeth alignment, check out our review of the top services.
When Standard Treatments Options Aren’t Enough
For some severe cases of adult overjet (when it is accompanied by a severe skeletal overbite) jaw surgery may be necessary to achieve the desired results. In these cases, the lower jaw is often so underdeveloped that traditional orthodontic treatment will not be entirely effective. For patients seeking a dramatic transformation of their bite and facial profile, orthognathic surgery can work to completely realign the upper and lower jaws.
This is a quite significant form of surgery — one that comes with a large financial cost and long recovery time (up to 12 weeks). Consequently, it’s not something you should jump into without a decent amount of professional consultation. Before considering corrective surgery, talk to a few orthodontic specialists to be 100% certain that traditional treatment options won’t be able to produce the results you’re after. And in the meantime, rest easy. The majority of overjet cases aren’t severe enough to warrant surgical intervention!
If you’re concerned about your overjet, now’s the time to take a deep breath… and exhale. Overjet is not a serious medical issue, and having one doesn’t make you any less amazing. That said, if you’re interested in pursuing corrective treatment, there are several highly-effective options out there, and Invisalign is one of the best.
Backed by years of proven results, Invisalign is a favorite for overjet treatment, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. Before deciding on a treatment method, consider the positives and negatives of each, think about how they would fit with your lifestyle and finances, and consult a dentist for an analysis of your unique dental condition. With all of this information in your back pocket, you’ll be able to choose a treatment path that will empower you to smile confidently!