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Jaw Surgery and Dental Implants in Singapore Blog

How to Fix an Underbite: Is Jaw Surgery the Answer?

bigstock-Charming-Woman-Smile-Face-And--51034465Underbite is a condition in which the lower teeth overlap top ones when the mouth is closed. Depending upon the severity of the issue, underbite can cause a number of functional problems, interfering with a person's ability to bite and chew properly, affecting speech clarity and causing abnormal wear on the teeth. A severe underbite can also distort the shape and appearance of the face. So how to fix underbite? Mild to moderate cases of underbite may be corrected with orthodontic care, while more severe cases may require the intervention of a Singapore oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

underbiteCorrection of mild to moderate underbite that has its roots in dental causes can often be done through orthodontic care. Generally, this is most easily and successfully done when the condition or tendency towards it is detected and treated early. For this reason, Singapore dental professionals advise parents to have their children evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. Given the chance, orthodontists can use braces and other tools to direct dental and jaw development, promoting favorable outcomes for better oral health and reduced risk of functional and aesthetic issues.

Adults who did not receive that early intervention to prevent or correct underbite may still be able to be helped through orthodontic care alone, provided that their underbite is a dental issue – related to the positioning of teeth. However, if the underlying cause of underbite is skeletal – stemming from uneven jaw growth or abnormal jaw positioning – orthognathic surgery is often the only effective solution. Orthognathic surgery – also known as corrective jaw surgery – is done to resize or reshape the jaws, correcting underbite.

Orthognathic surgery is a process that involves orthodontic care to reposition the teeth appropriately, then surgery to correct jaw position and alignment. For instance, if underbite is caused by overgrowth in the lower jaw, Singapore oral surgeons can shorten the jaw, bringing it into proper alignment with the upper one. Underbite can also be caused by an underdeveloped upper jaw, an issue that can be fixed by surgically extending the jaw, moving it forward for accurate alignment with the lower jaw. In many cases, correcting a severe underbite may require adjustment of both jaws. Surgical treatment is typically followed by a second course of orthodontic treatment to fine tune the bite

While the process of correcting underbite, whether it is done with orthodontic care alone or via orthognathic surgery, is a time consuming one, the vast majority of patients who undergo treatment find the results are well worth the time and effort involved. With treatment, patients can overcome the functional issues caused by underbite, making eating and speaking easier and lowering their risk of dental problems, such as tooth damage and decay or gum disease. Aesthetic issues caused by underbite can be resolved as well, producing great improvement in a person's appearance – improvements that many patients describe as life-changing. If you are condsidering jaw surgery, Singapore oral surgeons can help. 

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