Can Invisalign Fix an Underbite?

If your lower teeth stick out in front of your upper teeth, that is what is called an underbite in orthodontics. It may look cute on puppies, but it’s not necessarily a look you want for yourself. You may ask, can Invisalign fix an underbite? Also called a Class III malocclusion, this condition can have more consequences than just a strange smile. At Peterson Family Orthodontics, we can determine if Invisalign is an effective option for your situation.

Is Invisalign the Best Treatment To Fix an Underbite?

Invisalign can fix an underbite in some people. However, in more severe instances, other treatments may be better.

Invisalign is a good option for those with mild to moderate bite issues. Underbites have various causes, and this often determines the best course of action. If the underbite occurs mainly because of crooked teeth, Invisalign is a great and discreet option to correct the issues.

However, if the cause is misaligned jaws, a more invasive approach, such as surgery, may be necessary. Other reasons that Invisalign may not be a good option include if there is gum disease or tooth decay or if extractions are necessary to help fix the underbite. For some, combining Invisalign and another corrective option is the most effective.

How Long Does Invisalign Take to Correct Underbite?

Can Invisalign fix an underbite in a short time?

The average time Invisalign for underbite takes ranges from 12 to 18 months. Because Invisalign works best for more minor orthodontic issues, it generally corrects in less time than braces. However, each case is different, and the result requires compliance by the user. 

Invisalign can fix an underbite if the patient wears the aligner trays for 20 to 22 hours daily. If one does not wear them as recommended, this can increase the treatment time. Not wearing them enough may prevent total correction, which means the patient will need to try a different approach.

Can You Fix an Underbite Without Surgery?

Yes, fixing an underbite without surgery or other invasive treatment is possible.

Alternative treatments for surgery can fix most cases of underbite. To know your best options, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist. This dental professional will perform a thorough exam and take X-rays of your teeth and jaw.

They will then outline the most effective treatment plan. In most cases, more conservative methods are preferable to begin with, and if they do not fix the issue, surgery may become an option.

If your orthodontist does not think that Invisalign can fix an underbite in your situation, they will recommend other methods. These may include braces, elastics, or facemask therapy.

How Does Invisalign Fix an Underbite?

Invisalign gently moves teeth to the desired position, which corrects an underbite in many situations.

Invisalign consists of clear tray aligners that the orthodontist customizes for each patient. The design of the trays applies pressure to the teeth at specific angles, which moves the teeth slowly over time.

Every one to two weeks, you will trade out each tray for another one that has a tighter fit to continue to move the teeth in a specific manner. Over time, the teeth will have moved to their proper position in the jaw, which is how Invisalign can fix an underbite. Once you achieve the desired result, the orthodontist replaces the aligners with a retainer to keep the teeth in place.

At What Age Do You Correct an Underbite?

Ideally, the best age to fix an underbite is between 7 and 10.

As with many orthodontic procedures, it is much easier to fix an issue when the jawbones are still developing. In most cases, the sooner treatment starts, the faster the results.

The recommended age to begin seeing an orthodontist is six or seven. An orthodontist observes the facial growth and can spot any potential issue early on. At a young age, Invisalign may not be necessary. Some devices shown to fix an underbite in younger children are reverse pull headgear, a palate expander, and a chin cap.

Even if someone does not seek treatment for an underbite at a young age, this does not rule out that Invisalign can fix an underbite. It may take longer in an adult than in a child or teenager.

Is it OK To Have a Small Underbite?

Can Invisalign fix an underbite or is it okay to leave it?

Although a small underbite may not have any real consequences for some, it is not uncommon for an untreated underbite to lead to more serious issues.

For those with a minor underbite, the only consequence may be a less-than-perfect smile, leading to lowered self-esteem. However, most underbites can result in other conditions, such as:

  • Halitosis: Halitosis refers to chronic bad breath. With an underbite, bacteria can gather, leading to an infection, which results in terrible breath.
  • Dental problems: Because it is harder to clean all of the bacteria that hides between the teeth and gums of an underbite, dental issues can result. These include cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and worn-down teeth.
  • Sleep apnea: Having misaligned jaws, such as with underbites, can modify the way you breathe. This can lead to sleep apnea, when you sporadically cease breathing while sleeping. Unwanted consequences include fatigue and irritability.
  • Snoring: An underbite can result in mouth breathing. In some individuals, this also leads to snoring. Invisalign can fix an underbite and sometimes resolve this issue.
  • TMD: Temporomandibular joint disorder can result because the underbite affects the joint connecting the jaws and skull. Associated symptoms include headaches, locked jaw, difficulty chewing, pain, and earaches.

To prevent more severe issues, fixing an underbite with Invisalign or another recommended method is important.

Who Can You Speak With To Find Out if Invisalign Is the Best Fix for an Underbite?

If you want to know if Invisalign can fix an underbite, make an appointment with us at Peterson Family Orthodontics. We will discuss your goals and perform an exam to determine the extent of the underbite. We can recommend the most effective treatment, which may be Invisalign or another corrective method based on what we find. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.