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FAQ:  Underbite

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Overbite Dentistry Ask The Dentist Edward Leventhal Question:
My wife and I have consulted with two orthodontists regarding our 15 year old daughter's underbite. She had braces for about a year in the third grade, now she is going back for the second phase since she has stopped growing.

We ruled out surgery for her lower jaw because the effects would only be cosmetic, and she's a pretty girl. However the first orthodontist we consulted recommended shaving in between all of her teeth before using braces, while the second orthodontist said that he would remove teeth.

When we asked the second orthodontist about shaving he replied that it would not provide enough room. Is there usually such a wide range or differing approaches?

The orthodontist should have explained the reasons why there wouldn't be enough room. Usually, it all depends on the angulation of the front teeth, both top and bottom, as well as the 'amount' of crowding there is.

If her front teeth are within the ideal angulation range, then you can usually 'slenderize' the teeth, however, if they are above the ideal angulation range, and if you don't take teeth out, the front teeth will have no where else to go, but forward, and your daughter will have more protruding teeth.

This is why you would need to discuss this further with those orthodontists, and see their reasons behind their decisions. Hope this helps, or maybe, confuse you more?

Edward Leventhal, DDS
Baltimore Cosmetic Implant Dentistry
8860 Belair Road
Baltimore, MD 21236
(410) 256-7300

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