Invisalign is an innovative treatment for aligning and straightening teeth. Like traditional braces, it applies pressure to your teeth and gently moves them. Do you also need to straighten your jaw and fix facial symmetry issues? Then yes, you can qualify for Invisalign, too. At Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX, we help you address jaw and teeth misalignment through the use of clear aligners.
What Causes an Uneven or Misaligned Jaw?
Invisalign is an effective treatment for teeth misalignment, which can cause an uneven jaw. Without properly aligned teeth, your jaw may not settle in its correct position. This can contribute to issues with eating, drinking, and talking. Depending on the case, uneven jaws can be treated and improved through physical therapy. Others, especially the more serious ones, may require corrective surgery. Many factors cause a problematic, misaligned jaw.
Physical Trauma or Broken Jaw
Physical assault in the face, vehicular collisions, sports injuries, and accidental falls can cause fractures or dislocations in the jawbone. If you’ve encountered any of these mishaps, you might have a broken jaw that will become uneven or misaligned in the future.
Some of the symptoms of a broken jaw may include:
- Facial pain
- Pain in the front of the ear that gets worse with movement
- Bruising and swelling of the face
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Difficulty chewing and opening the mouth widely
- Jaw stiffness
Some children are born with micrognathia or mandibular hypoplasia. This condition causes them to have a very small lower jaw that’s much shorter than the rest of the face. It can also cause abnormal tooth alignment because of the lack of enough room for the teeth to grow.
Fortunately, some cases can often self-correct in time. Other treatments may include modified eating methods and special equipment. In case this condition does not improve in time, children may need corrective surgery.
Poorly aligned or crowded teeth can also cause your jaw to become uneven. Your jaw muscles may tighten, too. When your upper and lower teeth do not align perfectly, as is the case with bite problems, a misaligned or asymmetrical jaw can develop in time. Some of the most common teeth alignment issues that cause jaw problems are underbites and overbites.
How to Tell if Your Jaw Is Out of Alignment
There are many ways to tell if you have misaligned jaws. Keep an eye on these and to ensure that they do not worsen over time. The most common signs and symptoms are:
- Painful jaw area
- Tight, clicking jaw
- Shoulder or back pain
- Popping sensation in ears
If you are experiencing a few of these symptoms, seek medical care as soon as you can. Misaligned jaws can lead to a wide range of discomforts. If you have severe jaw misalignment, you may have problems when it comes to eating, drinking and speaking, or even proper breathing.
What Are Some of the Ways You Can Straighten a Misaligned Jaw?
Apart from using clear aligners, there are many other treatments or surgical options for fixing a misaligned jaw. The use of upper jaw expanders, reverse pull face masks, headgear braces, and jaw surgery are some options you can consider. The best or most appropriate treatment depends on the severity of your condition.
Standard, traditional braces are classic treatment options for crowded teeth and a misaligned jaw. This treatment option can take over one to three years. However, if your jaw misalignment is too excessive, headgear braces will help you achieve better results. Headgear braces are usually worn for 12 to 14 hours a day.
Upper Jaw Expanders
Do you have a lower jaw that protrudes? If your lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth, you might need upper jaw expanders to correct an underbite. These expanders are a type of wireframe device that fits across your upper palate. It can take about one year before you can widen your upper jaw enough to correct teeth misalignment.
Reverse Pull Face Masks
Similar to upper jaw expanders, these face masks are sometimes used to correct an underbite. They also look like headgear braces, which are worn overnight. Metal braces are fixed to the upper back teeth, and they will be attached to the face mask. Your face mask is then wrapped around the head to pull your upper jaw back.
Maxillary and Mandibular Osteotomy
Maxillary osteotomy is a surgery that involves cutting the upper jaw with a small saw. An incision is made in the gum above the teeth in your upper jaw. Cutting the jaw through this incision allows the surgeon to “break” your jaw in a controlled manner. On the other hand, a mandibular osteotomy is done through an incision made at the back of the mouth. The lower jaw is also cut and broken in a controlled manner.
Another surgical option for treating misaligned jaws is genioplasty. This is more commonly known as a form of cosmetic surgery. It involves the repositioning or reshaping of the chin, which aims to improve facial harmony. A surgeon will separate the bone of your chin from your jaw, move them, and make necessary adjustments.
A misaligned jaw can also be kept closed for a specific period. Jaw wiring is like a cast that fixes the jaw in place. This is mostly used for cases where a jaw has been fractured. When you choose this treatment, you won’t be able to eat normally. You’ll need to eat or drink liquid foods about six times a day.
Are Headgears, Face Masks, or Surgery Necessary?
We understand that some of the treatment options or surgery for misaligned jaws can be painful, costly, and even uncomfortable. Depending on the severity of your jaw alignment, you may not need to use headgears or undergo surgery. One way to straighten your jawline is through the use of clear aligners. This new technology is convenient, safe, and effective in many cases.
Can Clear Aligners Straighten Your Jawline?
Many people are worried about the problems a misaligned jaw can cause. While many treatment and surgical options exist, they can be costly, inconvenient, or even painful. The use of clear aligners is a new orthodontic treatment that we recommend for misaligned or uneven jaws. These clear aligners can also straighten your upper and lower jaws. The treatment will help you open and close your mouth to chew and speak properly.
How Does the Treatment Work?
Invisalign works similar to traditional braces, but the equipment and technology used are different. Are you familiar with traditional braces that make use of fixed wires to “pull” the teeth into alignment? Clear aligners correct your teeth alignment by using a series of customized molds. Within months, the clear aligners will force your teeth into their new and improved position.
Both treatment options have the goal of improving the alignment of your teeth, so you can get a straighter smile and better oral health. The use of clear aligners is just a newer concept that was designed to meet the needs of modern people.
What Are the Benefits of Using Aligners for Straightening Your Jaw?
In contrast with braces, headgears, and oral surgery, Invisalign comes with the following benefits:
- Discreet and virtually invisible
- Shorter treatment period
Your aligners are made from transparent BPA-free plastic, making them discreet and virtually invisible. You wouldn’t need to expose metal wires or face masks and headgears to other people. They’re also not stuck to your teeth, so you can get a “break” of 2-4 hours a day. Most patients only need to wear their aligners for 6 to 18 months and complete their course of treatment.
Who Can Use Invisalign?
If you need to realign or straighten your upper and lower jaws, you can avail of this treatment. This treatment can help you open and close your mouth comfortably, so you can chew and speak properly. This is good news for you if you intend to replace bulky appliances and potentially avoid surgery.
Most misalignments and orthodontic problems in teenagers’ teeth can be corrected by using clear aligners. Are you a teen who needs help in improving your bite or jaw alignment? The use of clear aligners will help you achieve improved dental health and a glowing smile. Because the treatment is discreet, you can also avoid anxiety and self-consciousness.
Do you need additional dental work so you can take better control of your oral health and physical appearance? The use of clear aligners is a flexible treatment procedure for adults. It can give you an improved smile and a straightened jaw without causing you to worry about using highly-visible metal braces.
What Is the Treatment Process?
There are only a few steps to take if you are interested in an effective, comfortable, and discreet orthodontic solution. No need to worry about the pain and recovery time associated with surgery, or the discomfort caused by bulky appliances. We provide individualized treatment plans that work to help you achieve your ideal smile.
We’ll invite you to our office for an in-person discussion. We will assess your dental condition first before suggesting the best course of treatment. If your jaw and teeth problems can be corrected through the use of clear aligners, we will proceed with your treatment plan. If not, we will offer to you an alternative solution.
Creation of Treatment Plan
We will take X-rays and impressions of your teeth. These will serve as guides for creating customized clear trays that will fit almost perfectly over your teeth. Afterward, we will coordinate with a specialized laboratory that makes a 3D image of your smile. From these images, we’ll create your individualized treatment plan and estimate how long it will take.
Arrival of Custom Trays
We begin treatment as soon as your customized trays have arrived. We’ll ask you to wear your clear aligners for 20-22 hours per day. You can only remove them for eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth. Every two weeks, we’ll give you a new set of clear aligners. We will ask you to return to our office every six weeks, so we can assess your progress and make further recommendations if needed.
Once you’ve completed your treatment plan, your new smile and straightened jaw should now be visible. To ensure that your teeth will not move or go back to their old positions, we may recommend you wear a retainer.
Get a Straight, Healthy Smile Today
Perfectly aligned teeth and a symmetrical jaw can make you feel much better about yourself. You can be more confident and avoid certain discomforts and pain caused by orthodontic problems. Would you like to know if you qualify for Invisalign when it comes to addressing or completely solving your jaw issues? Contact Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX today and schedule your consultation! We cannot wait to provide you with expert care and give you a straight, healthy smile.