Underbite Correction Without Surgery: What to Know
An underbite is a common dental problem in which your lower teeth stick out farther than your upper teeth. If you are bothered by the appearance of an underbite and want a more aligned smile, or you’re troubled by difficulty chewing or TMJ pain, Southland Dental Care can help. We offer non-surgical underbite correction in Los Angeles to give you the radiant and aligned smile of your dreams.
What Is an Underbite?
An underbite or prognathism is a dental malocclusion or bad bite that happens when your lower teeth protrude and overlap the upper teeth. With a mild underbite, only two rows of teeth may almost meet. With a more severe underbite, the teeth do not meet at all.
What Causes an Underbite?
An underbite is often the result of a congenital misalignment of the lower jaw. This can develop due to conditions like acromegaly, basal cell nervus syndrome, or Crouzon syndrome. Some people are also more genetically prone to developing prognathism than others.
Fortunately, no matter the cause, there are ways to correct underbite without surgery in children and adults.
What Are My Underbite Correction Options?
While your mouth may have an inherent problem with alignment, there are many ways to correct underbite without surgery to improve your smile and relieve the symptoms of an underbite. Determining the right underbite correction method begins with a consultation at Southland Dental Care to assess the severity and cause of your underbite and overbite. We will develop a personalized underbite correction plan and go over the best strategies to give you the results you are looking for.
As a general rule, to correct underbite without surgery in adults, there are three main options: Invisalign, braces, and cosmetic procedures like veneers or crowns. Surgical underbite correction is generally only necessary when there is a more serious skeletal problem responsible for the bad bite.
Braces and Invisalign are also more affordable forms of underbite correction compared to surgery and they avoid the painful and long recovery of oral surgery. Still, remember that choosing to correct underbite without surgery does mean adhering to a strict oral care regimen and a treatment that may last up to two years to achieve your desired results.
Underbite Correction Devices
There are two types of underbite correction devices that can correct underbite without surgery. These devices are generally used for underbite correction in young people.
An upper jaw expander is one option. This device fits across the palate and a key is used at night to widen the expander slightly to gradually widen the upper jaw until the lower teeth no longer close against the outside of the upper teeth. A “reverse-pull” face mask that looks like braces headgear can also be used. This mask wraps around the head to pull the upper jaw into the correct position.
To correct underbite without surgery in adults, solutions other than appliances are often necessary because the musculoskeletal system is no longer growing and easily moldable.
Invisalign isn’t just useful for straightening teeth; it can also be used to correct mild to moderate overbites and as a non-invasive underbite correction device. Invisalign shifts your teeth into a better alignment over time using transparent aligners or retainers. You will need to wear these aligners for at least 22 hours per day for up to one year to slowly correct your bite.
Invisalign can’t treat all underbites but it can be made more effective with the use of dental elastics. These elastic bands are attached to “buttons” on the Invisalign aligners and provide more force to improve how your teeth fit together.
Braces are one of the most common forms of underbite correction in Los Angeles. Braces can be used to correct underbite without surgery for a moderate to severe underbite by moving the teeth into the proper alignment. Depending on the severity of the underbite, it may be necessary to extract one or more teeth of the lower jaw to give the remaining teeth room to move.
While braces aren’t cheap, they’re significantly less expensive than surgery. The cost to correct underbite without surgery using braces may be around $3,000 to $8,000, although braces are typically covered by dental insurance.