Can Invisalign Fix Underbite: Real Case Start to Finish

Updated: May 23

Do you have an underbite? Are you wondering if Invisalign can correct it or would you need metal braces? You've even heard that surgery is necessary.


Underbite
Underbite

Table of Contents:



What is an underbite?

An underbite is when your bottom front teeth come over your top front teeth at rest position. This is the opposite of the ideal bite where the upper front teeth are suppose to come over the lower front teeth. Having an underbite gives you the appearance of a protruding lower jaw, which many people find not as aesthetic.


In dental terminology, an underbite is considered a class III malocclusion and here are some statistics about the prevalence of all malocclusions:

  • Class I. Ideal occlusion, approximately 74.7% of the population

  • Class II. Overbite malocclusion, approximately 19.56% of the population

  • Class III. Underbite malocclusion, approximately 5.93% of the population.


Invisalign underbite before and after


Can Invisalign Fix an underbite?

Invisalign can correct an underbite but it would depend on the type of malocclusion. Is it a teeth related malocclusion or is it a skeletal malocclusion?

  • A dental malocclusion is caused by improper teeth position.

  • A skeletal malocclusion is caused by improper jaw alignment.

Invisalign will work on mild to moderate cases of underbite from dental malocclusion. It may possibly work on severe cases as well. What it will not work on are the skeletal malocclusions but there has been some success for the very mild cases. A full case of moderate to severe skeletal malocclusion would require orthognathic surgery.

  • Orthognathic surgery. An operating room procedure where you break the upper and lower jaws and reposition them with plates and screws.


The clear aligners will correct this condition by utilizing clear plastic trays that move your teeth by .25mm per tray. You will switch out to a new set of trays approximately every two weeks until your teeth will finish aligning. The trays will require translucent bondings on your teeth called attachments to help give the trays leverage to move your teeth.



Invisalign underbite before and after

Are you doubtful that Invisalign can correct an underbite because you've heard that only metal braces can do it? We will show you a real live case that we are still in the process of from our Long Island City dental office.


This is an Invisalign underbite before and after:



The first couple of pictures are the before photos and the last three photos are the after. Is that enough evidence that we can do it? There are no metal braces involved for this case but this case is STILL IN PROGRESS as of 4/28/22.



How long does it take to fix an underbite with Invisalign?

For complete transparency and honesty, you should expect the case to take a long time. It will most likely take Invisalign about two to four years to completely fix an underbite case. The length of treatment time has nothing to do with it being clear aligners vs braces because the metal braces would still take a similar amount of time. The case is just very complex.


For the treatment showcased above:

  • We started the case on 12/13/2019.

  • The final photos that you see were taken on 1/12/2022.

  • The underbite got fixed with Invisalign in a little bit over two years.

  • The case looks pretty good but we are not finished because we still have to close his posterior bite. The back bite needs to be closed more so that the teeth can touch better.

  • We are estimating that this will take another nine months or so.

Overall, when this entire treatment is done will probably take a total of 3 years so there is your answer. Invisalign took a total of about three years to correct this underbite, which was moderate to severe in case complexity.



Is Invisalign or braces better for an underbite?

There is no short cut for fixing an underbite and in our opinion, the braces or Invisalign makes no difference. Perhaps the metal braces can move you just a few months faster at most but in the overall treatment plan, you should still expect to spend around three to four years in orthodontic treatment.


Now the question is do you want to spend three years in metal braces or with invisible braces?



What is the cost to fix an underbite?

The cost to correct the underbite will be more than what a normal orthodontic case would be. Expect to spend more than the typical Invisalign case for an underbite since it will take a lot longer than usual. The fee to fix the underbite with Invisalign will definitely be more than $8000 but possibly more if the case stretches on for longer.



Should I fix my underbite?

Whether you should correct your bite is completely up to you. Fixing the underbite would definitely improve your facial appearance because it would lessen the protruding jaw look. A natural underbite also causes premature wear on the enamel of the front teeth due to their improper positioning. If you don't care about any of those then you don't have to fix it.



Take away

Yes, Invisalign can certainly fix an underbite but only the mild to moderate cases of dental origins. It may also correct the mild skeletal cases as well. For severe cases, your chances would be better with orthognathic surgery instead. How long it takes to correct this kind of bite would be approximately three to four years. If you're interested in a consultation, you can schedule one with one of our dentist long island city.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!