Growing up with a dental problem can have a profound effect on your life, such as preventing you from just smiling like any other person. Fortunately, the field of dentistry has made such huge advances in recent decades that almost every dental problem can be treated or managed. You, therefore, have no reason to live with an underbite when the experts at Lyons Orthodontics can help you achieve a bright and beautiful smile. In this article, you’ll discover some of the treatment options available when you visit Lyons Orthodontics about an underbite.
What is an Underbite?
An underbite is a malocclusion characterized by the lower teeth overlapping your upper teeth by a significant proportion, about 30-50 percent. It is a common condition that affects approximately one in ten Americans.
This condition can cause a variety of problems if left untreated. You may experience pain while you chew, talk or even breathe. Many people who have an underbite have misaligned teeth. In addition, an underbite predisposes you to gum disease since it is harder for such individuals to keep their teeth clean. Dr. Tim Lyons has also seen many cases of patients whose facial shape has been altered so much by an underbite that the chin appears to be larger than its actual size.
The effects of having an underbite will likely come sooner than later. So, the sooner you get treatment to adjust your bite the better your overall oral health will be. The following treatment options will be considered by orthodontic professionals at Lyons Orthodontics.
Braces are one of the most common methods that are used not only by Dr. Tim Lyons, but also the entire orthodontics community. The braces restrain your teeth from moving. Then, gradually realign them so that the overlap between your lower teeth and uppers is minimized.
Many patients prefer braces because this option restores their smile in a gradual way that doesn’t strain the bone supporting the teeth. You may be recommended other treatment options depending on your situation. Don’t hesitate to contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
Jaw Expanders and Retainers
We asked our friend, Dr. Chris Green, a dentist in Parker, CO, about treatment options for underbite. He explains that some people may not be good candidates for braces for a variety of reasons. For some people, jaw expanders and retainers can improve your underbite. A jaw expander stretches the cartilage and bone of the palate so that the arch gets larger as the child grows. In this way, an underbite will be avoided. Jaw expanders work so well that it takes approximately 12 months to correct an underbite.
The Cosmetic Approach
If your underbite is not severe, the orthodontic team at Lyons Orthodontics may recommend a remedy in which your lower teeth are reshaped before veneers are placed on the upper teeth. This method is a quick and simple way to get back your smile. The appearance and functionality of your teeth and jaw will be improved without an invasive procedure.
If your underbite is severe, the possibility of having to undergo jaw surgery as a corrective method is likely. This option is sometimes the only feasible approach for adults with a severe underbite. Your dentist in Folsom, CA is likely to refer you to our Lyons Orthodontics team for this invasive procedure. During the procedure, our specialists will modify your lower jaw so that the position of the teeth matches that of the uppers. You may be recommended a retainer after surgery so that your teeth remain in place.
Another alternative to fixing a severe underbite is tooth extraction. Dr. Tim Lyons and the Lyons team will do their best to preserve your natural teeth. However, they may have to extract a few teeth if the underbite is causing other serious issues. The extracted teeth are then replaced with restorations whose position aligns with the teeth in the upper jaw.
As you can see, there are many underbite correction options available. Of course, it all depends on your specific bite. Get in touch with us at Lyons Orthodontics and we happily see you for a free orthodontic consultation. Once we’ve met with you, we will be able to evaluate your smile and set up a treatment plan for your consideration.