05 Apr What is prognathism and how can it be treated?
Prognathism is a fancy word that means incorrect bite in which the upper or lower jaw protrudes excessively from the rest of the facial structure. A maxillary prognathism more commonly known as an overbite, while a mandibular prognathism is an underbite.
Not only does prognathism have an unpleasant effect on the patient’s appearance, but it also can limit the smile’s functionality. It can be harder to chew, speak and even breathe properly when you have an overbite or underbite.
In order to correct a prognathism, patients should consult with an oral surgeon to learn more about the recommended interventions to achieve the desired treatment goals. This type of specialist is well-versed in the structures of the jaw and face, including understanding their ideal balance and proportions.
Oral surgery is often recommended in cases of prognathism in order to reposition the jaws into a proper bite. However, these surgical procedures may be performed in an outpatient setting with the patient under general anesthesia, and your surgeon will use the most innovative techniques in order to reduce or eliminate unsightly scarring. After they are “re-set” to the preferred positioning, the jaws will be held in place by plates and screws that direct the jaw’s regrowth as desired.
Prognathism is often accompanied by misaligned teeth, so orthodontic treatment is typically indicated in addition to oral surgery in such cases. If you are wearing braces and also planning to correct a malocclusion, your oral surgeon and orthodontist will collaborate closely on the treatment timeline and sequencing. This approach may mean an extended time in active treatment for the patient, but it is a worthwhile investment of your time in order to get a more attractive smile.
Prognathism can have a negative effect on your smile’s appearance and functioning, but it can be addressed. If you are dissatisfied with an overbite or underbite, contact our office to schedule an evaluation and learn how you might improve your smile.