Underbite Vs. Overbite: What’s the Difference?

Regardless of your appearance, your smile goes a long way to helping you build confidence in how you look and the way you interact with the world. When your teeth are misaligned, however, that confidence in your beautiful smile can be impacted.

Two of the most common dental misalignments that can affect your oral health in adulthood are underbites and overbites – while they may seem similar at first glance, these two conditions differ in important ways, mainly through the positioning of the upper and lower jaws relative to each other.

When someone has an overbite, this means that their upper jaw protrudes outwards more than their lower jaw, causing their upper front teeth to overlap with their bottom ones. On the other hand, when someone has an underbite, this means that their lower jaw protrudes further out than their top one – resulting in the bottom front teeth overlapping with those on top instead.

These distinctions often lead to the need for different treatments; while some people might benefit from the results of braces or surgery alone, others may need both treatments combined in order to realign their bite properly and restore their smile. Understanding what makes up the differences between an overbite versus an underbite can therefore help you determine which treatment plan would suit your individual needs best, allowing you to reclaim your beautiful smile without delay!

Causes and Effects of Underbites and Overbites

An overbite, or a ‘class II malocclusion’, occurs when the upper teeth protrude outwards, covering the lower teeth completely. While similar, an underbite, also known as a ‘class III malocclusion’, occurs instead when the lower jaw juts forward, making the lower teeth overlap with the upper ones.

Both conditions are generally caused by genetics, poor dental habits, such as thumb-sucking in early childhood, or a combination of both. Overbites may require braces as corrective dental treatment, whereas underbites usually necessitate more complex orthodontic treatments, such as surgically repositioning one or both jawbones if necessary.

The effects of untreated overbites and underbites include difficulty speaking properly, eating difficulties due to misaligned bites, headaches, and facial pain from uneven pressure distributions, amongst other issues.

Available Treatments

When it comes to treating underbites and overbites, there are a variety of options available for Canadians looking to remedy their smiles. Generally, common treatment options for underbites and overbites include braces or Invisalign, both of which have their own distinct pros and cons. Depending on the severity of your bite misalignment, your age, and other factors – such as your desired outcome – your dentist may recommend one solution over another.

Braces involve the application of wires and brackets that put pressure on your teeth in order to move them into a more desirable position. This method is often used for severe cases that require significant straightening, but can take longer than other methods. In this case, traditional metal braces remain a popular choice, as they are highly effective but still affordable when compared to newer techniques, such as clear ceramic braces or lingual braces (which fit behind the teeth).

On the downside, however, wearing braces can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, due to increased sensitivity and difficulty cleaning around them.

In comparison, Invisalign is an increasingly popular alternative treatment option for both adults and teenagers who want straighter teeth without undergoing lengthy orthodontic therapy with metal brackets and wires.

Invisalign as an Effective Treatment Option

One of the most popular treatments for underbites and overbites in the field of dentistry today is Invisalign. This orthodontic approach has been found to be an effective solution for many individuals who are looking to improve their oral health, and its advantages include providing you with a discreet, comfortable, and more affordable treatment option than traditional braces. It also does not require frequent visits to the dentist or large adjustments to your lifestyle.

Invisalign involves customizing plastic aligners that fit snugly around each tooth; these must be worn for at least 22 hours per day in order to achieve maximum results within a shorter period of time than regular braces. Furthermore, since Invisalign aligners are removable when eating or brushing your teeth, patients find it easier to maintain good oral hygiene with this treatment option when compared to traditional braces.

Invisalign utilizes a series of clear plastic aligners that fit snugly over your teeth and gradually move them into their desired positions. The amount of time required for this treatment to be effective can vary from patient to patient, depending on how severe your condition is. With Invisalign, overbite patients benefit from improved facial aesthetics, while underbite patients may experience less pain when talking or eating due to reduced pressure on the jaw joints.

On average, it usually takes between 12-18 months for full correction with Invisalign – although there have been cases where results were seen much faster! Additionally, this treatment option works well for both adult and adolescent patients, as long as they practice good hygiene habits during the process by brushing and flossing regularly between aligner changes.

Ultimately, when choosing between underbite and overbite correction treatments to remedy your smile and your oral health, every patient must weigh the benefits of both treatment methods against their own personal circumstances and preferences in order to determine which course of action will serve them best.

No matter what path you decide to take, understanding your individual case is key to ensuring successful results, as the more knowledge you have, the better a foundation you can build upon to achieve your optimal dental health results. At Art of Dentistry, our team of professionals is here for you to help you achieve the smile you deserve. Reach out to us today to schedule your consultation with ease.

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