Having properly aligned teeth means that the upper front teeth will be in front of the lower front teeth. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, many people do not have this optimal alignment and require help from their dentist to achieve it.
Invisalign’s removable plastic aligners are proving to be an effective treatment option for those dealing with all types of misalignments, including overbites, open bites, cross bites, and, of course, underbites.
What is an Underbite?
An underbite is when the lower teeth protrude further than the upper teeth. The degree of this protrusion can vary greatly from person to person.
Genetics plays a huge role in whether or not a patient may have this alignment issue. However, underbites can also be caused by trauma or injury to the jaw or childhood habits, such as thumbsucking, use of pacifiers, and excessive bottle feeding.
Aside from addressing the appearance, it is necessary to correct underbites to avoid future issues. This can often be done successfully using treatments like Invisalign, but it is important to note that additional options are available for more complex cases — including surgery.
Treating an Underbite with Invisalign
Invisalign works by using clear, custom-designed aligners to encourage the teeth to move into their ideal position. The removable aligners can correct all types of misalignments, as well as straighten crooked teeth. This is all done without the need for brackets and wires like traditional braces.
So, how does Invisalign treat an underbite?
A plan is made to move your teeth from their current to their desired position. And, a series of aligners are created to take you through the process. Each aligner is designed to be worn for about two weeks (or as directed by your dentist) before replacing it with a new one. Gentle, even pressure will cause the teeth to start moving, correcting the underbite.
Invisalign works beautifully for mild to moderate underbites. For those that are severe or complex, an alternative treatment may need to be sought.
The Importance of Correcting an Underbite
Underbites may not seem like a big deal — especially if they are very mild. However, treating them is so important to reduce the risk of future oral health issues.
Underbites are known to make everyday tasks more difficult, such as speaking and chewing. Without treatment, they can:
- Cause wear and tear on both the teeth and the jaw joints
- Lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder)
- Increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease
Treatments like Invisalign make it easy to correct underbites and improve oral health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will an underbite resolve itself?
No, an underbite will not correct itself without treatment.
Will underbites get worse without treatment?
Yes, underbites left untreated can get worse and may cause issues with oral health, including TMJ disorder.
Learn More at San Francisco Dental Wellness
At San Francisco Dental Wellness, you have access to the latest, most advanced dental treatments for all aspects of oral health. In fact, as the clinical director at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, Dr. Chui provides effective treatment to veterans suffering from complex TMJ disorders.