Giegerich Orthodontics

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Treating an Underbite Problem

Do your upper front teeth significantly protrude beyond the lower front teeth? That's a common indicator of overbite. In this instance, the upper teeth cover a substantial portion of the lower teeth. Overbite results from overdevelopment of the upper jaw as it relates to the growth of the lower jaw.

On the other hand, underbite is a result when the upper jaw is normally developed yet the lower jaw is underdeveloped. It is possible to be afflicted with both types of bite problems at the same time.

Focusing on underbite problems, there are a number of methods for correcting this jaw disorder. An orthodontist will take X-ray images of the affected jaw to ascertain which jaw has abnormalities; i.e., whether the upper jaw is too big or the lower jaw is too small.

After taking X-ray images, the orthodontist will make a diagnosis, from which a treatment plan will be created. This is where the possibility of surgery may be given some thought. In some cases, surgery is the ideal option to reduce the size of the abnormally grown jaw or to align both jaws to achieve a proper fit.

The aforementioned surgical procedure is known as orthognathic surgery, which may be performed to complement orthodontic treatment. In many cases, orthodontic therapy precedes the jaw surgery to attain the desired bite adjustments.

Overall, the process of correcting bite problems is a complicated one. It takes a team of dental specialists to conduct the entire treatment process. The orthodontist will work together with an oral surgeon, and perhaps a general dentist as well, to achieve healthy, well-functioning jaws.

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