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Apr 222013

Class 3 Occlusion (Underbite)

Class 3 Occlusion - Before Class 3 Occlusion - After
Class 3 (underbite) occlusion can normally only be corrected with surgery. Functional orthodontics can conservatively correct the underbite problem without surgery.
Class 3 Occlusion  Before - Overclose Class 3 Occlusion After - broader and more stable bite
Patients with underbites tend to overclose when they bite down, creating unnecessary stress to the teeth. Jaw pain and headaches can result. Functional orthodontics can provide a broader and more stable bite. Notice the improvement in the overall smile and lip structure. Yes…this is the same patient!!!

Class 3 occlusions (underbites) are difficult cases to treat. An underbite occlusion is characterized by a larger than normal lower jaw, or a smaller than average upper jaw. In this case, there was a combination of the two discrepancies with the front segment of the upper jaw being narrow and genetically positioned backwards in the skull bone. At the same time, the lower jaw outgrew the upper jaw.

Treatment options can include surgery or expansion of the upper jaw. The option of expanding the upper jaw can be limited in adult patients, although utilizing corrective appliances for several months made significant improvement in this case. The patient did not want to consider any surgical options.

A complex sequence of orthodontic wires was used in order to provide gain as much correction as possible. Although full correction was not possible, the patient was thrilled with then end result. A broader and fuller smile was provided with the functional orthodontic treatment, which provided a new smile and stabilized her bite. Over 4 mm of vertical jaw growth was promoted. The angle of both upper and lower teeth was repositioned to provide better chewing efficiency. This enabled the patient to function with more comfort and increased chewing confidence.

Due to the high number of dentists who visit our website for information, we are reserving the technical nuts and bolts of this case and will reveal our “secrets,” as needed, to our referring dentists only!