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Can Invisalign Fix Underbite?

redhead women holding invisible braces with a surprise shock in face
Dealing with an underbite can affect not only your appearance but also your dental health and self-esteem. Traditional braces have long been the go-to solution for correcting such misalignments, but what if you prefer a more discreet option?

You can go for Invisalign, the clear aligners that promise to straighten your teeth without the metal and wires. But can Invisalign fix an underbite effectively? In this blog, we’ll explore how Invisalign works, its benefits and limitations, and whether it could be the right solution for your underbite correction.

Can Invisalign Fix an Underbite?​

While severe underbites may require additional assistance from other orthodontic treatments like jaw surgery, Invisalign can fix mild to moderate underbites. Moreover, with a proper Invisalign treatment plan mixed with other treatments, you can also fix class 3 underbite. Let’s take a look at how can Invisalign fix an underbite:

Invisalign for Mild/Moderate Underbites

Invisalign uses a series of clear, custom-made plastic aligners to gradually shift your teeth into their desired positions. Here’s how it works for mild to moderate underbites:

1. Planning and Fabrication

A dentist will first take X-rays and digital scans of your teeth. Using specialized software, they create a 3D treatment plan that maps out the movement of your teeth over time. Each aligner is designed to apply gentle pressure on specific teeth, prompting them to move slightly with each new set.

2. Aligner Wear and Replacement​

You’ll receive a series of aligners, typically worn for 20-22 hours daily. Every 1-2 weeks, you’ll switch to the next aligner in the sequence, progressively moving your teeth closer to their ideal positions.

3. Effectiveness of Underbite Correction

For mild to moderate underbites primarily caused by teeth misalignment, Invisalign can be a highly effective treatment. The controlled pressure from the aligners can gradually move the lower front teeth inwards, correcting the underbite and improving your bite.

Invisalign for Severe Underbites

While Invisalign may work for treating mild to moderate levels of underbites, severe underbites are not treatable through this orthodontic treatment.

1. Limitations

When the underbite is caused by a significant jaw discrepancy, where the lower jaw is positioned forward, Invisalign alone may not be sufficient. The aligners primarily focus on tooth movement and may not effectively reposition the jawbone.

2. Alternative Treatments

In such cases, alternative treatments like jaw surgery in combination with orthodontics (Invisalign or traditional braces) may be necessary for proper correction. Traditional braces can sometimes handle more complex cases due to their ability to exert greater force on teeth and the jaw.

3. Choose the Right Treatment

Whether Invisalign is suitable for your underbite depends on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. A consultation with a qualified dentist experienced in treating underbites is crucial. They will assess your specific situation, discuss treatment options, and recommend the most appropriate course of action for achieving the best outcome.

How Long Does it Take to Fix an Underbite?

While the average time it takes for Invisalign treatment to complete is typically between 12 and 18 months, this period depends entirely on the severity of your condition and how long you wear it throughout the day.
Mild underbites can be treated within three to four months, again depending on how willing you are to keep wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours every day. Moderate to moderately severe underbites might take longer than 12 months. But note that this is still less than the time taken to fix an underbite with traditional braces.

Why Should You Fix an Underbite?

An underbite can be the reason behind under-confidence in a lot of individuals. Since it affects the way your smile looks because of the misalignment of your teeth and jaw, it can affect the way one feels when they smile and adversely affect their confidence. Apart from this, there are also some health issues that an untreated underbite can create, including:

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

An underbite can lead to issues with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), potentially resulting in temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). The TMJ acts as a hinge linking your skull and jaw. However, an underbite can cause the TMJ to become stuck in one position, contributing to the development of TMD. You may experience popping sounds when attempting to move your jaw, which can cause severe pain.

Mouth Breathing

If you often snore loudly at night or tend to breathe through your mouth, an underbite could be a major contributing factor.

Chronic Bad Breath

An underbite might also be the leading reason behind chronic bad breath or halitosis. This happens due to the misalignment of your teeth, leading to improper dental hygiene, which can cause bacterial formation around your teeth and in your mouth, causing bad breath.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing repeatedly stops during sleep, disrupting rest and resulting in fatigue and sluggishness during the day.

Pros and Cons of Invisalign for Underbite

If you have decided to get Invisalign to treat your underbite, it’s obvious you should weigh all the pros and cons of having them as your treatment option. Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pros of Using Invisalign to Fix Underbite

  1. Subtle Appearance: These transparent aligners are hardly visible, allowing your smile to stand out.
  2. Convenient: Simple to take out for eating and brushing, maintaining your routine effortlessly.
  3. Comfortable: Invisalign typically causes less discomfort compared to conventional braces.
  4. Reduced appointments: You might require less frequent visits to your dentist.
  5. Potentially quicker treatment: Sometimes, Invisalign treatment may be completed in a shorter time than braces.

Cons of Using Invisalign to Fix Underbite

  1. Higher Cost: Invisalign can be more expensive compared to conventional braces.
  2. Discipline Required: Consistent wear of the aligners is essential for achieving optimal results.
  3. Potential Limitations:  Severe underbites may require additional treatments or surgery.
  4. Breakage Risk:  Losing or damaging aligners can increase both the duration and cost of the treatment.

What is the Cost of Invisalign?

Investing in Invisalign can be significant, typically costing between $3,000 and $7,000. Several factors contribute to the variation in Invisalign costs:
  • The complexity of your dental case is a major factor in the overall cost.
  • Dental fees vary based on your geographic location.
  • The level of expertise of your orthodontist or dentist impacts the price.
  • The extent of coverage depends on the specifics of your insurance plan.

Braces vs Invisalign: Which is Better for Fixing Underbite?

Braces or Invisalign: Which one should you choose for fixing your underbite? Both are known to show positive results in treating this dental situation, so ultimately, it comes down to your personal choice.
While braces have a long history of fixing complicated cases of underbite, Invisalign is proven to give you a more discreet appearance and is better for individuals who are conscious of flaunting metal braces. Further, Invisalign is also more convenient to wear, and it can be removed while eating, giving you the freedom to not have a restricted diet during the entire treatment. You can even remove it while brushing and flossing, hence not compromising your oral hygiene.
However, it’s always better to consult an expert orthodontist to help you weigh your choices.

How to Maintain Invisalign​?

Proper maintenance and aftercare are crucial both during and after Invisalign treatment. This helps you attain your desired results and prevents the relapse of your underbite:

Properly clean your aligners

Use lukewarm water and antibacterial soap for cleaning. Avoid hot water and abrasive materials.

Maintain daily oral hygiene

Brush and floss daily to prevent trapping food and bacteria when reinserting your aligners.

Steer clear of specific foods and beverages

Refrain from consuming hard and sticky foods, as well as drinks that can stain your aligners while using Invisalign.

Wear your retainers

Follow your orthodontist’s instructions for wearing your retainer to keep your teeth in position.

Have regular dental check-ups

Schedule routine visits to your dentist to monitor your treatment and ensure it progresses.

Book a Consultation for Treating Underbite Today!

Having an underbite can affect your confidence. But fortunately, you can treat it with the help of our skilled team of orthodontic professionals at Central Park North Orthodontics. Contact us today.
Picture of Dr. Nimesh Patel

Dr. Nimesh Patel

Dr. Patel is an orthodontist and maintains a private practice in Rome, NY. He completed his undergraduate education at the Ohio State University. Then, he earned his Doctorate in Dental Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia. After earning his doctorate, Dr. Patel attended a three-year, dual-degree residency at Columbia University in New York City. Here, he earned his certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics as well as earning a Masters in Oral Biology. During his time off, Dr. Patel likes to stay active by jogging, biking, and hiking.

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