Orthodontic Problems That Invisalign Can And Cannot Fix

Orthodontic Problems That Invisalign Can And Cannot Fix

Invisalign is indeed an orthodontic game changer. The sequential tray-system invisible braces has benefited millions all over the world. While their superior aesthetics are the primary appealing factor, they should not be the primary factor when deciding on orthodontic treatment options.

Invisalign is not THE solution to all orthodontic issues. To fix certain problems, other orthodontic solutions, such as metal or lingual braces, could be a more practical and effective option. A personal consultation with our experienced in-house orthodontist at BigSmile Dental Clinic will help to point you in the right direction.

What dental issues can Invisalign treat?

Invisalign can help to treat the following problems, depending on the severity and presence of other compounding factors:

  • Crooked teeth: Invisalign can help to straighten crooked teeth. Through the use of tailor-made virtually invisible braces that are customised to your teeth anatomy, the crooked teeth are gradually and gently shifted to their desired position.
  • Overbite:An overbite happens when the teeth in the upper jaw overlaps the teeth in the bottom jaw. This may result in the individual experiencing difficulty in biting or chewing their food properly. Invisalign trays will slowly press the teeth into the jaws to reduce the overbite. This may help prevent traumatic injury to the gums as a result of a deep overbite.
  • Underbite:An underbite happens when teeth in the lower jaw overlaps teeth in the upper jaw. This issue often results in the individual’s teeth wearing off faster, and they may experience speech difficulty.
  • Crossbite:A crossbite is a form of malocclusion, or a teeth misalignment, where some of the upper teeth fit inside of the lower teeth. It can affect a single tooth or several teeth, resulting in the affected tooth or teeth chipping or wearing off easily, sometimes even causing the surrounding gums to recede.
  • Gaps in teeth:You might have a spacing issue if you have gaps between two or  more teeth. The gaps in between allow food to be trapped between the gums and teeth, which becomes a suitable environment for bacteria to accumulate and multiply, causing gum disease and toothaches to develop. Invisalign helps to shift the teeth closer together, closing the gaps and creating a more aesthetic and healthier smile.
  • Open bite:An open bite is a form of malocclusion that refers to the lack of overlap between the upper and lower teeth, resulting in the individual not being able to chew properly as the opposing teeth are too far apart.
  • Crowded teeth:When the jaw does not have enough space to accommodate all your teeth, the teeth end up overlapping and twisting over one another. This results in the creation of sites that are not accessible to your toothbrush – spaces that allow food to get stuck – creating a suitable environment for plaque and tartar to develop, leading to gum disease and tooth decay.

What are the limitations of Invisalign?

Invisalign does not exert the same amount of pressure to move teeth as traditional braces do because the plastic trays do not grip the teeth as tightly. Hence, more complex types of orthodontic treatments or cases that need more significant movement of teeth will not be well-treated with Invisalign.

Here are some cases where using Invisalign might not be as effective as using traditional braces:

  • The shape of the teeth: Some patients might have teeth shape that is not suitable for Invisalign use. Examples of such teeth shapes are short, round, pegged ones that do not allow the invisible brace plastic aligner to grip them properly.
  • Position of the teeth: For example, when the patient has overcrowded teeth, their teeth may be displaced and rotated. If the tooth is severely rotated, Invisalign is not able to completely de-rotate them to the right position. Additionally, if the affected teeth tilt over 45 degrees backwards or forward, Invisalign is also not able to adjust them back satisfactorily.
  • Large gaps: At best, Invisalign is only able to close gaps up to 6mm reliably and satisfactorily. If your gap is bigger than that, Invisalign is not the solution.
  • Extrusion and intrusion: Orthodontic procedures can help to raise and lower the positions of the teeth within the jaws. Fixed braces can easily help to move the teeth into the desired position. However, Invisalign trays do not exert enough pressure to do that adequately, so some corrections will be inadequate or incomplete.
  • Midline movements: Some patients’ front teeth do not align with their midline, which is in the middle of the face. Invisalign can only correct up to 2mm midline discrepancy towards the left or right. Larger than 2mm movements should be realigned by using traditional braces.
  • Prior dental procedures: Certain dental procedures that the patients have gone through before, such as dental bridgework, can limit the effectiveness of Invisalign.
  • Requires extractions: Invisalign is not as suitable for patients that need to undergo a tooth extraction procedure before or during treatment. Fixed braces will do a better job.


With the ever-changing evolution of medical technology, Invisalign is constantly improving. As compared to many years ago, Invisalign can now be used to treat more complex cases. However, because they are highly customised to each patient’s teeth shape, the invisible braces cost more than most traditional braces. Hence, this is also something that you should consider when getting orthodontic treatment.

Nevertheless, at BigSmile Dental Clinic, we want to ensure that you get the best orthodontic solution that suits your needs. Contact us at +65 6734 0007 for a consultation today!