Misaligned Jaw Treatments & Options
A misaligned jaw is when the upper and lower teeth don’t meet comfortably in the mouth. The two most common types of misalignment are overbite, where the upper teeth protrude, and underbite, where the lower teeth rest in front of the upper teeth.
Many people suffer from misaligned jaws, which can cause both physical and even emotional pain due to feeling self conscious or insecure. One may experience difficulty eating, breathing, sleeping, talking, and chronic pain if a misaligned jaw goes untreated. Dentists and orthodontists provide a range of misaligned jaw treatment options that can take up to a year or longer depending on the condition’s severity.
Braces are one of the most common options for treating both jaw and tooth alignment problems. The traditional braces treatment is to attach metal brackets to the teeth and connect them with a wire. This wire will be tightened over time and will gradually move the teeth and jaw into alignment. The average time spent in metal braces is around 18 to 22 months, but this can vary depending on the individual.
At Frey Orthodontics we provide a variety of orthodontic treatment options, learn more here.
2. Headgear Braces
In special cases when traditional braces cannot do the job, orthodontists may recommend headgear braces. Headgear consists of wires that engage both the inside and outside of the mouth. Retraction headgear is designed to retract the upper jaw, while protraction headgear is used to move the upper jaw forward while simultaneously stabilizing the lower jaw. Headgear should be worn 12-14 hours a day, the total length of time needed will depend on the patient’s individual needs.
3. Upper Jaw Expander
The upper jaw expander is a wire-frame device that fits across the upper palate and can correct an underbite. The patient uses a special key to widen the expander a little bit each night, which causes the upper jaw to slowly widen. This process normally takes about a year and then the device is eventually replaced with a retainer.
4. Jaw Surgery
The most drastic treatment for a misaligned jaw is orthognathic surgery, a procedure done to straighten or realign your jaw. This may be recommended if the jaw misalignment affects day-to-day functions such as speaking, eating, and sleeping. The cost of corrective jaw surgery depends on a variety of factors such as the type of surgery (in-patient or outpatient), the severity of the misaligned jaw, and other conditions specific to the patient.
Get a Future to Smile About with Frey Orthodontics
Frey Orthodontics has a talented team dedicated to making your orthodontic experience as rewarding as possible. If you would like more information on treatment options for your misaligned jaw, get in touch with us. We are happy to answer any and all questions you may have!
For additional reading and information check out The Frey Orthodontics Blog.