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Sometimes patients ask, “does Invisalign fix underbite?” The answer is often yes! However, the complete solution requires a more detailed explanation.
For many patients, Invisalign is ideal as they find the clear aligners more convenient, comfortable, and attractive. They also provide effective treatment for a variety of orthodontic issues.
Keep in mind this article isn’t a substitute for professional dental care. Each person’s oral health is unique. For example, although Invisalign is an excellent option for many people with underbites, it isn’t appropriate for everyone. Your dentist will need to give you an examination before identifying the best treatment.
During Invisalign treatment, the patient wears clear, removable plastic aligner trays that gently guide the teeth towards the desired alignment. As treatment progresses, you move on to a different set of trays. Throughout the process, your dentist may review your progress and adapt the plan as needed. During treatment, you wear the aligners 18 – 22 hours a day. Some benefits of Invisalign include:
- Since the aligners are thin and transparent, they are barely visible, unlike traditional metal braces.
- The trays are easy to remove, so you can eat normally and brush and floss as usual.
- Depending on the level of correction required, many people complete treatment in less than a year.
- Fewer office visits compared to traditional braces.
- Some patients experience minor discomfort since the aligners move teeth more gradually than conventional metal braces.
Now that you understand a little about Invisalign, let’s take a moment to answer the real question likely on your mind, “does Invisalign fix underbite?” First, let’s consider a few basic concepts about underbites.
What is an Underbite?
When the teeth are optimally aligned, the upper front teeth extend slightly over the lower front teeth.
An underbite refers to dental alignment when the lower front teeth stick out in front of your upper teeth. Sometimes this is due to lower jaw alignment issues with the jaw protruding forward. An overbite, on the other hand, is the opposite. The upper front teeth stick out in front of the lower front teeth.
Both underbites and overbites are among the many dental alignment problems that Invisalign can correct. However, in extreme cases, an underbite may require Invisalign plus additional treatment like surgery.
The problem with an underbite isn’t simply appearance. Sometimes an untreated underbite can make it difficult to chew or to speak clearly. It also may increase the unnecessary wearing down of the teeth and the risk of tooth decay. An underbite can also contribute to bad breath, dry mouth, chronic mouth breathing, and bacterial infections.
Correcting an underbite may result in a feeling of confidence, decreased self-consciousness and may prevent some future dental problems.
Possible Causes of an Underbite
Underbites often develop in childhood. There are a variety of possible causes, including genetics, poor childhood habits, or injuries.
Some childhood habits that might increase the likelihood of developing an underbite include:
- Jaw development or alignment problems.
- Excessive thumb sucking or pacifier use after three years old.
- Bottle feeding.
- Thrusting the tongue towards the teeth or pushing on them with the tongue.
- Chronic mouth breathing during sleep, possibly due to nasal congestion or allergies.
- In rare cases, a mouth tumor
Some of the Different Types of Underbites
Not all underbites are the same, and they vary in severity and cause. Understanding some of the variations makes it easier to understand why some conditions are more responsive to Invisalign than others.
- Mild underbite: very slight; the teeth are nearly aligned edge to edge.
- Severe underbite: The gap is wide enough that the front teeth don’t meet
- Dental underbite: Referring to underbite caused by teeth alignment issues.
- Skeletal underbite: The misalignment originates from the underlying jaw structure.
So if you wonder does Invisalign fix underbite, if the misalignment is due to tooth alignment, Invisalign might work well. If the underbite is skeletal, other treatments or a combination of treatments may be necessary. Since there is so much variation among underbites, no one treatment works for everyone.
Sometimes in teens and adults, Invisalign might be the perfect solution. Other times treatment might involve extractions or surgery as well as orthodontic treatment or Invisalign.
Other Issues Invisalign May Correct
The following list isn’t comprehensive, but it gives you a sense of some of the many issues Invisalign may correct.
- Gaps between teeth
- Open bite
- Crowded teeth
- Other misaligned teeth
About the Invisalign Process
Invisalign treatment starts with a thorough examination and imagining. Your dentist will assess whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign or does Invisalign fixes underbite for you. If you are, the next step would be for your dentist to map out the path your teeth need to move to achieve more optimal alignment.
If you opt for Invisalign, follow your dentist’s recommendations for best results. This may involve wearing your aligners for enough hours each day, staying on top of your oral hygiene, keeping the aligner trays clean, and attending your follow-up visits.
Whether you opt for Invisalign or another treatment option, it all starts with an examination. Your dentist is in the best position to identify the right treatment plan keeping in mind the level of correction you need, your medical history, lifestyle, and overall oral health.
When choosing an invisible aligner provider, consider choosing one who specializes in Invisalign. The difference is greater than the brand name. Many people trust Invisalign because of the quality of materials, continuing education for dental providers, and proprietary technology.
In addition to Invisalign certification, look for a dentist that you feel comfortable with. Since you will see this dentist every few weeks, it is important to find someone who treats you as an individual and looks out for your oral health and wellbeing.
The team at Southview Dentistry has had the privilege of caring for Charlotte-area residents and their oral health. We have answers to all the questions like “does Invisalign fix underbite”. We love correcting alignment issues like underbites and seeing confident smiles emerge. If you live near Charlotte and would like a consultation to learn more about whether Invisalign is right for you, contact us to schedule an appointment.