Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
NewMouth is reader supported. We may earn a commission if you purchase something using one of our links. Advertising Disclosure.

Invisalign for Crossbites: Better than Braces?

Pierce Willans Headshot
Written by
Pierce Willans
Medically Reviewed by 
Dr. Erica Anand
12 Sources Cited

Key Takeaways

  • Invisalign is effective for most crossbites (sometimes even more than braces)
  • Crossbite correction with Invisalign takes between 12 to 36 months
  • Treatment with Invisalign is discrete, comfortable, and convenient
  • Invisalign costs $3,000 to $8,000
  • Crossbite can lead to various complications if not fixed

Can Invisalign Fix a Crossbite?

Invisalign is a highly effective orthodontic treatment for most crossbites. There are many cases where Invisalign can fix crossbites better than traditional braces.

A crossbite is a type of malocclusion (bite issue) where the upper and lower teeth don’t line up properly. Specifically, some of the bottom teeth are outside the upper teeth when the jaws close.

In most cases, a crossbite is hereditary. In these situations, a person is born with a lower jaw that’s either too big or too small. But a crossbite can also be a result of bad habits.

Some causes of crossbite include:

  • Thumb-sucking
  • Mouth-breathing
  • Delayed eruption of permanent teeth
  • Cleft lip or palate
  • Losing baby teeth too early or keeping them too late
  • Having a dental arch that’s too small
  • An unusually small upper jaw or large lower jaw (skeletal crossbite)

Failing to treat a crossbite can lead to a variety of issues, including damage to teeth and gums and even jaw problems. 

Fortunately, Invisalign treatment is highly effective for treating many forms of crossbite. 

What is Invisalign & How Does it Work?

Invisalign is a system of clear aligners. It’s an effective alternative to traditional metal braces. Clear aligners are transparent plastic trays that apply gentle pressure to slowly reposition teeth.

Since its introduction in 1998, Invisalign has treated nearly 11 million people, becoming the world’s #1 clear aligner brand.

Here’s how Invisalign works:

  1. Invisalign treatment begins with an (often free) in-person consultation with an Invisalign-trained dentist or orthodontist. During this consultation, your dentist or orthodontist will digitally scan your teeth. They will then design a treatment plan.
  2. Next, they will make a series of clear aligners based on both your current and desired teeth alignment. Over the course of treatment, the aligners will slowly move your teeth into their correct positions to correct your crossbite.
  3. Wear your Invisalign aligners for 22+ hours per day. Only remove them to eat, drink, brush, or floss.7 The aligners will straighten your teeth by 0.25 to 0.3 millimeters every two weeks.7
  4. After two weeks, you’ll return to the dentist or orthodontist for a follow-up appointment. They’ll review your treatment progress, and you’ll receive your remaining sets of Invisalign aligners. 
  5. After that, appointments are roughly every 6 weeks, and you’ll continue switching your aligners every two weeks.
  6. After treatment ends, you’ll wear a retainer at night to keep your teeth straight.

Unlike braces, Invisalign treatment is discrete, convenient, and comfortable. But when it comes to crossbite correction, Invisalign has an additional advantage: it covers the entire biting surface

Invisalign is particularly effective at fixing crossbites because it separates the dental arches. Because the upper and lower teeth aren’t touching, one tooth in a crossbite can’t block another from moving into its correct position. This makes the process simpler and faster than with braces.

By comparison, braces can’t keep teeth from touching each other without the use of uncomfortable devices like bite blocks or fixed acrylic appliances. 

Fix your teeth from home for cheaper than Invisalign. Learn about the best Invisalign alternatives.

Types of Crossbites Invisalign Can & Can’t Fix 

Invisalign is most effective at treating dental crossbites. Misaligned teeth cause these crossbites. 

Crossbites due to skeletal irregularities, such as jaw issues, are more difficult to treat with Invisalign. They are typically corrected with traditional or lingual braces. 

How Long Does it Take Invisalign to Fix a Crossbite?

In most cases, Invisalign can fix crossbites within 12 to 36 months.3 Treatment time varies depending on how often the aligners are worn and how severe the crossbite is.

The presence of multiple malocclusion issues (a crossbite and teeth crowding, for example) can increase treatment time.

Invisalign Treatment Cost for Crossbite

The severity of the crossbite, where you live, and where you go for treatment impact the cost of Invisalign treatment. Treatment can cost between $3,000 to $8,000.

Interested in straightening your teeth at home? Here are the best clear aligner companies.

Pros and Cons of Invisalign for Crossbites

Crossbite correction with Invisalign offers the following benefits:

  • Covers the entire biting surface
  • Removable, which makes cleaning your teeth easier
  • More discrete, convenient, and comfortable than braces
  • No metal wires or brackets to cut your mouth
  • Invisalign aligners are easier to keep clean
  • Equally or more affordable than braces
  • Can prevent bruxism
  • Invisalign clear aligner plastic is FDA-approved for medical use
  • Studies show clear aligner treatment causes less discomfort than braces1
  • A beautiful smile and more confidence

Cons of Invisalign include:

  • May not be suitable for severe cases
  • Invisalign is removable, meaning treatment outcomes depend partially on the wearer
  • Some tooth discomfort involved
  • Can be expensive

When are Alternative Treatments Necessary?

Invisalign can fix most cases of crossbite due to misaligned teeth. Crossbites caused by skeletal issues usually require alternative treatments. 

In addition, treating skeletal crossbites tends to be easier in children and teenagers, since their growing jaws can be redirected. 

Braces

Braces, when used alongside additional appliances such as bite blocks, expanders, and elastics, can help achieve some jaw realignment. 

While their visibility and uncomfortable metal components are downsides, braces are another reliable treatment option for crossbite.

There are several varieties of braces, including metal, clear, and lingual. Depending on which kind you have, the cost can range between $3,000 to $10,000.

Surgery

Orthognathic (jaw) surgery is sometimes needed to correct skeletal crossbite in adults, or those with otherwise severe cases. Severe dental crossbites may require a dental expansion of the upper or lower arches.

Surgery may involve not only realigning the jaw but also extracting f teeth. Braces are sometimes used in combination with surgery.

Orthodontists typically only recommend surgery as a last resort due to how invasive it is.

There are different types of orthognathic surgery. The cost may range between $20,000 to $40,000, depending on the type.

Which is better for you, Byte or Invisalign? Find out now

Do Crossbites Need to Be Fixed?

Crossbites are one of the more serious bite issues. If not treated, they can lead to various complications, including:

  • Chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged teeth
  • Increased risk for gum disease and tooth decay
  • Receding gums
  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Headaches
  • Toothaches
  • TMJ problems

Thankfully, Invisalign can fix crossbites in most situations more easily and faster than braces. If you have a crossbite, ask a dental professional if Invisalign treatment is right for you.

Last updated on April 14, 2022
12 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 14, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Cardoso, Paula Coutinho. “Pain level between clear aligners and fixed appliances: a systematic review.” Progress in orthodontics, vol. 21, no. 1, 2020. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  2. David Allen, et al. “Skeletal and Dental Contributions to Posterior Crossbites.” Angle Orthod 1 September 2003; 73 : 515–524
  3. Diamond Braces. “How Long Does Invisalign Take to Straighten Teeth?diamondbraces.com.
  4. Hussain, Amer. “What Are the Effects of Crossbites?www.pureorthodontics.ca.
  5. Invisalign. “Crossbite.www.invisalign.com.
  6. Laster Orthodontics. “Aligners Or Braces For Crossbite?lasterortho.com.
  7. Ling, Paul H. “Clinical Limitations of Invisalign.” Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, vol. 73, no. 3, 2007, pp. 263-266. http://www.cda-adc.ca/.
  8. Orthodontist Maple Grove and Edina Minnesotta. “Orthodontic Conditions - Cross Bite.www.panorthodontics.com.
  9. Park, Jae Hyun, and Tae Weon Kim. “Anterior crossbite correction with a series of clear removable appliances: a case report.Journal of esthetic and restorative dentistry : official publication of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry ... [et al.] vol. 21,3 : 149-59.
  10. Personalized Orthodontics. “Better understanding the cost of Invisalign | What factors determine your price?” porth.io.
  11. PREMIER DENTAL OF OHIO. “Invisalign vs. Braces: Which is Right for You?www.premierdentalohio.com.
  12. Somers, Jamie L. “Crossbites.support.clearcorrect.com.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram