woman holding invisalign clear aligner in hand

What Can Invisalign Fix? 

On this page, we are going to give you the answers to what can Invisalign fix and how it does it for our patients.

Invisalign clear aligners are an effective way to correct a variety of different malocclusions (types of misaligned bites). While Invisalign can not correct every scenario, the latest advancements in clear aligner therapy make using removable braces a predictable process for the needs of most of our Ottawa patients.

Invisalign Treatable Cases

When Invisalign first became popular in the early 2000s, it was typically reserved for situations where individuals had already worn braces but didn’t keep up with their retainers. As a result, they experienced some relapse in their bite where teeth shifted and went back to their original position. 

Gradually, Invisalign evolved from being able to treat cases with minor tooth movement to more moderate smile needs. What Invisalign can correct today is much more complex and advanced than the minor tooth misalignment cases from nearly two decades ago. Today at Braces Haven, Dr. Charles Cohen can even use it selectively for cases with more severe tooth misalignment. In the right situation, even children with a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth can use Invisalign. 

What can Invisalign fix? Here are some of the most common issues when using invisible braces:

  • Overbites
  • Open Bites
  • Crowded Teeth
  • Underbites
  • Gaps
  • Crossbites

How Can Invisalign Fix Overbites

Can Invisalign fix an overbite? Yes, Invisalign can correct an overbite. 

An overbite (not to be confused with overjet) is when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth more than they are supposed to. Although a bit of a natural, mild overbite is ideal for proper functioning, a moderate to severe overbite can lead to irregular tooth wear, TMJ (jaw joint) problems, or speech issues. 

Depending on the severity of your overbite, Invisalign trays would work to move both the upper and lower teeth into a relationship where only a slight amount of overlap is visible. When we are using Invisalign, our patients will usually need small tooth coloured “buttons” attached to certain teeth for the aligners to grip onto and have more of a hold. A severe overbite might need other types of oral appliances or braces to correct. 

How Can Invisalign Correct an Open Bite

Can Invisalign fix an open? Yes, Invisalign can correct an open bite. 

An open bite is when the back teeth are fully closed together but the front teeth do not touch, leaving an open space between them. Most open bites happen at the front of the mouth, because of habits like thumb sucking, pacifier use, sippy cups, or tongue thrusting. The problem doesn’t just involve the teeth, but also the facial bones in the upper and lower jaw. 

Correcting an open bite can be challenging. Some attachments (“buttons”) are often needed for your aligners to grip onto, but they will blend in with your teeth. Gradually, the teeth are guided closed so that they finally bite together in a harmonious fashion. 

Since open bites are usually the result of a long-term habit, treatment would also need to address the cause of the issue to prevent any type of relapse. 

How Does Invisalign Work for Crowded Teeth

Can Invisalign fix crowded teeth? Yes, Invisalign can correct crowded teeth.

When our Ottawa Orthodontist is straightening out crowded teeth, there ultimately needs to be space created for them to move towards. When you have a few crooked teeth in one part of your mouth but gaps or spacing somewhere else, Invisalign can move the teeth to balance everything out. Sometimes the extra space needed to fix crowded teeth is created by slightly widening the arches (jaws) so that the teeth have more room. 

How Can Invisalign Fix an Underbite

Can Invisalign fix an underbite? Yes, Invisalign can correct an underbite.

An underbite is when the lower teeth in the front of your mouth bite in front of the upper teeth. Treating underbites often involves tilting the lower teeth backwards and the upper teeth forwards. Elastics or rubber bands that get attached to the Invisalign trays are typically needed. However depending on the severity of the underbite and how far the mandible (lower jaw) grows forward, other dental treatment such as extractions or jaw surgery could be necessary. In these cases a combination of Invisalign and braces can sometimes be used.  

How Does Invisalign Fix Gaps

Can Invisalign fix gaps in teeth? Yes, Invisalign can correct gaps or spaces between teeth.

If you have a diastema (gap between your two upper front teeth) or other noticeable spaces throughout your smile, Invisalign can predictably close these areas up so that your teeth look nicely aligned. 

Although gaps do pose an esthetic issue, they can also be prone to collecting food each time you eat, making you more likely to battle issues like tooth decay, cavities or gum disease. Getting Invisalign to create properly aligned teeth and a proper bite can help to improve your overall oral health!

How Does Invisalign Work in Correcting Crossbites

Can Invisalign fix a crossbite? Yes, Invisalign can correct crossbites.

A crossbite happens when some of the upper teeth bite down on the inside of the lower teeth smile instead of the proper position which is to the outside. In this situation, the teeth do not close together properly in a way that allows the biting surfaces to effectively process food. It can also lead to unnatural tooth wear and TMJ (jaw joint) problems.

Invisalign fixes crossbites by moving those upper teeth towards the cheeks and lips, and guiding the bottom teeth closer to the tongue. Essentially, it’s widening or narrowing the arches (jaws) so that they fit together properly. Once again, elastics or rubber bands are sometimes included in the treatment. 

Invisalign Treatment for Children with a Mix of Baby and Permanent Teeth

When children still have a mix of primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth, it’s often beneficial to initiate what’s called “Phase 1” orthodontic treatment. This helps position their bite so that their jaw continues to develop appropriately and that their adult teeth have enough space to line up in a desired manner. 

After the rest of their baby teeth fall out, “Phase 2” treatment helps to fine tune their bite and ensure that the adult teeth are aligned the way they should be. 

Invisalign orthodontics work almost the same way for Phase 1 and Phase 2 treatment as traditional braces do, except they’re removable and easier to keep clean. There is less risk for children to struggle with speech delays because of orthodontic appliances, or getting cavities around fixed appliances since there are no brackets and wires bonded into place. Some parents may be concerned that their children will lose the Invisalign trays or won’t be very compliant, however we have found quite the opposite to be true. Most children are stellar patients when it comes to wearing invisible braces!

Children’s Invisalign treatments are usually determined on a case-by-case basis, so you’ll want to consult with our certified orthodontist and Invisalign provider to find out if your child qualifies. 

Invisalign is easy to fit into your child’s busy extracurricular schedule, since aligners are taken home in advance. A brief check-in every other month is usually all that’s needed!

Your Ottawa Invisalign Provider

Braces Haven offers comprehensive orthodontics and braces for all ages, including Invisalign treatment. If you are considering removable aligners or want to find out if you qualify for clear braces, contact us today to reserve a consultation with Dr. Cohen, your soon-to-be favourite Ottawa Invisalign provider. We’re happy to answer any questions that you may have!