Can Invisalign Fix Underbite?

 Dr. Kurtz | June 4, 2022

At Invisalign Toronto, we have had many adult patients come to us to treat their underbite, often wondering if Invisalign clear aligners would help. We believe that this is an appropriate treatment for various types of teeth misalignments, including mild to moderate underbite. However, if you have a severe underbite- that is, your jaw is too far forward, you may need to consider oral surgery as well as orthodontic treatment, such as traditional metal or ceramic braces or Invisalign.

Below, we'll explain more about what an underbite is, the various types and causes of underbite, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of choosing Invisalign as your preferred course of treatment. If you want to know more about whether or not this is an appropriate treatment for you, contact Invisalign Toronto to schedule your free consultation today!

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign clear aligners were introduced to the market in the late 1990s as an alternative to traditional metal or ceramic braces. May people felt that traditional braces were unsightly and unprofessional, so Align Technologies developed these clear trays from FDA-approved plastic. They contain no latex, gluten, BPA, or BPS.

They are designed to apply pressure to your teeth, gently shifting them into their proper position in your jaw. In most cases, aligners are replaced every 2 weeks and each one will feel slightly different because they are created for the next step in the process.

For best results, it's recommended to wear the aligners for at least 22 hours a day. You may remove them to brush/floss, eat, or for special occasions- such as a date.

Underbite Explained

A perfect bite is when the teeth are properly aligned, with the upper teeth extending slightly over the lower teeth.

However, an underbite is a tooth misalignment where the lower teeth extend past the upper teeth. In some cases, this is because of alignment issues with the lower jaw, causing it to protrude forward. An overbite is the opposite of this, with the upper teeth protruding significantly past the lower teeth.

Underbites are quite common, with approximately 1 in 20 people having it. However, it is among the many tooth misalignment issues that Invisalign is able to correct. If you have an extreme underbite, you may have to undergo oral surgery to correct the majority of the issue and then use Invisalign to complete the process.

While underbite does affect your appearance, this isn't the only issue. In some cases, if not treated, an underbite may affect your ability to chew or speak. In addition, it can potentially increase wear and tear on your teeth, increasing your risk of tooth decay. Finally, underbite causes chronic mouth breathing, which leads to dry mouth and bad breath, as well as bacterial infections.

By correcting an underbite with methods such as Invisalign clear aligners, you may experience increased self-confidence and help you avoid severe dental problems in the future.

Types of Underbites

It's important to note that not all underbites are the same. You will find some variations in severity- as well as cause. By understanding these variations, it's easier to get a grasp on why some cases respond better than others to Invisalign clear aligners.

Mild underbite: this describes a very slight underbite, the teeth are only slightly misaligned
Severe underbite: this describes an underbite where the gap is wide enough that the front teeth don't touch
Dental underbite: this describes and underbite due to teeth misalignment
Skeletal underbite: this describes an underbite caused by problems with the structure of the jaw

According to the experts, Invisalign clear aligners are ideal for underbites that are due to tooth alignment issues. However, if you have a skeletal underbite, you will likely require other treatments or even a combination of treatments. Since there are so many variations, there is not one single "perfect" treatment. For some patients, Invisalign might be the best option. For others, more extensive treatment such as extractions or surgery might be required.

Causes of Underbite

As a general rule, an underbite develops in childhood. There are several potential causes, including the following:

  • Jaw development/alignment issues
  • Thumb sucking/pacifier use after the age of 3
  • Bottle feeding
  • Tongue thrusting- where the tongue pushes on the front teeth or the tongue is thrusted towards the teeth
  • Chronic mouth breathing while sleeping, due to allergies or nasal congestion
  • Mouth tumors (this is very rare)
  • Schedule your consultation today with Dr. Kurtz and the team at Invisalign Toronto to find out if your underbite qualifies as treatable by Invisalign.

    Pros & Cons of Using Invisalign to Fix Underbite

    Just like with any other type of dental treatment, Invisalign clear aligners to fix an underbite has several pros and cons. You'll want to weigh these to determine if you wish to pursue this treatment.

    Pros of Invisalign for Underbite

    The pros of using Invisalign clear aligners to fix an underbite include:

    • Nearly invisible, most people don't even notice them
    • You can smile confidently, without worrying that people will see them
    • Removable for eating and for brushing/flossing teeth
    • Doesn't require as many dental visits (only every 10 to 12 weeks instead of every 4 to 6)
    • Treatment time is similar to- if not shorter than- traditional metal braces
    • Gradually shifts teeth, meaning less discomfort

    Cons of Invisalign for Underbite

    Of course, when you're considering your options, it's also important to note that there are some cons that are associated with using Invisalign to fix your underbite:

    • Risk of aligners getting lost/broken since they can be removed- meaning you have to spend more money to replace them
    • May not achieve desired results
    • May also require surgery to achieve the best results
    • May cause mouth discomfort/achiness
    • May cost slightly more than traditional braces

    How Long Does Treatment Typically Take?

    There really is no standard for treatment time. There are several factors that determine how long you'll need to wear your aligners. During your consultation, Dr. Kurtz will create a personalized timeline based on your needs. On average, treatment takes about 12 to 18 months- give or take. Some younger patients see results in 6 months, while patients with more severe misalignment issues may need to wear them longer.

    How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

    At Invisalign Toronto, our Invisalign treatment packages start at $2,900. This includes top and bottom aligners, a retainer to be worn after completed treatment, a full consultation including exam and x-rays, and supervised treatment.

    We offer a variety of options for payment. If you have dental insurance, we will work with your plan to find out if Invisalign is covered. We also accept funds from your Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account.

    Schedule Your Consultation Today

    If you have an underbite and you're interested in pursuing Invisalign clear aligners to fix the issue, you need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeremy Kurtz at Invisalign Toronto right away. We have two convenient locations to serve you and we are open Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and on Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. We look forward to working with you to create your personalized treatment plan.

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