When it comes to dental conditions, the terms ‘overbite’ and ‘underbite’ are often mentioned. While most people have heard of these terms, what do they really mean? And how can you get these dental conditions treated effectively?
Simply put, an overbite or underbite is a misalignment of teeth that can affect the overall function and appearance of the mouth. An underbite is a misalignment in which the lower teeth protrude past the upper front teeth. In contrast, an overbite is a condition in which the top teeth overlap the lower teeth excessively. Dental misalignments can lead to various problems, including difficulty in speaking, eating, and even breathing. Fortunately, several treatment options are available to help correct overbites and underbites.
Read on as we discuss the causes of overbite and underbite and how you can treat them effectively.
What causes overbite and underbite?
An overbite or underbite can result from various biological factors or childhood behaviour, such as an underdeveloped lower jaw, thumb sucking as a child, and even narrow dental arches. While these dental misalignments can be formed due to genetics, they can be made worse due to poor dental hygiene, such as improper brushing and flossing of the teeth – causing decays and resulting in early loss of teeth.
Therefore, bringing your children to the dentist and ensuring they care for their oral health at a young age is important, as dentists can detect early signs of overbite or underbite and provide the appropriate treatment option.
Treatment options for overbite and underbite
1. Braces and clear aligners
Braces in Singapore are a common treatment option to fix an overbite or underbite. Braces can help treat dental misalignments by applying gentle pressure to the teeth, gradually moving your teeth to the correct position over time. Your dentist will begin the treatment process by examining the severity of the overbite to determine the best cause of action.
Traditional metal or ceramic braces may be recommended to shift the teeth gradually into their proper position. A more discreet and convenient option may be invisible teeth aligners. To realign the jaw and teeth correctly, the braces are usually worn for approximately 18 to 24 months after installation. Regular dental check-ups and adjustments will be required to monitor the treatment progress.
2. Teeth extraction
Teeth extraction can also help in treating an overbite or underbite. The procedure involves removing certain upper or lower teeth to create more space within your upper or lower jaw to correct your overbite or underbite. Teeth extraction is a typically painless procedure done under local anaesthesia. Patients may experience mild discomfort when recovering after the procedure; it is important to discuss with your dentist the proper steps to ensure a smooth recovery.
3. Jaw surgery
In more severe cases, jaw surgery may be necessary as a treatment method for an overbite or underbite. For adults, it might be more challenging to correct teeth misalignment as the jaw is no longer in its growing phase. However, this method is only recommended if the dentist finds that using braces or aligners does not help with your teeth misalignment issue. Jaw surgery can be done together with the orthodontic treatment.
Jaw surgery is a procedure that focuses on realigning the jaws. It is a safe procedure usually done under general anaesthesia to ensure a painless and comfortable surgery. Although recovering from the surgery might take some time, jaw correction improves overbite and underbite issues, with almost immediate results.
However, if you have doubts about whether your condition is severe enough to undergo surgery, discussing it with your dentist beforehand is highly recommended. At The Braces Practice, we can perform comprehensive checks to determine if other treatment options may help you before recommending jaw surgery.
Overbites and underbites are common teeth conditions that many people – children or adults, may experience. When seeking treatment options, it is important to conduct proper research and consult a reliable and trustworthy dentist for recommendations on the best treatment options for yourself.
At The Braces Practice, our team of experts is well-equipped to provide the best solution to straighten your teeth and leave you with a bright and healthy smile! Visit our clinic for affordable dental braces in Singapore or to check out our various dental services that can help improve your oral health. Book an appointment with us today to get started!