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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another solution to correct overbite without surgery is creative cosmetic dentistry. After determining the best jaw position, crowns, veneers, or other porcelain restorations are used to build out the upper dental arch. This supports an improved jaw position and a more naturally bite while delivering a more beautiful smile. Restorative dental devices don’t just deliver overbite and underbite correction; they can also improve your facial profile, often without damaging healthy tooth enamel.
Crowns and veneers are a preferred way to correct underbite without surgery in adults. This underbite correction technique is especially beneficial if you have other cosmetic concerns you’d like to address like gaps, tooth decay, or old fillings. While veneers or crowns won’t actually change the placement of your teeth, they still work as underbite correction by mimicking your jaw being in alignment and correcting your bite.
Unfortunately, many people believe the only solution for underbite correction is surgery, a misconception that prevents many from ever seeking treatment. If you are bothered by a bad bite and want to avoid surgery, contact Southland Dental Care today. We’ll help you understand your options to correct underbite without surgery to give you the profile, smile, and confidence you’ve always wanted.