The introduction of invisible aligners took the orthodontics world by storm. These clear, moulded devices wrap around the teeth and gently apply pressure to straighten them. They function in a similar manner to metal braces but are worn for a shorter period of time. They can even be used for treating malocclusions, or bite problems.
Since invisible aligners are a relatively new invention, some companies like MiSmile provide training and support to orthodontists wanting to offer the treatment to their patients. The fabrication of these devices requires precise moulds that are custom fit to each patient.
Treatment of Bite Problems
While it is true that some bite problems require a more complex treatment, such as the use of traditional metal braces, invisible aligners are still a powerful tool for treating minor malocclusions.
Malocclusions come in many forms and are characterised by the misalignment of the jaw and teeth. Dentists check for bite problems by performing bite tests and taking indentations of the teeth. They may also require an X-ray so that they may come up with a plan to address the problem.
Types of Bite Problems
Invisible aligners work best with minor bite problems, which include the following:
- Overbite – Overbite is when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth, sometimes touching the gum line. It leads to gum problems and may wear down the lower teeth.
- Underbite – An underbite is the opposite of the overbite. This time, the lower jaw protrudes over the upper jaw. Underbites can be very painful as it puts a lot of stress on the joints of the jaw.
- Openbite – An open bite is when the teeth do not meet when they bite down. Even if the mouth is fully closed, the teeth will not meet in the middle. This creates problems with chewing, and may even cause speech impairments in some individuals.
- Crossbite – Crossbites occur when both the upper and lower jaw are misaligned. The face may have a lopsided appearance. Tooth loss, gum disease, and bone loss are typical for untreated crossbites.
The use of invisible aligners is a viable treatment option for these types of bite problems. Those with more severe problems, however, may want to consult with their orthodontist first.