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An excessive overjet may not cause dental issues, but it can make people self-conscious about smiling. It also increases the risk of dental trauma and can cause speech problems or difficulty chewing food.
Fortunately, there are several options for fixing an excessive overjet. Correcting an overjet can restore proper teeth alignment and give you a beautiful smile that increases confidence.
An excessive overjet occurs when the upper front teeth stick out past the lower front teeth too much. Sometimes, an overjet is referred to as “buck teeth.”
It’s normal for the upper and lower teeth to have a small gap between them when you bite down.
Typically, upper teeth rest slightly past the bottom teeth by about 2mm. If your upper teeth extend farther than 2mm from your lower teeth, you have an excessive overjet.
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An excessive overjet may affect the function of your teeth and cause esthetic concerns and uncomfortable symptoms.
A severely excessive overjet can cause problems, including:
Excessive overjets and overbites are misaligned bites involving the relationship between the upper and lower front teeth.
Although they are commonly interchanged terms, there are key differences between the two conditions:
An excessive overjet is a horizontal misalignment of the top and bottom teeth. This means the upper teeth protrude outward at an angle instead of resting just in front of the lower teeth.
An excessive overbite is a vertical misalignment of the top and bottom teeth. This means the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth too much.
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Many factors can cause your upper front teeth to stick out too far.
Common causes of an excessive overjet include:
If you’re not experiencing problems, you may not need to correct your overjet. However, an excessive overjet won’t go away on its own. You’ll need to see a general dentist, who may refer you to an orthodontist and/or oral surgeon.
Depending on the severity of your overjet, treatment options may include:
Braces are a common orthodontic treatment for misaligned teeth, including an excessive overjet. They also fix crowded, gapped, and crooked teeth.
Traditional braces are metal brackets that attach to your teeth. Over time, they pull your teeth into the correct positions. Most people wear braces for 18 to 24 months.
Invisalign is an effective treatment that typically works faster than traditional metal braces. However, it can only correct mild to moderate misalignment issues. You’ll wear each Invisalign tray for a few weeks. Eventually, your teeth move into the desired position.
You may be able to use certain functional appliances to fix poor alignment and buck teeth. Some devices are temporarily glued in; others are removable and only worn for a few hours daily.
Veneers are a cosmetic treatment that covers dental imperfections, including an excessive overjet.
They’re thin shells that fit over natural teeth. They cover the front surface of each tooth to create a beautiful smile.
Dental veneers can last up to 20 years, depending on the material they’re made from. Porcelain veneers last the longest but are also more expensive.
A dental crown, also known as a cap, is an artificial tooth that covers the entire surface of a natural tooth. It’s colored to match your other teeth (or as close a fit as possible).
A dental crown can make protruding top teeth appear uniform and aligned.
Dental bonding refers to a filling that changes a tooth’s size and/or shape. It’s made of composite resin.
Dental bonding can help an excessive overjet by slightly changing the size and shape of your teeth. This can make the teeth appear in alignment with one another.
Dental bonding can last a long time. However, it may need to be replaced every several years.
If your child has an excessive overjet, their dentist may recommend removing one or more baby teeth to create space for the adult teeth to grow in.
Your dentist may also recommend extraction for severely crowded teeth. Sometimes, tooth extraction is necessary before orthodontic treatment, such as dental braces.
While braces are highly effective for treating children and teens with jaw misalignment, adults may need jaw surgery.
Jaw surgery involves moving the upper or lower jaw (or both) up, down, in, or out. It can also involve shortening or lengthening one of the jaws.
Jaw surgery is a serious procedure that requires a lengthy recovery time. Depending on the surgery you need, jaw surgery may require a short hospital stay and several weeks or months of recovery.
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An overjet, sometimes called buck teeth, is a type of dental misalignment (malocclusion). It occurs when the upper front teeth stick out past the bottom teeth.
Though not always a cause for concern, severe cases can cause discomfort and increase your risk for oral health problems.
Correcting an overjet can relieve uncomfortable symptoms and increase confidence in your smile.
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