Although this patient had striking eyes and a youthful personality, her appearance was less than it could be. She had a pronounced underbite that she didn’t like and she wanted to get it fixed. The doctors she had seen recommended jaw surgery, followed by an estimated two years of braces. That’s dismal news for a young adult.
This patient decided she wanted a non-invasive solution for her underbite. She did not want to undergo surgery or its potential complications. The hospital stay and painful recovery period were not something she wanted to face, and the stint with orthodontics sounded unpleasant at best. That’s when she decided to make an appointment to consult with Dr. Sam Muslin, DDS, in Santa Monica, Calif.
Underbite Correction Without Surgery
Dr. Muslin examined the patient’s dental situation and determined that not only was her underbite hampering her chewing, but her bottom teeth were standing too tall in her lower jaw. The lower arch was in a forward position with her bottom teeth overly erupted. Her lower arch jutted forward beyond her narrow upper arch, causing her bottom teeth and lip to protrude. When she spoke, this patient’s lower teeth dominated her expression and obscured most of her upper teeth.
Before underbite correction, a horizontal gap between the upper and lower arches is pronounced even though the patient is biting her back teeth together. Her bottom teeth overpower the size and shape of her upper teeth and sit in front of the upper arch instead of behind it.
A Narrow Upper Arch
When the size of the upper and lower jaws is out of sync, a person’s profile is impacted – as is face shape. This patient’s appearance was out of balance because her upper arch was much narrower than her lower arch – the opposite of what is desired. Her upper teeth were positioned inside the curve of her bottom teeth, causing an overly pouty lower lip and a pronounced chin, as well as a moon-shaped face.
When eating, this patient had to compensate for her malocclusion. To make her upper and back molars meet while chewing, she had to slide her lower jaw forward. This made chewing food problematic and made her underbite even more pronounced than it actually was. Her expression sometimes showed the hint of a grimace rather than reflecting a natural smile or relaxed look.
Dr. Muslin took into account this patient’s bite mechanics, as well as her cosmetic concerns, and came up a proposed course of treatment. Because she wanted to avoid the difficulties associated with oral surgery and braces, Dr. Muslin felt that the techniques used in Face Lift Dentistry® would be a dental solution best fitted for her situation.
Dr. Muslin proposed developing a comfortable bite by building up her back teeth to make them meet easily and to eliminate the slide that hampered her jaw. Normal effective chewing was one of his chief treatment goals. He proposed a three-dimensional approach that took into account her face length and width, her nose, forehead and jaw size, the shape of her teeth and the overall impact on her profile and oral health.
Balancing functionality and aesthetics is what takes Dr. Muslin’s practice from blueprint dentistry to artistry. These elements came together to give this patient a tremendous outcome.
Dr. Muslin rebuilt her upper teeth and several of her lower teeth in the back of her mouth, using Face Lift Dentistry® principles, the technique that he has had trademarked. The comfort level in her jaw improved almost immediately, and any obvious underbite was virtually eliminated – all without going under the knife, staying in the hospital, having her jaw wired shut or drinking a liquid diet for weeks on end.
A winsome smile is the outcome of this non-invasive underbite correction. On the right, beautiful hand-crafted porcelain crowns on the upper arch complement the patient’s natural bottom teeth in color, proportion and position.
Translucent and True Hue
What makes this dental transformation sensational is the level of workmanship and the premium materials used. Dr. Muslin rebuilt the surface of the back teeth with top-grade composite to allow for better movement in the jaw. Then, translucent porcelain was handcrafted to refurbish the position of the upper teeth.
Using the right shade of material is paramount when staging a smile makeover. If the wrong color is selected or the material is not translucent, the result will be unnatural even if the underbite were addressed adequately. Dr. Muslin, however, customized this step to assure a natural and becoming outcome, matching the color of the upper porcelain to mimic the exact shade and light reflection of the enamel on the lower teeth – which were reshaped slightly, but otherwise untouched.
Case Study Outcome
This patient was ecstatic with the outcome of her Face Lift Dentistry® procedure. Her bite had been corrected, and the prominence of her chin and lower lip had been refined. Her face has taken on a more feminine oval shape, and her smile now matches her gorgeous eyes. No surgery. No braces. No regrets!