Facelift Dentistry ®
Severe Under Bite Reconstruction
Under bites and overbites are a fairly common dental condition among young patients and are almost routinely treated during developmental years through the use of orthodontic treatments.
Adults can also acquire under bites that may stem from a near unnoticeable bite problem that was left untreated during their developmental years or it can accrue to a variety of factors that operate during adult years.
Trauma, disease, untreated or delayed treatment for malocclusion and even the failure to wear orthodontic retainers (often required after ortho treatments) can start and accelerate the process of subnormal occlusion that can shift our lower jaw forward or back, depending upon the characteristics of opposing tooth structures.
Mother Nature and Occlusal Physics
Mother Nature provides dentists with an entire set of mathematical relationships and biting forces that operate with a normalized jaw.
Nearly any event that disturbs or alters a patient’s optimal tooth structure and alignment, occlusal plane or resting position of the upper and lower jaws will eventually require treatment.
Our patient had a severe under bite issue that affected her facial features and also created a profile that was considerably distorted, in terms of jawbone alignment.
Normal wear and tear, left untreated for too long, eventually caused certain tooth structures to begin overlapping which, in this patient’s case, caused her lower jaw to slowly move forward at an almost imperceptible pace.
As can be seen in the profile photo, the patient’s under bite increased to the point that her TMJoint and jaw muscles acquired unusual distortions. Based on the patient’s report, she had all but lost the ability to eat normally and effortlessly.
Aesthetically, the patient’s face was undergoing significant collapse. The apparent over-closure (upper arch closing down behind the lower jaw and teeth) was causing a distortion of her upper lip and support structures, with the net result of shifting upper lip tissues upward and too far forward.
Abnormal movement and repositioning of the lower jaw is quite evident.
Dr. Muslin conducted a full occlusal analysis, generating a menu of treatment choices that would recreate the physical relationships, individual tooth characteristics and overall tooth height that corresponds with her facial features and jaw structures.
Multiple Treatment Plan Choices
Time factors and the desire to avoid long term treatments led to the decision of the patient to select custom prosthodontic dentures that would deliver the bite and occlusal plane relationships without the need for multiple implants or traditional orthodontics.
Both upper and lower dentures were fabricated simultaneously, taking the best advantage of the technical and aesthetic data generated by Dr. Muslin’s articulation studies. The best of occlusal correction opportunities was thereby assured, delivering a functional result (normal movement of upper and lower jaws) the patient had not had in several years.
Our third and fourth photos dramatically show the changes in the patient’s overall facial structures and especially the lower jaw repositioning. The normalized tooth height and backward shift (into normal relationship with upper jaw) of the lower jaw has lengthened the patient’s face and corrected the upper lip position and support structures.
Our patient was quite pleased with the outcome. With her new, normalized bite, our patient is now able to eat practically anything she wants without discomfort or pain. Understandably…. she looks and feels years younger.
Call us at (310) 829-6796 to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Muslin to learn how modern prosthodontics and custom cosmetic dentures can create youthful appearances lost to the common problem of a collapsing bite.
You can also contact Dr. Muslin directly with your questions by using our on-line Ask The Dentist form. Dr. Muslin will reply to you directly via email, to provide the answers you are looking for.