An underbite refers to the lower front teeth extending, covering, or overlapping the upper front teeth. It causes difficulties chewing food, social discomfort, and serious orthodontic problems if untreated. If you're having trouble finding an affordable solution to your underbite, we've got good news: There are several effective methods to treat it. Let's understand first what it means:
What Is an Underbite?
An underbite is an abnormal alignment of the upper and lower front teeth. It's also called retrognathia or prognathism. The condition affects both children and adults. When people refer to underbites, they usually talk about class II—the most common type of underbite among children. It causes the lower teeth to overlap or be covered by the upper front teeth. Not only is an underbite unattractive, but it's also a serious orthodontic problem. In severe cases, it can cause dental issues, make chewing difficult, and damage the jawbone structure.
How is an Underbite Caused?
Underbites are a result of a bone structure that's either prognathic or retrognathic. Prognathism is characterized by jaws and teeth which jut forward, while retrognathia refers to jaws and teeth which extend rearward. Lips can also factor into the appearance of an underbite. In some cases, the upper lip is flat, while it is large and floppy in others. In these cases, an orthodontist may inject a small amount of hyaluronic acid into the top portion of the gums to make them appear more prominent. Underbites can also be caused by a history of thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting. These habits push the jaw forward, resulting in an overbite.
Why Is It Essential to Treat Underbite?
If you have an underbite, it might be difficult to chew food, and some foods may even get lodged between your upper and lower teeth. Because of this, a good dental hygiene regimen is essential. Another problem caused by an underbite is difficulty speaking. This is because the tongue is restricted and tension on the chewing muscles causes TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). Jaw problems such as teeth grinding, headaches, and neck pain may also result from an underbite. A poorly aligned bite can also damage the jawbone structure. In severe cases, it can cause permanent damage to the teeth if untreated.
How to Treat an Underbite?
Traditional braces are the most popular method for treating underbites, but they're not cheap. As of 2021, standard braces can cost as much as $7,000—a high price tag for many families already struggling to pay medical bills. Fortunately, there are several affordable ways to treat an underbite. Each involves wearing appliances (either at night or during the day) that align the teeth together. According to WebMD
, underbite correction is possible without Surgery for mild cases. The best treatments for an underbite include:
1. Composite Bonding
Composite bonding is a quick and affordable option for underbite correction. It doesn't require visiting the orthodontist or undergoing any treatment that could cause discomfort or pain, unlike braces. The only downside is that you'll need to visit the dentist several times to get bite impressions taken and bonded to the teeth. How Does It Work
The dentist will first apply a tincture of benzoin to the teeth, so they stick together firmly. Next, the dental impression material is placed over the top, creating a mould that's then hardened for about 40 minutes using ultra-violet rays or an air stream. Once this sets, the impressions are taken off and sent to the lab. Your dentist will typically attach them to the upper teeth first since the lower jaw moves more slowly than the top. You can expect to wear these appliances for between six and nine months until your underbite has been fully corrected.
2. Metal Braces
Another affordable solution to underbite correction is metal braces. They're the standard treatment for underbites and other orthodontic problems because they're simple, effective, and relatively fast. Braces can take a few months to a year or more, depending on how severe your case is as well as your initial dental structure. How Do They Work
Braces are attached to your teeth using brackets and archwires. The archwire acts as a "track" to gradually move the teeth into alignment. This is done through continuous pressure applied by pushing, tensioning, and shifting the wire in various directions. If you decide on metal braces, it's important to remember that they can make you more susceptible to decay.
Underbite treatment is made easier with Invisalign, an affordable alternative to braces that uses clear aligners. These aligners are removable and don't require you to visit your orthodontist as often for adjustments or maintenance. They're generally more effective at correcting underbites compared to other methods, although results can vary from case to case. How Does It Work
Invisalign is a relatively simple process. First, your dentist will take an X-ray and mold the teeth so they can create plastic trays that fit over the teeth. During this process, you'll be required to wear temporary aligners to get used to the feel of them on your teeth. Once this initial phase is over, you'll be sent home with the first aligner for about two weeks. You'll need to visit your dentist every six weeks so they can take new impressions and swap out aligners as needed. The length of time needed to complete treatment will vary depending on how severe your underbite is initially.
4. Teeth Straightening System
In the past, braces were typically the go-to treatment for underbites. Nowadays, you have a better option in Teeth Straightening System. Unlike metal braces, it uses a series of transparent plastic aligners that are smaller and more discreet. Not only do they not require tightening or adjustments, but simply wearing them at night is enough to straighten teeth without any discomfort. How Does It Work?
The process is easy. You'll be provided with a set of aligners that you wear at night during sleep only. Each time, the aligner will gradually apply pressure to your teeth to move them into place and create a straighter smile.
5. Underbite Surgery
Underbite surgery is a permanent and effective way to correct underbites without the need for metal braces, clear aligners, and other appliances. However, it's also incredibly expensive (costing upwards of $15,000) and may require multiple follow-up visits. You'll also need to wait at least six months before you can eat solid foods again. How Does It Work?
Surgery involves making small cuts in the bottom of your mouth. The surgeon will then reposition the jawbone and teeth using plates, wires, or screws that hold everything in place while it heals. You'll be required to wear a splint at night for around two months after Surgery to prevent shifting in the teeth
6. Teeth Retainers
Retainers are removable devices worn at night and take the place of regular aligners or metal braces. They generally last for years before replacing, leaving you with a seamless transition between orthodontic treatments. They are an affordable solution that helps bring the teeth into place. They're often used in conjunction with other treatments, such as braces or Surgery, for maximum results. How Do They Work?
The process starts by placing your existing permanent retainer on top of your teeth (or creating a new one). Retainers will gently nudge your teeth into place by applying pressure to them. But remember, they are removable, which means you'll need to wear them for an extended period. The trays can be uncomfortable and make it harder to eat or drink anything other than soft foods.
7. Clear Aligners
Clear aligners are the most popular—and affordable—treatment for underbites. They're removable, inexpensive (usually costing less than $3,000), and discreet compared to metal braces or other clear aligner alternatives like Invisalign. Plus, patients can easily remove them when brushing or flossing their teeth. How Do They Work?
The high-quality clear aligners are made of thin, translucent plastic that's custom-molded to fit over your teeth. You wear the aligners every night while you're sleeping to bring them into place and straighten out your smile. Most patients will need around 18 months to complete treatment.
Why Choose ALIGNERCO Clear Aligners?
ALIGNERCO combines affordability with quality. Getting a set of ALIGNERCO clear aligners is simple and doesn't require any visits. The process starts with a free evaluation to see how ALIGNERCO can assist you. If you qualify for a clear aligner based on your dental issues, the procedure goes like this: Order an Impression Kit and once it arrives, follow the instructions to make a mold of your teeth. The procedure should only take around 15 minutes. Please return it to ALIGNERCO once you've completed this step. ALIGNERCO begins working on your transparent retainer as soon as your mold comes back. At the same time, a special dental plan is put in place. Your new teeth straightening kit will most likely arrive by mail within a few weeks.
Get the Most Affordable Treatment for Underbite with ALIGNERCO
ALIGNERCO clear aligners are high-quality products that come in a kit for easy self-adjustments. We are committed to providing low-cost treatments for patients who are unable to afford expensive dental plans. Are you ready to start your treatment? Get in touch with Alignerco today for a free consultation that will help you understand how our products can correct the underbite problem.