An underbite is a condition where the lower jaw sticks out farther than the upper jaw, making the lower teeth stick out. Approximately 5% to 10% of people in the USA are affected by an underbite. In many people, it's barely noticeable- the lower teeth are just slightly forward. On the other hand, in severe cases, there is a very noticeable gap between the two. Regardless of the severity, treatment is recommended because it can cause significant issues if left untreated.
If you are in or near Arlington, Virginia, contact Arlington Dental Excellence. Our dentists and team have the training and experience to handle underbite, as well as other dental conditions you may have. One of the most common treatments is Invisalign clear aligners.
Causes of Underbite
Many times, an underbite is genetic. If at least one parent has/had an underbite, a child's chances of having an underbite increase. Underbite is also connected to cleft lip and cleft palate. Additionally, there are some behavioral issues that could cause underbite:
- Tongue thrusting
- Bottle feeding too long
- Overuse of pacifier
- Thumb sucking
It may be because the upper jaw is too short and didn't develop properly or the lower jaw sticks out too far. In some cases, it may be a combination of the two.
Invisalign and Underbite
Invisalign is a brand of clear aligners that are used to straighten teeth in patients with a variety of conditions including crooked teeth, underbite, overbite, and more. They are a common alternative to traditional metal braces.
The Invisalign clear aligner system was developed in 1997 and since that time, has been used to treat more than 9 million patients. The aligners are made from flexible, FDA-approved plastic and are created from molds and 3D scans of your mouth. They are thin and transparent, so they are less obvious than traditional metal braces. They contain no gluten, BPS, BPA, or latex.
They put pressure on your teeth, slowly shifting them into the appropriate position. On average, aligners will need to be replaced every 2 weeks. Each tray will feel different because they are gradually shifting your teeth.
Patients must wear the trays for most of the day- approximately 22 hours/day to see results. The trays can be removed to eat, brush, floss, or for special occasions.
In order to begin treatment, you'll need to schedule a free consultation to meet with one of our dentists. We will look at your smile, your overall health, and take some impressions and x-rays of your mouth. If we determine that Invisalign treatment is right for your underbite, we will build a treatment plan to help you achieve your desired results. In order for us to monitor your progress, you'll need to come in for regular check-ups.
What Dental Issues Can Invisalign Fix and What Can it Not Fix?
When it comes to mild to severe teeth misalignment, Invisalign therapy may be a good alternative to traditional orthodontic treatments such as metal braces. Invisalign is used to treat the following:
- Gapped Teeth
- Crowded Teeth
- Open Bite
- Misaligned teeth (baby and permanent teeth)
Additionally, Invisalign can be used by patients who do not have any of the above, but simply want a more beautiful smile.
However, it's important to note that there are some dental conditions for which Invisalign is not a good treatment option, such as:
- Severe malocclusions, especially if extractions are required
- Tooth decay/gum disease
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD)
There are a few other factors that affect whether or not a patient is a good candidate for Invisalign, including age- which influences the movement of the teeth. If you are interested in Invisalign as a treatment for your underbite or other dental issues, and you are in or near Arlington, Virginia, you'll need to schedule a consultation at Arlington Dental Excellence to learn more.
Will Invisalign Fix an Underbite?
An underbite is a dental condition characterized by the lower teeth being positioned in front of the upper teeth when the mouth is closed. There are several childhood behaviors that can result in an underbite, such as using a pacifier too long, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting against the teeth. It may also be inherited.
Invisalign may be considered an appropriate treatment in mild to moderate underbite cases. However, if the underbite is severe- caused by the lower jaw being too far forward- the patient may need surgery as well as orthodontic treatment.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
There are several factors that influence the length of time it takes to treat an underbite with Invisalign. When you come in for your consultation, the dentist will create a timeline for your treatment based on your personal needs. On average, it takes about 12 to 18 months, and many patients start seeing results in about 2 weeks.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
There are a few different factors that have an effect on the cost of Invisalign treatment., including:
- Patient's needs
- Patient's insurance plan coverage
- Location of patient
- Dentist's time for labor
On average, the price of Invisalign treatment is between $3,000 and $5,000. Depending on your insurance plan, treatment may be at least partially covered. Traditional metal braces are approximately the same, ranging between $2,000 to $6,000, and should also be partially covered by insurance.
Payment options include:
- Insurance coverage
- Monthly payment plans
- Medicaid/CHIP may cover braces or Invisalign treatment for children and teens whose overall health is affected by their need for orthodontic treatment.
Advantages/Disadvantages of Invisalign for Underbite
If you are interested in Invisalign as a treatment option for your underbite, you'll want to weigh the advantages and disadvantages.
There are several advantages associated with using Invisalign for an underbite:
- Almost invisible
- Not noticeable when smiling
- Easy to remove for eating or brushing/flossing
- Similar/shorter treatment time compared to metal braces
- Fewer dental visits
- Moves teeth gradually, which means less discomfort
There are also a few disadvantages associated with using Invisalign as a treatment for an underbite:
- More expensive than metal braces
- Since they are removable, can get lost/broken, meaning you have to spend more time and money
- May cause achiness and mouth discomfort
- May not achieve results
- May also need surgery
Which is Better: Traditional Metal Braces or Invisalign for Underbite Treatment?
Research indicates that there's no substantial difference between traditional metal braces and Invisalign. Both are effective for the treatment of teeth misalignment, including underbite.
When given an option, most patients prefer clear aligners over traditional metal braces due to their comfort, aesthetics, and ease of practicing good oral hygiene. Additionally, the duration of treatment is typically shorter than traditional metal braces.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you live in or near Arlington, Virginia and you have an underbite or any other dental condition that may benefit from Invisalign treatment, schedule your consultation today. The team at Arlington Dental Excellence has the knowledge and experience to treat a variety of dental conditions. We love helping our patients achieve the confident smile they have always dreamed of.