An overbite is an oral issue where someone’s upper jaw and teeth extend and overlap the lower jaw and teeth. It is a type of malocclusion that’s most frequently treated using braces. While mild overbites don’t usually cause problems, severe overbites may create issues, such as chewing difficulties, structural problems, and wear and tear on the teeth. Overbites may cause significant discomfort by putting pressure on the facial muscles and temporomandibular joint.
Overbites may stem from uncontrollable hereditary factors. For example, the natural shape of your jaw can create an overbite. Other causes can occur due to habits during childhood development, such as extended use of pacifiers, thumb sucking, drinking from baby bottles long-term, and chewing on toys or other objects. While preventative measures are the best ways to combat dental issues like overbites, there are solutions to fix them after they occur.
Braces for Correcting Severe Overbites
Traditional braces made from metal or ceramic are the go-to treatment for severe overbites. They effectively straighten crooked teeth on the upper and lower jaw. These braces are worn for about 24 months, and the wires that connect the brackets are adjusted regularly to achieve the desired results. They work by applying consistent pressure to the teeth, jaw, and bones, gradually moving them into place.
While braces are the most prevalent fix for severe overbites, there are some alternative treatments available, such as:
Invisalign clear aligners are a popular treatment for overbites because they are less obvious than traditional metal braces. Invisalign treatment involves using custom-made, BPA-free thermoplastic trays that move your teeth into place over time. This removable option effectively corrects overbites when the aligners are worn for at least 22 hours a day.
After an initial assessment involving a digital scan and impressions, you are fitted for your Invisalign trays. You can even see the progression of your treatment plan after your scans. Every couple of weeks, you switch to the next set of aligners in the series, which progressively correct your overbite. On average, Invisalign treatment takes two years, the same as traditional braces.
In severe circumstances, orthognathic surgery is needed to fix an overbite. This is most common when the upper and lower jaws grow at different rates. Orthognathic surgery realigns the jawbones, reversing the effects of uneven growth. In many instances, braces must be worn after surgery.
Other Orthodontic Appliances
Although braces or Invisalign are the two most common treatment options for fixing a severe overbite, other devices like a palatal expander can be used to improve dental alignment and adjust your bite.
A palate expander is an orthodontic device fitted against the roof of your mouth that gradually widens your upper jaw over time so that the top and bottom teeth can fit together properly.
Visit Valley Dental Care of Plainfield
For advice on fixing a severe overbite, visit Valley Dental Care of Plainfield for a consultation. Whether you need traditional braces, clear aligners, or other orthodontic appliances, we are dedicated to providing a comfortable and positive patient experience.
Our team has over 30 years of experience treating patients of all ages. We understand how important confidence in your smile is and are eager to help you develop a treatment plan. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.