Updated on February 7, 2024
4 min read

Overbite Treatment: 5 Options You Should Consider

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What is an Overbite?

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.

3D render of an Overbite dental occlusion or Malocclusion of teeth

What are the Types of Overbite?

Overbites are either dental or skeletal.

  • Dental overbite ⁠— The jaws are aligned, but the top and bottom teeth aren’t
  • Skeletal overbite ⁠— The top and bottom jaws are too small or big for the teeth, causing a misalignment

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.

overbite overjet

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What are Overbite Correction Treatment Options?

There are several orthodontic treatment options available for an overbite:

1. Tooth Extraction for Overbites

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.

2. Overbite Correction with Braces

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.

3D render of teeth with metal braces in gums

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.

3. Clear Aligners (Invisalign) for Overbites

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.

two clear aligners with case

Here are things you should know about clear aligner treatment:

  • The cost of aligners averages between $1,200 and $8,000
  • You must wear them for at least 22 hours a day, including during sleep
  • You can only remove them for eating, brushing, and flossing
  • You receive new sets of aligner trays every few weeks
  • After two weeks, you’ll switch to the next set of aligners in your treatment plan

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.

4. Functional Appliances for Overbites

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:

  • Herbst appliance ⁠— Treats overbites and overjets by bringing the lower jaw forward
  • Orthodontic headgear ⁠— Treats overbites and overjets by holding the upper jaw and teeth in place, giving space for the lower jaw to grow

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.

5. Overbite Surgery (Jaw Surgery)

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:

  • Corrects the relationship between the upper and lower jawbones
  • Allows the jawbones to function better for eating, breathing, and talking
  • Improves facial appearance

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.

What are the Signs of an Overbite?

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:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Teeth that stick out
  • A protruding upper jaw
  • Cavities
  • Toothaches
  • Headaches
  • Discomfort or pain while eating
  • Difficulty talking
  • Trouble fully opening or closing your mouth
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gum disease

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What are the Causes of an Overbite?

These factors and conditions can cause an overbite:

  • Genetics leading to uneven jaw development
  • Infancy or childhood habits (thumb sucking, consistent pacifier use, excessive bottle drinking)
  • Adolescent habits (chronic nail-biting, chewing on pencils or other objects)
  • Mouth injuries resulting in tooth loss

What are the Complications of an Overbite?

Leaving an overbite or overjet untreated may increase the risk of further problems, such as:

  • Injury to the protruding front teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD)
  • Speech problems
  • Psychological stress

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.

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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.

What’s Next?

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Last updated on February 7, 2024
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 7, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Ke et al. “A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies.” BMC Oral Health, 2019.
  2. Malocclusion of teeth.” MedlinePlus.
  3. Khechoyan, D. “Orthognathic Surgery: General Considerations.” Seminars in Plastic Surgery, 2013.
  4. Millett et al. “Orthodontic treatment for deep bite and retroclined upper front teeth in children.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2018.
  5. Khosravi et al. “Management of overbite with the Invisalign appliance.” American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, 2017.
  6. Schatz et al. “Large overjet as a risk factor of traumatic dental injuries: a prospective longitudinal study.” Progress in Orthodontics, 2020.
  7. Al-Jasser, R. “The effect of overbite and overjet on clinical parameters of periodontal disease: A case control study.” The Saudi Dental Journal, 2021.
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