What Do Invisalign Aligners Treat?

Experienced orthodontists use the Invisalign™ system as a treatment tool for many orthodontic problems. Invisalign treatment is a safe, discreet, and effective method to straighten teeth without the metal brackets and wires used in braces.

Invisalign clear aligners function like metal braces by gently adjusting your teeth into their correct positions, but instead of permanent wires and brackets, Invisalign treatment uses transparent, removable aligners. Same results, different method!

Invisalign aligners are a powerful tool in the hands of an experienced orthodontist; whatever treatment method you use, the most important part of your orthodontic care is the skilled professional who designs your treatment plan and corrects your smile. Seek an experienced Invisalign doctor with the expertise necessary to help you win your grin!

What Conditions Can Invisalign Treat?

Orthodontists use Invisalign aligners to treat conditions including:

  • Gaps between teeth
  • Crowding
  • Deep overbite
  • Open bite
  • Crossbite
  • Excessive overjet

Below, we discuss the various dental conditions requiring orthodontic treatment, and how orthodontists correct each of them using Invisalign treatment.

Can Invisalign Aligners Correct Crowding?

Invisalign aligners are an effective tool for correcting dental crowding. Tooth crowding occurs when there is not enough space in the jaw for all the teeth to grow in properly, forcing the teeth to grow into unnatural positions, which causes overlapping or twisted teeth.

For patients who suffer from crowding, a doctor will examine you to determine if you are an Invisalign candidate. In some cases, additional procedures may need to be performed if the crowding is excessive or problematic.

If the orthodontist determines Invisalign can help, the treatment works by first straightening teeth. Then the aligners will spread the teeth apart. In certain cases, your doctor may perform IPR (interproximal reduction) to make more space in your mouth. IPR is a straightforward procedure in which the doctor removes a small amount of enamel to provide room for all the teeth.

Learn more about dental crowding and how Invisalign treatment can correct this issue

Can I Use Invisalign Aligners to Close Gaps?

Invisalign aligners are frequently used to close gaps. Gaps are spaces between teeth, which can lead to crooked tooth growth and gum problems, and can increase the risk of damage to the teeth.

To close gaps with Invisalign treatment, your doctor will create a custom treatment timeline using a series of aligners. Each one is optimized to slowly and safely close the spaces while straightening any misaligned teeth.

In some instances, additional dental work is required after the Invisalign treatment. When the teeth are too small, for instance, a patient will be referred to a specialist for restorative bonding to correct the teeth and fully close the gaps.

Learn more about closing gaps

Can Invisalign Aligners Correct an Overbite?

Overbites are treatable with Invisalign aligners. An overbite is a too-far overlap between the top teeth and bottom teeth. While a small overbite is normal, Invisalign treatment is effective for correcting an excessive overbite.

The orthodontist will design a custom set of Invisalign aligners to align the jaw. Invisalign attachments will help adjust the teeth into their correct positions.

In some cases, the doctor may use elastic rubber bands to provide added force to the shifting created by your aligners. Not every case requires rubber bands: the doctor will determine during your intitial diagnosis. 

Learn more about Invisalign Attachments.

Learn more about treating overbites.

Can Invisalign Aligners Correct Underbite or Crossbite?

Yes, Invisalign treatment is frequently used to correct a crossbite, also known as an underbite.

A crossbite is a type of malocclusion created when the upper and lower jaws are misaligned, causing improper overlap of the top and bottom rows of teeth. If left untreated for too long, the patient may eventually need surgery, which can be expensive and complex.

Invisalign aligners are a reliable and effective method for shifting teeth into a proper bite. Crossbites are some of the most complex orthodontic conditions, so it is important to find an experienced orthodontist. If you’re seeking treatment with Invisalign treatment, look for a highly-ranked, experienced doctor, such as a Diamond Plus or Diamond Invisalign provider. 

To correct crossbites with Invisalign treatment, your orthodontist uses an iTero digital scanner to create a comprehensive image of your mouth, teeth, and roots, to effectively diagnose your condition and develop a treatment plan. The carefully developed regimen of aligners will slowly draw your teeth into their correct positions. In certain cases, a combination of braces and Invisalign treatment may be necessary to achieve the best results, or the doctor may refer you for oral surgery to surgically remove or adjust certain teeth. 

Learn more about iTero 3D Digital Scanning

Learn more about treating crossbite with Invisalign aligners

Does Invisalign Treatment Correct Open Bite?

Invisalign treatment is an effective method for correcting an open bite — and due to the comprehensive force applied by the aligners, may actually be more effective than traditional braces!

An open bite occurs when the top and bottom rows of teeth don’t connect fully when the mouth is closed. It can be caused by genetic factors or bad oral habits like thumb-sucking or excessive pacifier use. Using Invisalign treatment, your orthodontist applies an even and constant force on the teeth, gently pushing them into their proper positions so the mouth closes properly. 

In rare instances, surgery may be needed to fully correct an open bite; your orthodontist will do a thorough review of your condition to determine that best course of action. 

Learn more about how Invisalign aligners can correct open bites.

What Can Invisalign Aligners Not Treat?

There are some dental conditions that may not be treatable with Invisalign aligners:

Shape and Size of Teeth

Some genetic factors, such as tooth size and shape, cannot be corrected by any orthodontic treatment. These will require cosmetic surgery to correct, using veneers or dental reshaping, to create a healthy, beautiful smile. Your orthodontist may undertake part of your treatment using orthodontics, and then refer you to a cosmetic dentist to finish your care. 

Extrusions or Intrusions

Due to the design of Invisalign aligners, it is less effective for drawing out impacted teeth (extrusions) or lowering them further down (intrusions). Orthodontists sometimes use braces to achieve this part of treatment before switching you to Invisalign treatment. 

Extreme Tooth Rotation 

Crowded growth during dental development may cause a large degree of tooth rotation, where the tooth is twisted out of its correct position. If the rotation is more than 20 degrees, Invisalign treatment may not work alone to move it into its correct placement.