Invisalign is a popular way of correcting many types of malocclusion, or misalignments of the upper and lower arches of teeth. It’s a convenient cosmetic treatment because they are removable. You’ll take them out to eat and pop them back in when you’re done— which also means there are no dietary restrictions. Furthermore, since the aligners are made from clear plastic, the treatment is 100% discreet. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing (unlike those bulky metal braces).
While Invisalign is capable of fixing many types of malocclusion, including an underbite, only your cosmetic dentist can determine for certain whether it’s the right option for you.
In clinical terms, an underbite is called prognathism– a Class III malocclusion. In other words, it means that the lower teeth sit farther forward in the mouth than the upper teeth. Normally, the upper teeth should rest just slightly forward of the lower teeth. For some people, an underbite is quite mild and does not cause noticeable problems. Others find it to have severe cosmetic, medical, and functional effects.
For example, when the teeth are positioned so that the lower teeth are forward, they can wear down quickly. As the enamel wears away, tooth sensitivity and an increased risk of tooth decay can result. In addition, it can be difficult for people with an underbite to bite into food and chew properly. For instance, you might have trouble biting into pizza or apples. You’ll need to cut them up instead. An underbite can also cause problems with articulating words clearly. In addition, underbites are a major cause of pain related to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Invisalign can indeed treat cases of prognathism. If you have a mild underbite, your dentist can easily customize your treatment to correct the misalignment. If you have a moderate to severe case, you may require Invisalign paired with another treatment. For example, if your lower jaw is positioned forward of your upper jaw, you may require orthognathic surgery to reposition it. Then, you can proceed to treatment with Invisalign.
If you do decide to move forward with Invisalign treatment for your underbite, the dentist will take x-rays and make impressions of your teeth. These are used to customize your aligners. You’ll receive the full series at once. You’ll wear each set (upper and lower) for roughly two weeks before moving on to the next pair in the series. Finally, you can expect to wear a retainer for a while to ensure that your teeth are fixed in their new positions.
Here at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry of Long Island, we’re proud to be authorized Invisalign providers. Our cosmetic dentists, Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot have worked with many patients with severe cases of malocclusion, including underbites. We can develop a treatment plan that will work for you, enabling you to enjoy the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve. Contact us today to request your one-on-one consultation in Huntington, Long Island.
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