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Having a bite that is in harmony with the muscles of your face and the jaw joint is essential for long term health. Most orthodontists may give you straight teeth, but if the muscles and jaw joint are not in its ideal position, problems may occur. A healthy bitecan allow patients to avoid dental problems like breaking teeth and allow their teeth to last for years.
Historically, both the overbite and the underbite have been considered a challenge in terms of treatment. Many patients believe that a bad bite can only be corrected with jaw surgery or with orthodontic braces, but that is not true. Technology today can allow dentists to find a physiologic correct (harmonized) bite without surgery or braces. For many years, the most common recommendation for correction was orthognathic, or jaw-correcting surgery.
Adults who did not undergo early treatment for their bad bite may assume that the bite cannot be improved. On the contrary, it can, and it should be addressed. According to research, a bad bite can lead to poor oral health and a shortened lifespan. Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Dr. David Frey has an alternative to surgery for overbite and underbite that is making a positive impact on our patient’s lives.
Oral reconstruction is a process that takes time and attention to detail, even when surgery is not involved. The bite is related to functionality, not just aesthetics. For that reason, our multi-phase corrective treatment for overbite and underbite begins with a comprehensive assessment of oral structure, guided by Dr. Frey’s advanced training in neuromuscular dentistry techniques.
This phase involves the use of TENS and/or EMG to relax the overworked muscle of the jaw. Only when these muscles are relaxed can the doctor obtain the most accurate data related to bite. This means determining proper position, taking into consideration the interaction between the jaw joints, muscles, and the teeth. Once the desired state has been achieved, the position of the jaw, using high-quality molds, can be captured.
During this initial phase of treatment, existing restorations, such as crowns or fillings, may be replaced in order to support structural integrity in the bite. Using the collected data, Dr. Frey will design a “trial bite” that is worn for a short time. When this trial bite has been thoroughly tested, phase two may begin.
This phase involves the fabrication of final restorations, such as porcelain veneers or crowns, to recreate the ideal bite as indicated in the trial period. Non-surgical correction for overbite or underbite is strategic, precise, and long-lasting. The use of durable restorations resolves speech and other functional consequences, and significantly improves facial aesthetic.
This process of reconstruction could span over a few years, beginning with surgery and progressing to orthodontic treatment with conventional braces. The surgery involves wiring your mouth shut and having to drink and eat with a straw for two months. Braces can be painful with visits that can extend into two-plus years.
A bite plate is an oral appliance that clips to the inside of the teeth to help correct a deep bite. Dr. Frey may choose to use a bite plate when the front teeth overlap the lower teeth too much. This bite plate is to be worn at all times and only removed for cleaning.