Overcorrection aligners: how they work & when you may need them

5 February 2022

You're almost done with aligner therapy, and when you look closely at your last few trays, you notice that they'll push your teeth in unexpected directions. What's happening?

 

Overcorrection aligners tackle the most complex, hard-to-move teeth in your mouth. Your dentist uses them to push these teeth slightly past their ideal position. As your teeth move in the coming weeks and years (which they will), they will settle back into the spots you want.

 

Skip overcorrection aligners, and that expected mouth movement could mean your smile is a little less than perfect. But use these aligners, and you’ll end up with the smile you want.

How do overcorrection aligners work?


Overcorrection aligners look and feel just like the aligners you've worn to straighten your teeth, however they are designed to offer final little tweaks that can make your smile age into the desired results.

 

Dentists typically use overcorrection aligners to move your teeth about 10 percent past what your doctor considers ideal.1

 

People who wear overcorrection aligners say that they can be tough initially. These words are used to describe them:

  • Uncomfortable: Overcorrection aligners move a few of your teeth very quickly, and the trays can feel tight and intense when you wear them. You might be eager to take them off when you eat or brush.
  • Awkward: All aligner trays move teeth, but overcorrection versions focus on just a few troublesome spots in your mouth. You may feel pressure in just one or two places rather than all over your mouth.
  • Noticeable: You may feel like your bite is slightly unusual and that your teeth don’t meet in an expected way.

 

Talk with your dentist about your feelings and concerns. but know that overcorrection aligners will cause slight discomfort.

Do you need overcorrection aligners?


You're using aligner trays because your smile doesn't seem quite right. Moving your teeth can solve that issue. And chances are, you have one or two points in your mouth that could benefit from overcorrection techniques.

 

Dentists typically use overcorrection aligners to address these issues:

  • Gaps: Do you have big spaces between your teeth?
  • Pushing: Do some of your teeth point slightly forward rather than up or down?
  • Rotating: Do some of your teeth seem to curl inward or outward?

 

Few people have well-aligned teeth. Researchers have found that about 35 percent of adults had straight smiles.2 If you need aligners to perfect your smile, you probably need overcorrection included in your treatment plan.

Do overcorrection aligners really work?


Why would your dentist push your teeth in unexpected positions? A plan like this accounts for the natural movement of your smile throughout your life.

 

Each time you bite down on a chewy piece of avocado sourdough toast or rip open a bag of chips with your incisors, you're putting intense pressure on your smile. Your teeth respond by shifting. Slowly, in a progression that is so subtle that you may not notice it, your teeth will move over time.

 

Teeth pushed, pulled, and twisted by aligners often slide back into their original positions, and some people end up with teeth that look like they never had aligner treatment at all. Even if you follow your treatment plan to the letter, those heavily altered teeth are likely to move at least a little bit.

 

Overcorrection aligners ensure that these moving teeth take up positions that don’t impact your smile. When they move, as they will, you won’t notice the shift.

 

A 2019 study found that overcorrection aligners are a required part of aligner therapy, especially for people with teeth that need a lot of help.3

Can you skip overcorrection aligners?


After you've submitted your impression kit, you'll work with  your Byte Customer Support person on your aligner plan. At that point, you may be advised that overcorrection aligners are required, and you'll talk about what that looks like for your situation.

 

If you don't want to use overcorrection aligners, there are a few steps you can consider:

  • Be vigilant. Follow your treatment plan wear your aligners exactly as directed by the Byte team. If you don't take shortcuts, your teeth will move as expected.
  • Use HyperByte. The HyperByte tool supplies gentle vibrations that seat your teeth in the trays and encourage your bones to remodel as teeth move. Studies show that vibrations like this encourages your teeth to move in expected ways. That could reduce your overcorrection risks.
  • Commit to your retainer. When aligner treatment is complete, you'll have a retainer for daily use. At first, you might wear it during the day and night. In time, you'll only wear it at night. Compliance with this plan keeps your teeth from moving too far from their ideal positions.

How much do overcorrection aligners cost?


Your overcorrection aligners are part of your treatment plan. At Byte, we don't separate these costs from your other aligner expenses. In other words: You won't pay more for the care you need.

 

We also offer a lifetime guarantee. If your teeth move out of place, so long as you’ve followed all post-treatment instructions as directed, we'll help restore your smile at no additional cost. See the guarantee details.


General references

 

The Effects of Brief Daily Vibration on Clear Aligner Orthodontic Treatment. (December 2018). Journal of the World Federation of Orthodontists. Date fetched: April 21, 2022.

Assessment of the Effectiveness of Invisible Aligners Compared With Conventional Appliance in Aesthetic and Functional Orthodontic Treatment: A Systematic Review. (September 2019). Journal of Investigative and Clinical Dentistry. Date fetched: April 21, 2022.

 

Medical references

1 Staging Orthodontic Aligners for Complex Orthodontic Tooth Movement. (2021). Turkish Journal of Orthodontics. Date fetched: April 21, 2022.

2 Prevalence of Malocclusion and Orthodontic Treatment Need in the United States: Estimates from the NHANES III Survey. (1998). International Journal of Adult Orthodontics and Orthognathic Surgery. Date fetched: April 21, 2022.

 

3 Comparative Assessment of Clinical and Predicted Treatment Outcomes of Clear Aligner Treatment: An in Vivo Study. (December 2019). Turkish Journal of Orthodontics. Date fetched: April 21, 2022.