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An excessive overbite occurs when your upper teeth overlap too far over your lower teeth. While a slight overlap of the upper front teeth over the bottom ones is normal, a malocclusion or misalignment occurs when the upper teeth almost completely cover the lower teeth.
Overbites are either dental or skeletal.
An overbite is different from an overjet. An overbite is when the top teeth close over the bottom teeth, while an overjet is when the front top teeth protrude forward at a slight angle over the bottom teeth.
Clear aligners can save you thousands of dollars compared to braces. Learn about clear aligners.
There are several orthodontic treatment options available for an overbite:
Tooth extraction may be necessary for young children with overbites. Removing teeth creates room for the rest of the teeth to grow straight.
This option is generally for baby teeth. Unless the problem is severe, adults with overbites may not require the removal of permanent teeth.
Braces are a popular treatment option for correcting an overbite. They put pressure on the teeth to bring them into proper alignment using a combination of brackets, wires, and elastic bands.
The cost of braces averages between $4,000 and $10,000, and treatment will take anywhere between six months and two years to complete. Afterward, you must wear a retainer or use a permanent wire to keep the teeth in place.
If part of the reason for the overbite is an issue with jaw alignment, children and teenagers may need additional treatment like orthodontic headgear. Adults may need jaw surgery.
Clear aligners are plastic trays that work similarly to braces, applying constant pressure to the teeth to gradually move them into a better position. Clear aligners can help mild to moderate overbites.
Here are things you should know about clear aligner treatment:
Clear aligner treatment can involve up to 26 trays, depending on the severity of the overbite. This would include one tray every two weeks for 12 months.
You may need to combine braces with functional appliances for an effective overbite treatment. These devices exert pressure to align the upper and lower jaw like braces do with teeth.
Common functional appliances include:
The cost of functional appliances averages between $1,000 and $9,000. You may consider these an additional cost to braces treatment, and your insurance may cover the expense.
Some extreme cases of skeletal overbites may require orthognathic surgery, which averages between $20,000 and $50,000. This surgery repositions the jaw when other orthodontic treatments can’t.
Typically, an orthodontist works with an oral, jaw, and face (maxillofacial) surgeon for treatment. Orthognathic surgery:
Severe overbite correction surgery is often for adults only because their jaws are no longer developing or as flexible as children's. Your dentist may recommend orthodontic appliances if your jaw is still growing.
The symptoms of overbites can range from uncomfortable to really painful. The longer you leave an overbite without treatment, the worse these symptoms can get:
We recommend at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. View our top recommendations.
These factors and conditions can cause an overbite:
Leaving an overbite or overjet untreated may increase the risk of further problems, such as:
The nature and severity of these complications depend on the cause and extent of the overbite. You can prevent them by treating the overbite as soon as possible.
Interested in straightening your teeth at home? Here are the best clear aligner companies.
An overbite occurs when someone’s upper teeth overlap too far over their lower teeth. It is caused by genetics or childhood habits, like thumb-sucking, consistent pacifier use, and excessive bottle drinking.
Different treatments for an overbite include braces, clear aligners, and orthodontic surgery. Without treatment, an overbite can cause complications like speech problems and TMD.
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