If you’ve ever spoken with someone about correcting an underbite, your conversation no doubt centered on the painful idea of having to break the jawbone. Maybe you discussed the weeks on a liquid diet because of a jaw that was then wired shut, and the application of braces both before and after surgery.
Luckily, not all bite corrections warrant surgery! Here are four non-surgical methods for various bite corrections.
1. Expanders: Expanders are often used to correct a crossbite – a situation where either the upper or lower bite is more narrow than the other.
An expander helps adjust the spread of a child’s teeth so the bite matches evenly on all sides. Expanders resemble orthodontic retainers, and include a screw that is tightened nightly to spread your bite to the prescribed measurements.
2. Braces: You may have had them as a kid, and you might need them again. Seeing an adult with braces isn’t really an odd sight anymore, and given that many of us didn’t wear our retainers as we were instructed, it’s not much of a surprise.
Braces can often alleviate a lot of bite concerns, and if your bite is only slightly off, solutions like Invisalign can be an even less intrusive corrective.
3. Bonding, Implants and Reconstruction: Braces and expanders not cutting it? If you’ve experienced dental trauma in the past, or just weren’t on top of your oral health care routine, you might need a bit more help. Have no fear … simple bonding, implants and reconstruction that could include new crowns and even veneers can deliver the solution you’re seeking.
4. Veneers: Speaking of veneers, it’s amazing how even an underbite can be cosmetically altered so the teeth give the appearance of possessing no underbite.
There is a good degree of artistry with this approach, and when done correctly creative placement of veneers on the upper jaw mimics a jaw in proper alignment.
Fixing a bad bite doesn’t have to be fraught with expense and pain. Speak with your dentist and orthodontist about the options available to you, and before you know it, you’ll be looking and feeling a whole lot better.