If you’re living with an underbite, you’ve likely considered what solutions are available to help correct it. You might be surprised and relieved to know that there’s a near-invisible, cutting-edge option to consider—Invisalign. This modern approach to straightening teeth could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

But does Invisalign fix an underbite? This article will explore the possibilities and provide insights about this innovative dental solution.

What Is an Underbite?

An underbite is a type of malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth. In technical terms, it is when the lower teeth protrude beyond or overlap with the upper front teeth when the mouth is closed. This malocclusion can impact both the appearance and functionality of your mouth and teeth.

An underbite is not limited to just the overlapping of teeth. It involves a disproportionate alignment of the upper and lower jaws, with the lower jaw extending forward. This condition might lead to several issues including difficulty in chewing and speaking, and can even cause discomfort or pain in severe cases.

This form of misalignment is not necessarily a short-term situation. It is often a long-lasting condition that people might be born with due to hereditary factors. Childhood behaviors, like excessive thumb sucking or prolonged use of a pacifier, can also lead to an underbite.

What Are Different Types of Underbites?

  • Minor Underbite. This typically refers to a slightly forward position of the lower teeth in relation to the upper teeth, which may not be immediately apparent to the casual observer. Often, a mild underbite does not cause discomfort or hinder functionality, but some people might choose to correct it for cosmetic reasons.
  • Severe Underbite. This term is used when the lower jaw or teeth considerably overlap the upper teeth, being immediately noticeable. A severe underbite often leads to functional problems like difficulty in chewing and speaking and might cause pain and discomfort.
  • Skeletal Malocclusion. This type is a result of a physical discrepancy in the size or position of the upper and lower jaw. If the lower jaw (mandible) is larger or protrudes more than the upper jaw (maxilla), a skeletal underbite condition results.
  • Dental Malocclusion. Contrasting to a skeletal underbite, a dental underbite isn’t about the jawbone alignment but rather due to the misalignment or irregular positioning of the teeth themselves. Even if a person’s jaws are perfectly aligned, if their lower teeth are misplaced, they may still have an underbite.

What Are the Possible Causes of Underbites?

  • Genetics. Just like how the color of our eyes and hair is inherited from our parents, the shape and structure of our jaw are also part of our genetic makeup. Therefore, if there’s a history of underbites in your family, you are also likely to develop an underbite.
  • Bad Childhood Habits. Early childhood behaviors such as prolonged use of a pacifier, bottle feeding, thumb sucking, or even frequent mouth breathing can contribute to underbite development. These actions put constant, abnormal pressure on the jaw, potentially leading to a misaligned bite.
  • Jaw Growth Disparity. Sometimes, individuals may have a natural underbite due to disproportionate growth of the upper and lower jaw. That is, if the lower jaw grows too much or the upper jaw doesn’t grow enough, an underbite could ensue.
  • Tumors. Even though it’s not one of the most common issues, having a jaw tumor or mouth tumor can contribute to a severe underbite. A growing tumor’s pressure on the surrounding jaw structure forces it out of alignment, causing the higher teeth to occupy the space left by the lower teeth.
  • Injury. Facial trauma that results in fractures may also lead to the improper positioning of the jawbone, causing an underbite and jaw pain. This misalignment occurs because such fractures can shift the jaw structure, forcing the lower jaw forward and creating a deviation in the bite alignment.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment that utilizes clear aligners to straighten teeth and correct various dental issues. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners are made from a clear, virtually invisible plastic material, providing a discreet and aesthetically pleasing alternative for individuals seeking orthodontic treatment.

How Does Invisalign Fix Underbite

Invisalign corrects an underbite using custom-made, clear plastic aligners designed to move the lower jaw and teeth progressively into the correct placement. The treatment begins with a 3D scan of your mouth to plan the stages of alignment. Each set of aligners is worn for one to two weeks, gradually applying pressure and shifting the lower jaw back.

The aligners are discreet and removable for convenience during eating and brushing. The treatment duration varies, usually taking several months to a couple of years, depending on the severity of the underbite.

Underbite Correction With Invisalign

Here’s a step-by-step process to illustrate how Invisalign is used in underbite correction:

Step 1: Initial Consultation

Every treatment begins with an accurate understanding of the condition at hand. In the initial consultation, dental professionals perform a comprehensive assessment of your oral health, looking at your specific dental issues and the severity of your underbite. They utilize advanced 3D scanning technology to gain a clear understanding of your teeth’s current state and the underbite condition.

Step 2: Customized Treatment Plan

Using the 3D images obtained, the dental care team designs a detailed and personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This treatment plan carefully maps out the journey your teeth will take from their current improper positioning to their desired proper position, using a series of clear, custom-made aligners.

Step 3: Fabrication of Aligners

With the treatment plan firmly established, your unique aligners are produced using cutting-edge technology. Each aligner is carefully tailored, taking into account factors such as tooth shape, alignment, and degree of misalignment to provide a comfortable and precise fit. This custom design is key to ensuring each tooth is gently, yet effectively, guided into its ideal position to correct the underbite.

Step 4: Wearing the Aligners

These aligner trays are designed to exert a measured amount of pressure on your teeth, guiding them to shift into the correct position slowly. For the treatment to be effective, it’s recommended that the aligners be worn for about 20-22 hours each day. The advantage of Invisalign is that these aligners can be conveniently removed when you’re eating, brushing your teeth, or for special occasions.

Step 5: Regular Dental Checkups

Regular visits to the dental office are an integral component of this treatment process. During these visits, dental professionals monitor your progress and, based on how your teeth are moving, provide additional aligners as necessary. This ongoing adjustment ensures the consistent movement of your teeth toward their ideal position.

Step 6: End of Treatment

Finally, after wearing different sets of aligners over the determined treatment timeline (typically ranging between 9-15 months, though this can change according to how severe the underbite is), your teeth would have gradually moved into their correct position. This end of the treatment process signifies the successful correction of your underbite, potentially leading to improved oral hygiene and a more confident smile.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing Invisalign For Underbites?

Aesthetically Pleasing

Invisalign aligners, unlike traditional metal braces, are made from clear plastic, rendering them virtually invisible. This makes them a popular choice among individuals who are conscious about their appearance. With Invisalign, you can work towards achieving a more angular smile that conceals your orthodontic treatment.

Comfortable Wear

Your Invisalign is manufactured specifically to fit over your teeth, significantly reducing the risk of discomfort and irritation that can commonly occur with traditional braces. The smooth plastic material eliminates the presence of metal brackets or cables that could aggravate your cheeks or gums. This improved comfort ensures a more pleasant and hassle-free orthodontic experience.

Removable Design

The ease of removal of the aligners is a major benefit of Invisalign. Whether you want to enjoy foods without restrictions, maintain oral hygiene, or look your best for special occasions, you can easily take them off as needed. This promotes better oral hygiene throughout your treatment process and provides you freedom from dietary restrictions.

Shorter Treatment Duration

In many cases, Invisalign treatment for underbites can be finished more quickly than usual braces. The length of the treatment may change based on the severity of your underbite and your response to treatment. However, the use of Invisalign aligners has been associated with shorter treatment times for many patients, enabling you to attain your intended outcomes more effectively.

Boosted Confidence

Correcting an underbite with Invisalign not only improves your bite alignment and oral health but also boosts your self-confidence. Your teeth will eventually erupt into their correct locations. You’ll witness the positive transformation of your smile. This enhanced look could significantly affect your overall confidence and self-esteem, enhancing your interactions and quality of life.

Say Goodbye to Your Underbite: Reach Out to Throgs Neck Dental Today

If you’re suffering from an underbite, don’t let it hinder your self-confidence or impact your oral health. At Throgs Neck Dental, we can help answer your questions, such as “Can Invisalign fix an underbite?” Our team is here to explore innovative approaches like Invisalign—a convenient, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional braces. This advanced treatment can indeed fix an underbite effectively, paving the way for improved oral health.

Our professional dental team is committed to creating an individualized treatment program to meet your unique requirements, ensuring you move towards a healthier, straighter smile. Don’t wait to start your journey to a better smile.

Contact Throgs Neck Dental to arrange your initial consultation and begin the process of improving your oral health in the future.