Methods for treating irregularities in teeth and jaw alignment

posted byMuse Dental Group09/03/2021

Orthodontists are best known for their ability to perfect your smile, but did you know that they can also correct jaw alignment?

An uneven jaw can lead to pain and discomfort but can also lead to severe issues with breathing, speaking, and eating.

In this article, we are going to discuss the following treatments for teeth and jaw alignment:

Braces and Invisalign

Braces and Invisalign, on their own, are best for treating misalignment of the teeth and bite. Through a treatment plan developed by your orthodontist, braces and Invisalign will help straighten your teeth and perfect your smile.

Making the choice between braces and Invisalign may be a challenging one, as they both have their pros and cons.

Invisalign aligners are custom-made retainers that are transparent. Each set of custom trays shift your teeth slightly. Once the teeth have shifted, your orthodontist will give you a new set that will shift your teeth again. You get a new set of custom trays every few weeks until your teeth have properly adjusted.

One of the greatest benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are clear and therefore are not easily noticeable. So if you are older and do not want to wear adult braces, Invisalign is a great option.

Additionally, you can take Invisalign off daily, meaning you do not have to remove any foods from your diet. However, this means you need to be extremely disciplined about wearing the aligners. If you do not wear them consistently, they will not work.

Braces, on the other hand, are recommended for severe teeth and jaw alignment cases because they adjust the tooth from the root.

Additionally, braces tend to work more quickly and do not have the same user-error risks that come with Invisalign.

Braces with Headgear

As mentioned in the previous section, braces are a better option for patients hoping to align both the teeth and the jaw.

Severe cases of jaw misalignment can be treated with braces and headgear.

Headgear is an orthodontic appliance that is placed outside of the mouth to correct a patient’s unaligned bite, also referred to as malocclusion.

Some examples of malocclusion are overbite and underbites when the upper jaw and teeth and lower jaw and teeth do overlap or do not fit properly.

However, it is most commonly used on children whose bones are still growing and malleable. They are required to wear it for as long as possible to ensure that it works, sometimes as long as 14 hours per day.

Headgear exerts pressure on the jaw to help correct overbites, underbites, jaw misalignment, and overcrowded teeth.

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction is when the dentist removes teeth from the mouth for both aesthetic and functional purposes.

For example, a patient may not naturally lose their baby teeth and therefore have both baby teeth and adult teeth in their mouth, causing severe overcrowding. This overcrowding can also lead to bite misalignment, such as an overbite.

By removing the extra teeth, the other teeth will better align themselves, or with the use of braces and Invisalign.

Tooth extractions are also sometimes necessary to begin orthodontic treatment, as all adult teeth must have grown in before treatment starts.

Upper Jaw Expanders

Upper jaw expanders are used for jaw alignment in patients that have a severe underbite.

An underbite is when the lower front teeth are far in front of the upper front teeth, causing jaw misalignment.

An upper jaw expander is a wireframe that is placed into the patient’s palette and is slightly expanded every day. After some time of marginally expanding the jaw by small increments, the upper jaw will eventually be aligned with the lower jaw.

The upper jaw expander is typically worn for a year and the patient is encouraged to wear a retainer to help keep the jaw in place.

Jaw Surgery

Jaw surgery is often the last resort if other jaw alignment methods are not going to be effective.

If braces and other non-invasive treatments do not work, jaw surgery may be necessary. There are four different types of surgery for jaw alignment.

The first type of jaw alignment surgery is a maxillary osteotomy. This surgery involves moving the upper jaw and teeth forward to match with the lower jaw.

The second type of jaw alignment surgery is a mandibular osteotomy. This surgery involves cutting the back of the mouth so that the lower jaw can be moved to fix overbites or jaw protrusion.

The third type of jaw alignment surgery is genioplasty, which involves cutting the chin bone and restructuring it so that it is less crooked.

The fourth type of jaw alignment surgery is jaw wiring, which involves wiring the jaw in the correct position.

Conclusion

If you are looking to align your teeth or jaw, make an appointment with your orthodontist today!

The dentists at Muse Dental will evaluate your case and create a custom treatment plan that will best fit your needs and provide the most efficient solution to your jaw misalignment.

Here at Muse Dental, we want to help you achieve your cosmetic dentistry goals and provide you with the best care possible. If you are ready for a consultation, schedule an appointment with us today!

We’d love to have you for a checkup at Muse Dental Group with Dr. G. Bardakjian. He will evaluate your case and will ensure your treatment is done with the utmost care.

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