3 Options For Correcting An Underbite

An underbite occurs when the lower teeth jut out further than the upper teeth. This means that when the teeth come together -- to chew or simply when the mouth is held shut -- the lower teeth remain on the exterior of the upper teeth. If you have an underbite, the condition might be causing you both physical discomfort and self-esteem issues.

But cosmetic dentistry has developed a few different correction methods that could have your underbite corrected and you smiling confidently into the future:

Invisible Braces

The use of invisible braces can prove enough treatment for minor underbites. Your cosmetic dentist will fit you for a series of clear brace trays that each work to further move your teeth into the right position. The trays can also be used for whitening agents if you want to also remove stains while your underbite is corrected.

Note that invisible braces offer the best chance of correction if the underbite is caused by the teeth leaning rather than an actual misplacement of the jaw. This means that your jaw is in the right place but something -- genetics, trauma or crowding -- has forced some of your lower teeth to lean out further than the top teeth. Invisible braces can help move those teeth back to where they are supposed to sit on the jaw.

Jaw Surgery

Severe cases of underbite usually mean that the actual jaw is out of place, which requires surgery to fix the problem. Your cosmetic dentist will perform oral surgery on your jaw to shift the lower jaw back so that the teeth line up correctly with the upper jaw. In cases where the underbite is caused by the upper jaw scooting back, the dentist will perform the surgery to move that segment back into place.

The oral surgery does require some recovery time and the results might not prove as perfect as you were hoping. But there are ways the dentist can adapt the process to fit your needs so that the end result is a fixed smile.

Combination Approach

If your underbite is still a problem after jaw surgery, invisible braces might also be prescribed as a followup treatment. You will still need to heal up from your surgery first. But then the dentist can fit you with a series of the clear trays to help get that remaining slight underbite problem under control and back where the teeth belong.