Non-Invasive Underbite Correction

By Jean LeBron

Fixing an underbite condition can be expensive, difficult and challenging. Underbites are when the lower jaw abnormally protrudes past the upper jaw, and in some cases the lower front teeth may actually overlap the upper front teeth.   Underbites are most often caused by genetics, thumb sucking, poor chewing habits, and even tumors in the jaw bone.  Patients may experience pain when chewing, speech impediments, and a limited range of jaw motion, headaches, and even TMJ.

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Underbite Treatments

Until recently the only treatment options for patients needing underbite correction was surgery, teeth extraction or a combination of braces and surgery, but an alternative less invasive procedure does exist called in-office bite construction.  In-office bite construction does not involve braces or surgery.  Less invasive forms of treatment for underbites mean an end to long hospitalization, invasive surgery and the high costs in terms of hospitalization and recovery time.    Of course, this form of treatment is not for every patient and it will depend upon a patient’s underbite condition. If the underbite itself is severe, and the underlying cause is skeletal (resulting from an adverse formation of the jaw) rather than dental (improper placement of the teeth), then jaw surgery may be a consideration.  Generally, a patient may have to undergo a combination of treatments to correct the underbite, such as extraction, followed by surgery then an orthodontic treatment like braces.

Alternative methods to underbite correction are less expensive and can mean less time taken off from work or school.  With surgical and orthodontic treatments taking nearly one year or more to correct the condition, frequent visits to an oral surgeon, orthodontist plus post surgery recovery can be expected.

A cosmetic dentist may be a viable alternative to under bite correction if surgery seems too risky for you, and if your underbite is caused by underlying dental problems.  Under bite correction through restorative dentistry, dental veneers, and removable oral appliances is available.  Crowns, veneers, and bonding are all in-office procedures for mild under bite conditions that have fewer complications.

To decide for yourself the approach which best suits you.   Meet with both a dentist that specializes in under bite conditions and cosmetic dental procedures and an orthodontist.  In the final analysis, it’s your decision to make and you should take every opportunity to make it one that you can live with.

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