Reviewed by Dr. Sam Muslin | Last Updated on 02/18/2020
Patients with mandibular prognathism usually experience retrognathia of the upper jaw and prognathism of the lower jaw. Both can be treated simultaneously without jaw surgery. You will get a better understanding of the other treatment choices as veneers, braces, clear aligners, and jaw surgery.
When the lower jaw looks too large, and the chin appears to be sticking out too far, then it is referred to as “mandibular prognathism.” Typically, this occurs with a Class 3 malocclusion, also referred to as an underbite. With Class III malocclusions, the upper jaw is usually smaller, which is referred to as retrognathism or retrognathia because the upper jaw is less developed compared to the lower jaw or mandible, which appears overdeveloped.
The treatment for Mandibular Prognathism or Underbites is mostly jaw surgery and braces. However, jaw surgery and braces can often be avoided with Dr. Sam Muslin’s Face Lift Dentistry method, using JawTrac® Alignment and VENLAY® Bite Restorations.
One way to “fix” mandibular prognathism is to try and hide it. Veneers make a small upper jaw look a little larger, which hides the appearance from the frontal view. Porcelain veneers bonded to the upper teeth is nothing more than cosmetic camouflage that has no health benefits associated with Class 3 malocclusion and mandibular prognathism. With veneers, the lower jaw and the facial profile usually remain the same, and it does not physically correct the underbite, which is why cosmetic dentists refer to their treatment as an “underbite fix.” It is not even close to a structural bite correction; it is only a “fix.”
At Dr. Muslin’s office, we do not use porcelain veneers to try to hide an underbite because there are usually health issues that also need to be resolved. Porcelain veneers have little if any health benefits. The patients we see want the lower jaw to appear smaller in size, want a better facial profile, want their midface and upper lip supported and may have other health issues to be addressed, such as headaches, that veneers cannot treat.
Rather than just try to hide the underbite with veneers, some level of underbite correction can be attempted. The words “bite correction” can mean almost anything so the results can be a low-level bite correction or a full structural bite correction. There are different levels of bite correction. Some patients try clear aligners, and we see patients where this method was not successful. Other patients had braces that can do more than clear aligners, and we see patients where traditional orthodontics was not successful. Patients have reported that after getting treated with clear aligners or with braces for a year or more, they were told that jaw surgery was required.
Most oral surgeons will recommend jaw surgery and years of braces to correct an underbite because that is the only method they understand. With time, the Face Lift Dentistry® method will be recognized and oral surgeons will have to make their patients aware of this alternative to jaw surgery.
We treat patients that had jaw surgery because it did not work for them. We also see patients that reject jaw surgery and are seeking a safer method or jaw surgery alternative to correct an underbite. Jaw surgery and braces can provide remarkable success. However, there are also considerable risks with jaw surgery, and the overall treatment takes years. Patients never know how their results until the treatment is over. The Face Lift Dentistry® method has the ability to show the patients the shape of their new face and facial profile before any treatment even starts which is a considerable advantage.
With the Face Lift Dentistry® method, we use the word optimize as what we do goes beyond a fix, or just a bite correction, because the shapes, angles, sizes of the teeth, color and bite are optimized. The proportions of the face, the chin size, mandibular prognathism, and facial profile combined with the bite are cosmetically and functionally optimized with this total comprehensive method.
The first non-surgical step to correct an underbite is with JawTrac® Technology, followed by a second step with VENLAY® Bite Restorations, combined with the Face Lift Dentistry® Method. Instead of putting you into the hospital and cutting down the size of your jaw with years of braces, this method uses JawTrac® that repositions your jaw painlessly and quickly and reduces or totally corrects mandibular prognathism. The best part is that this method only takes two 4-day trips without the risk, time lost from work, recovery time and the pain with jaw surgery. We hear from our new patients every day that “Face Lift Dentistry® sounds too good to be true.”
The secret to this method is that Dr. Sam Muslin realized that the jaw is really not as large as it appears. The patient’s existing bite actually cause mandibular prognathism to be exaggerated. Face Lift Dentistry® corrects mandibular prognathism by optimizing the jaw position using JawTrac® and then using VENLAY® Bite Restorations to make that new jaw position a new reality for the patient by coordinating the teeth and bite to the new jaw position. JawTrac® is a removable appliance custom-designed by Dr. Sam Muslin for you in his office. You will see that your jaw now appears smaller and you will test that new jaw position for comfort. Many patients we see have TMJ pain and headaches in addition to a Class 3 malocclusion.
With JawTrac®, mandibular prognathism could be eliminated, or at least greatly reduced, thereby canceling the need for jaw surgery. The second step is to have the VENLAY® Bite Restorations hold that new JawTrac® jaw position. Dr. Muslin designs your VENLAY® bite restorations that are bonded over each individual tooth, so your teeth and bite duplicate the JawTrac® jaw position. You will no longer wear the removable JawTrac® device. The size of the mandible appears smaller, the facial profile looks significantly better and it was all done with two, 4-day trips separated by 3 weeks or less. Your teeth are not ground down, so it is not painful. There is no jaw surgery, so the treatment has much less risk and no recovery time is required. There is no orthodontics in this method most of the time, so the treatment is much faster than any other method.
Watch this video to see and hear the remarkable improvement when he is talking, before and after his treatment.
The greatest advantage of this method is that the outcome is tested in advance of treatment with JawTrac®. You will see your new face, new jawline, new facial profile before we treat your teeth. You will also get to experience this new jaw position to see if you get TMJ pain relief, headache relief, and improved comfort with your new jaw position. Seeing the shape to your face and experiencing pain relief before anything is done is revolutionary. When work starts on your teeth, your healthy teeth are not drilled down to little pegs, which takes advantage of modern technology available today.
Yes, in some cases braces can treat mandibular prognathism. However, most of the patients we have seen have already had braces. Some also had clear aligners more than once, and others had jaw surgery as well. Many of the patients we see had results that relapsed or the results never reached the desired outcome with braces or with clear aligners or both.
We have covered a variety of treatment choices, such as trying to camouflage a large lower jaw with veneers on the upper teeth. The results with porcelain veneers can be very limited, have no health benefits, and don’t improve facial profiles, jawlines, or chin size. Orthodontics, braces, and clear aligners can be helpful, but we keep seeing patients where orthodontics was not successful, and many had increased TMJ problems after orthodontics because the jaw position was not optimized. With over 40 years of experience in bite reconstruction dentistry and with nearly 20 years of orthodontic treatment experience, he felt that these treatments take too long with results that cannot be predicted and cannot be tested in advance of treatment. The patients don’t know what they are getting until it is over.
Welcome to the Face Lift Dentistry® method that can change your life, self-confidence, self-esteem, your professional image, speaking ability, sleeping ability, reverse the impact of aging and improve your health and appearance simultaneously with a beautiful wide smile that is many levels above veneers.