This was such a fun case! This patient was very insecure about his smile and his underbite. After much time, planning, patient compliance - everything is now complete! Happy patient means a happy dentist, which means a happy blog post.
This patient's severe crowding is now resolved. He has a smile he can be proud of!
Overall thoughts: Invisalign is such a powerful tool for Class 3 (underbite) orthodontics. It was thought before that Invisalign could only treat simple cases. However with solid treatment planning COMBINED with a patient who follows all the easy directions, orthodontic treatment can be more predictable.
With this in mind, a case like this does not have to be scary or difficult. Instead, it is very rewarding and most of all - absolutely fun!
Our 5 year old patient’s parents were concerned about her loud grinding at night and were asking about what to do so she’s not grinding her teeth away before the adult set comes in. While other dentists or pediatricians may say bruxism or teeth grinding is “normal” and that their child will eventually grow out of it, it is not normal and is actually a sign of an underlying airway disorder.
Teeth grinding is the body’s physiological response to an airway problem and is considered sleep disordered breathing or (SDB). With SDB, airflow is interrupted and oxygen levels drop, and the body’s response is grinding or clenching their teeth to help open up the airway. Once the teeth are ground down, this can further lead to TMJ issues down the line which can be extremely painful. The main point is to intervene with a myofunctional appliance before this even has a chance to occur.
The myofunctional appliance promotes the natural growth and development of the upper and lower jaws to promote nasal breathing, as well as expanding the airway and straightening teeth. As the jaw and airway develop, symptoms of SDB disappear. With an adequate airway, the body gets the oxygen it needs to help kids grow to their full potential.
Myofunctional appliances not only address the root cause of SDB, they simultaneously straighten your child’s teeth (no need for braces!). Appliances help expand the arch to allow for proper spacing for adult teeth to grow in, while guiding the adult teeth to grow straight. Think of this as an interceptive appliance to straighten teeth, as opposed to braces doing the work after the teeth already grew in crooked.
“I like that smile better!”
The patient was a great candidate to start wearing a myofunctional appliance to address her grinding. She looks forward to her dental appointments, and immediately points out which smile she likes better. The patient and her parents are ecstatic with her results after only 3 months.
As seen in her pictures, her upper teeth almost completely covered her bottom teeth. Her jaw was also visibly shifted back, decreasing her airway space, and causing a crease to develop above her chin.
After only 3 months, her jaw positioning and teeth positioning are ideal, the crease above her chin has disappeared, and the patient is thrilled with her new smile. Her facial development is apparent after having started treatment.
Pictures posted with permission from patient's Mom. :)
What's up, family? Just wanted to post another fun Invisalign case that is currently IN-PROGRESS!
This orthodontic case is described as "Class 3 Malocclusion" - meaning this patient has an underbite, meaning his bottom teeth protrude ahead of his top teeth. A normal "Class 1" position (in basic terms) would have the upper front teeth slightly forward of the lower front teeth.
POSITIVE FACTORS IN THIS CASE:
This patient is a teenager, so that gives me more confidence that his teeth can move more easily. The older you are, the more SLOWLY teeth will move, which makes orthodontics a bit trickier.
He is also extremely responsible - he follows all of our orthodontic rules, wears his appliances and his orthodontic elastics, which help to pull the lower teeth back.
This patient was prescribed Class 3 elastics. These are small but stretchy rubber bands that hook onto the aligners. This is considered an adjunct treatment to Invisalign, since aligners by themselves will NOT be able to correct this much of an underbite. Therefore, Class 3 elastics wearing is MANDATORY! To ensure enough wear time, this patient was required to wear the aligners plus elastics on his left and right for 20-22 hours per day, over a two week period for EACH TRAY. This is crucial to get the teeth to move as efficiently and predictably as possible.
After just 9 months of devoted aligner plus elastics wear, his underbite is already corrected! This case is not yet finished, however we simply could not wait to show off this patient's progress.
Remember: the key to successful Invisalign orthodontic treatment is to follow all the rules! Wear your aligners for the mandatory 20-22 hours per day, switch aligners as directed, use your elastics if they are prescribed, make each and every appointment time, and don't lose any aligners!
HAVE A GREAT DAY AND SMILE! :)
Dr. Mat and Dr. Jen will occasionally post cases or pictures from our office!