wHAT IS AN OVERBITE, OVERJET AND HOW TO FIX IT!?

aUGUST 19th, 2020

braces

We have a ton of patients who come into Thrive Dental offices want to fix their overbite. I love talking about this subject because it is ubiquitous, but there are many misconceptions when it comes to overbites. Let me explain what an overbite vs. overjet is and how we can fix it.

WHAT IS AN OVERBITE?

An overbite is when your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth too much. An overbite is not a bad thing. If you do not have an overbite, you have a bad bite. You might be thinking, “Ok, Dr. Nate has lost his mind!” but it’s true. Everyone with a great smile that you see on TV has an overbite. You want your top teeth to overlap your bottom teeth a little. 

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OVERBITE AND AND OVERJET?

An overbite is when your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth too much, but an overjet is when your top teeth stick out too much. It’s hard to explain without visual, but an overbite is a vertical issue, and an overjet is a horizontal issue.

Many people complain about an overbite when they do not like their overjet. I like to take the time to make sure I'm on the same page with the patients because all the jargon can take away from what result I want to give the patient.

WHAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH A DEEP BITE?

If you have a deep bite, you will have too much force on your front teeth when you move your teeth in specific directions. Our front teeth are not supposed to hit too hard. Our back molar teeth are meant to take most of the force of eating.

If your teeth overlap too much, you will eventually grind your front teeth until they are small little nubs. That’s why you see some older adults with tiny front teeth and eventually need partial dentures. Typically their bite was an issue that never got fixed. That's why at our office in Allen, we make sure to talk about bite issues and the possible long term effects. 

HOW DO YOU FIX A DEEP BITE?

The best way to fix an overbite is with metal or clear braces, but that’s not the only way. Sometimes a dentist can fix it with a lot of prostheses. These prostheses involve multiple crowns, implants, partial dentures, etc. to open up your bite.

Typically a dentist would fix a deep bite with crowns and implants in elderly patients. It is easier to fix a deep bite when a patient is younger.





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FULL MOUTH REHABILITATION

This is a deep topic that genuinely only a few experienced dentists can handle. When a dentist changes a patient's overbite with fillings, crowns, implants, and other prostheses, it's a complicated treatment.

If you are going to try this route, be sure to work with a dentist who has done this multiple times before because poor treatment can be devastating.

You may have near-permanent TMJ issues, and it will also cost you a lot of money. If doing multiple crowns and implants, it's probably best to work with a prosthodontist who is specialized in this type of full mouth rehab.

If you have an overbite and you are still in your teens, this is the easiest time to come into our Thrive Dental offices and fix it. Like I have mentioned before, it's always easiest to correct an overbite when you are younger (in your teens).

METAL OR CLEAR BRACES

If you are young enough, you can fix your overbite with just braces. The benefit of this is that you do not need any other restorations or anything special.

We may be changing your smiles vertical dimension, but we are working with your natural bite. Braces are way more comfortable than a full mouth rehabilitation, and I deal with them often. Some appliances may help us fix a very deep bite.

DENTAL BITE PLATE

Sometimes I use an anterior bite plate to fix deep bites. An anterior bite plate is something we bond in along with braces that adds a little force to your front teeth. This gradual force pushes on your teeth to help resolve your deep bite.

I had something similar to this when I had braces, and it was tough for the first week or so. Similar to braces, you get used to having something in your mouth pushing on your teeth, and then it just becomes a part of your daily life.

CONCLUSION

Deep bites are different than an overjet. An overbite is when your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth too much, but an overjet is when your teeth stick out too much.

It is relatively easy to correct your overbite or overjet with braces as a younger patient. The older we get, the more difficult it gets to repair, and you may need to get additional crowns to help open your bite.

If you have a deep bite and live in Allen, TX, come into our office to see if we can help you out.

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