Overbite is a dental condition which refers to the extent of vertical overlap of the maxillary (upper) central incisors over the mandibular (lower) central incisors. It is shown in the picture below:
Overbite is not a form of teeth malocclusion. Actually, an absence or excessive overbite would become a teeth malocclusion. Overbite is usually measured in percentage and it should be approximately 20 to 30% in normal conditions.
You should not get confused that overbite refers to a lower jaw being too far behind the upper jaw, some kind of teeth alignment issue, overjet, overclouser etc.
If you have overbite, what should you do?
You must decide immediately that you will also smile beautifully like many others. If you have finally decided to get overbite correction treatment, then you must search a cosmetic dentist or an orthodontist who has gone through exhaustive training and has huge dental experience. Once you find the satisfactory dentist; you must do an extensive search, ask as many questions to your dentist as you can and then start taking the treatment. Once you get started with the treatment you must adhere to the protocol instructions.
What is the reason behind overbite?
The teeth structure is normally aligned in such a way so that the upper arch fits slightly over the lower teeth. Overbite (class II malocclusion) is characterized as an ill-matched set of dental arches where the top teeth project distinctly to the bottom teeth. It is called as “retrognathism” in medical terminology. Overbite is usually a result of discrepancies in jaw size or irregular teeth sizes to fit properly in the jaw. Overbite usually occurs due to overcrowding and abnormal bite patterns which results in patients with top teeth tilted outwards. Various other factors contributing to overbite are as below:
- Abnormal tooth shapes or tooth loss,
- Birth defects or abnormality,
- Chronic usage of pacifier or bottle etc.,
- Extra (overcrowding) or impacted teeth,
- Growth plate injuries in jaw,
- Improper alignment in jaw fracture treatments,
- Outcome of poor orthodontic or cosmetic treatments,
- Protocol adherence issues: Compliance issues in wearing retainers, headgear, etc.
- Thumb sucking or tongue thrusting habits since childhood.
Factors affecting treatment choices:
Dental procedure is not an easy task because dentists have to prepare a unique protocol for every patient. The reason is pretty simple as each patient’s mouth is unique with different teeth and bone structure, and even soft tissues. That’s why a dentist needs to take careful measurements before starting with the treatment. Most dentists usually evaluate patient’s facial shape, attrition on teeth, tooth structure via X-rays, bite and speech pattern by using various diagnostic tools. A sound treatment is always based on most appropriate diagnosis; therefore, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist or a dental surgeon for the proper diagnosis.
Impact of age in overbite treatment results:
The ideal age for early assessment and intervention is usually 9 or 10 year. In such age, suppose a child has crossbite, so a jaw can be grown in proper way by using external devices such as headgear and helix springs. Any inactive tooth can be lifted to right place or any extra tooth can be removed. The ideal age for brace placement is when a child is in his puberty phase typically 10-13 year-old.
Overbite can be corrected or modified in adult patients, but their results depend on their age and the treatment selection. It has been reported that a bite repositioning takes longer in adult patients than orthodontia in adolescence. The reason is slower bone absorption and re-growth in adults; therefore, it is very important to go for an overbite treatment in younger age.
Treatment options for you:
There is a huge list of overbite treatment options available in the market. You can opt for a permanent retainer wire which is cemented inside of the bottom teeth, or you can go with a removable retainer which is suggested to use at home or at sleeping hours. Patients with mild overbite may opt for crowns, facelift dentistry, porcelain veneers, clear invisalign braces etc. Patients with severe overbites may choose a combination of orthognathic surgery and stint in braces.
A beautiful smile is waiting for you:
Once you will be done with overbite treatment you will find that your teeth are straighter and easier to clean with fewer chances for decay and cavities. Your face will be charming with a beautiful smile. Overbite correction with other treatments is shown in the below image 2:
You may also get relief from temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ) and facial pain after the treatment. Overbite correction also reduces the risk of gingivitis. It will improve your self-esteem and confidence levels.
If you feel that you have chewing or speaking issues associated with overbite, you must call your dentist immediately. It is high time to think about overbite treatment. It is time to take an action! Believe in your dentist because he/she has a cosmetic dentistry solution for you. It will definitely make a huge difference in your social life.
Non-Surgical Mouth Reconstruction and Facelift Dentistry, Santa Monica, CA