What’s an Overbite?
The human jaw forms in various stages of childhood and adulthood. Many factors influence the development of this important anatomical structure, such as genetics and diet. Two major bones essentially make up the jaw, the maxilla and mandible. When these two bones are misaligned, various chewing and speech problems might develop. An overbite refers to the extension of the upper jaw relative to the lower jaw. Therefore, such a deformation makes it difficult for a person to properly digest certain foods. It might be difficult for an individual with such a problem to fully bite pieces of meat and other irregularly shaped food. The severity of an overbite is usually indicated by the position of the upper incisors in relation to the lower teeth. A side profile of a person’s mouth usually reveals the extent of the problem. In some cases, the incisors protrude at awkward angles that create extra strain on the entire jaw and parts of the tongue. Overbite correction can help to fix this.
Treatment Options for Overbites
An orthodontist is a professional who is licensed to diagnose and correct various cases of overbites. A visual examination of a patient’s teeth is the first step in a proper diagnosis. The provider might measure the vertical and horizontal deviations of the bite according to normal standards of orthodontics and dentistry. Traditional X-rays or digital scans of the upper and lower teeth might be done to detect subtle details inside a patient’s mouth. Depending on the severity of the overbite, braces or invisible aligners will be recommended by an orthodontist.
Overbite correction is usually done during the middle to late teenage years. Such a treatment isn’t recommended for children because the jaw continues to form and develop into early adulthood. Mild cases of an overbite might be treated by conventional metallic braces that gradually move the upper teeth backwards by a few millimeters. The ultimate goal of such a treatment is to allow optimum freedom of movement for a proper bite. It might take up to two years for an individual to attain desirable results in terms of overbite correction. A mild case could be treated with invisible aligners that are precisely fitted over a patient’s teeth. Throughout the course of the treatment, more than 10 custom moldings might be worn by an individual. It’s important to note that the lower teeth are rarely manipulated during orthodontic treatment of an overbite. It’s much easier for an orthodontist to shift the upper teeth into projected positions.
A person who has an unusual form of an overbite might require surgical treatment. An oral surgeon is trained to manipulate the anatomical imperfections of the mandible and maxilla. Such a professional usually works closely with an orthodontist who will ultimately add the finishing touch to overbite correction. The mechanics of braces work well when the jaw bones are properly configured after surgical intervention. It might take a few weeks or months for a patient to recover from a skeletal surgery, which usually makes the teeth and gums sensitive.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
If you would like to learn more about what overbite correction can do for you, we warmly invite you to reach out and make an appointment with Central Texas Orthodontics. At our convenient location in Austin, our caring and dedicated team of professionals will be pleased to explain this option to you in full and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!