Most people have an overbite ranging from normal to severe. An overbite is when the top front teeth overlap the bottom front teeth. A severe overbite could require treatment with braces or surgery. But innovations in orthodontics have made it possible to fix some cases of overbite without braces.
Why You Should Correct Your Overbite
Fixing a severe overbite now can help you avoid bigger problems in the future.
“The overbite only becomes an issue of concern when it is severely out of ideal range," Charles Sutera, DMD, a cosmetic dentist, tells WebMD Connect to Care. "For instance, if the overbite is severely deep, it can create jaw issues because the front teeth create a tight tolerance to function within. The teeth must slide together in a deep path, putting undue pressure on the temporomandibular joint and muscles.”
A mild overbite is not usually a cause for concern. However, according to a 2015 article published by the Journal of Dentistry, a severe, or "deep" overbite that goes untreated can lead to:
- Problems in the structures supporting the teeth
- Stress and wear on the teeth
- Problems with chewing
- Trauma to the roof of the mouth
There are several treatment options available to correct an overbite depending on the severity of your overbite. Although treatments vary, some established options for correcting an overbite include:
- Invisible aligners
How Invisible Aligners Work
For some, invisible aligners are an option for correcting an overbite without braces. Invisible aligners can correct dental issues in a way that is both effective and visually appealing. They're normally prescribed for mild-to-moderate alignment issues, but a reputable online aligner provider or orthodontist will be able to tell you if they're right for you.
“Orthodontics such as clear aligners can alter the overbite, and [commonly achieve] an ideal measurement after treatment. An overbite may be increased or decreased by providing a pushing or pulling force vertically on the tooth. A force that pushes teeth into the gums is called intrusion and a force that pulls a tooth in a direction further from the gums is called extrusion. Through intrusion and extrusion of the front teeth, the overbite can be modified significantly,” Sutera says.
To prepare for your invisible aligner treatment, your dentist, orthodontist, or online aligner provider will take a mold of your teeth. Using the mold, they'll create aligner trays that you'll wear in a series. Each aligner will apply gentle force to the teeth to shift them into the desired position.
You'll wear the aligners approximately 22 hours a day, and the recommended span of treatment can last from 8 months to a few years, depending on your specific case. You'll usually only remove the invisible aligners to eat or brush your teeth.
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