Orthodontics experts believe that, examining a patient for underbite correction early can save money now and pain later.
An underbite referred to as a type of malocclusion, is a dental condition where the lower jaw protrudes up and out abnormally, partly overlapping with the upper teeth.
Bad chronic practices such as tongue thrusting, poor chewing and continuing the use of pacifiers and bottles can cause an underbite. However, heredity is the most common cause. Studies show that a patient needs to be examined as early as 7, if they have an underbite.
Young patients have it easier when correcting an underbite because their jaw bones are still growing. A number of options are available to correct the underbite. There are different options available when correcting an underbite for a young patient.
This device is used to make the upper jaw wider, and can help make a bite more precise. Bands are cemented to the upper molar and first premolar and attached to each other by metal bars. These bars run across the center of the mouth.
A turnkey activates the device. In the center of the mouth there is a hole, which is attached to the bars. The key is place in the hole and pushed toward the throat to widen the top jaw.
Reverse-Pull Head Gear
This appliance is used when the expander does not work. It includes a metal bar connected to cushions on the forehead and chin. Elastic bands are attached to the bar and the top molar bands to gently move the upper jaw forward.
The reverse-pull head gear can make a difference in moving a patient's jaw up to age 10. This piece of equipment requires patient compliance, because it has to be worn for at least 12 hours a day.
In several cases, a chin cap can be added in conjuction to a reverse-pull head gear. This device wraps around the chin and top of the head and to prevent movement from the lower jaw.
Adults and Underbite Correction
Surgery is the only option for an adult patient that seeks treatment for an underbite that is skeletal. The patient typically needs to wear braces for at least a year prior to surgery and six to nine months afterward. If the underbite is restricted to the teeth, then braces could fix the problem.
Surgery requires an oral surgeon to fracture and redirect the jaw where it needs to go. Depending on the case and surgeon, a piece of jaw may be removed and pushed back. To keep the jaw secure, the teeth are wired shut after surgery. A liquid diet is necessary at this time, and weight loss is normal. A jaw could move back, but only in rare cases.
No matter what the cause, underbites can not go untreated. The chances of getting Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, gum disease, tooth decay and speech problems are too high if the underbite is left alone. To prevent a surgery path, a patient needs to be seen early.
Source by Trudy Bonvino