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Can Clear Aligners Fix An Underbite?

Can Clear Aligners Fix An Underbite?

March 15, 2024

Clear aligners have revolutionized orthodontic treatment for millions of people in the U.S. An alternative to wire and bracket braces that are bonded to the teeth, clear aligners correct misaligned teeth and bite problems with removable, clear, plastic trays. Clear aligners are best suited for mild to moderate orthodontic conditions, including malocclusions. Indeed, clear aligners can even fix a minor to moderate underbite.

How Clear Aligners Fix Underbites

An underbite is technically referred to as a Class 3 malocclusion. In those with an underbite, the lower teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth when the jaw is closed.  If the overlap is due to a misalignment of the teeth, clear aligners can often correct the issue.  If the overlap is due to a skeletal issue, surgery followed by clear aligners may be required. For those with an underbite due to misalignment of teeth, clear aligners work in the following way. 

Each set of trays in the series you’ll receive is slightly more aligned than the current position of your teeth. When you wear the trays as prescribed (20-22 hours/day), the teeth gradually begin to shift to align with the tray. This shift may cause a sensation of pressure as the teeth move in the bone.

With each new set of trays, the teeth will move closer and closer to proper alignment. For those with an underbite due to misalignment, the lower teeth will gradually shift to align behind the upper teeth. Patients should be aware that it may take time to complete the alignment. Patients with an underbite who choose clear aligners to correct an underbite should expect treatment to take at least one year. 

What to Expect at a Consultation for Clear Aligners

Most people with an underbite choose to treat it for aesthetic reasons. However, underbites can cause many functional and oral health problems as well, so correcting an underbite has many benefits. An underbite may put you at greater risk of enamel erosion, jaw pain, cracked teeth, tooth decay, gum disease, and ultimately tooth loss. So, if you’re considering correcting your bite, there are plenty of excellent reasons to begin the process.

If you’re considering clear aligners to fix an underbite, you’ll first need to schedule a consultation with a cosmetic dentist who is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

During your initial consultation, the dentist will order digital images (scans, impressions, and X-rays). They will conduct a comprehensive oral exam to look for signs of infection, inflammation, or abnormalities.  If oral health problems exist (cavities, gum disease, etc.), those conditions will need to be treated before proceeding with clear aligners. 

If you are approved for orthodontic treatment with clear aligners such as SureSmile®, your dentist will use advanced software to produce a rendering of what your smile will look like once you complete treatment.  Your dentist will then design your alignment plan, and send all images to the lab for the creation of your trays. Once the trays arrive, you’ll be ready to begin your treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Clear Aligners

Can Teenagers Get Clear Aligners?

Yes. Teens with all of their adult teeth are eligible for SureSmile clear aligner treatment to correct minor to moderate bite issues and misalignments. 

How Long Will Treatment Take?

Minor imperfections, such as crowded teeth, slanted teeth, or small gaps between teeth can typically be treated in less than one year. Patients with malocclusions such as overbite, underbite, open bite, or crossbite will likely need treatment for 12-18 months. 

Schedule a Consultation for Clear Aligners in Albuquerque

To learn more about correcting an underbite with clear aligners, schedule an appointment with Dr. Brian K. Dennis in Albuquerque. Call 505-292-1051, or send a message to request an appointment. To best serve busy patients, Dr. Dennis begins seeing patients at 7:00 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

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Brian K, Dennis, DDS
8400 Osuna Rd. NE, Suite 6A
Albuquerque, NM 87111
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