An overbite is a common type of malocclusion in which the upper teeth stick out too far ahead of the lower teeth. It’s possible for some cases to be hereditary. However, most overbites are caused by jaw development problems. A young child’s habits, like thumb-sucking and tongue-thrusting, can cause the jaw to develop atypically. The lower jaw may be under-developed or the upper jaw may be over-developed. Overbites can even be acquired later in life from years of engaging in harmful habits like chewing on the fingernails.
Regardless of how you acquired your overbite, your dentist can fix it for you. There are three primary methods of correcting an overbite: Orthognathic surgery, teeth extraction, and orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic treatment can resolve many cases of overbite. However, patients with severe jaw issues may benefit from orthognathic surgery, also called jaw surgery. Orthognathic surgery is intended to correct the jaw’s irregularities, and to realign the jaws and teeth. After a full recovery from orthognathic surgery, patients may also notice that their facial symmetry has been greatly improved.
Patients may be more likely to benefit from orthognathic surgery if they suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, have obstructive sleep apnea, have facial imbalances, or have trouble closing the lips comfortably.
Typically, patients who have orthognathic surgery will first receive orthodontic care for about 12 to 18 months before the surgery. Then, after the initial healing period from the surgery, patients will again wear their invisible aligners to complete the repositioning process.
Dentists never enjoy recommending that patients have a tooth extraction, as they prefer preserving the natural teeth whenever possible. However, for patients with a severe overbite who wish to avoid orthognathic surgery, teeth extraction may be recommended. One or two teeth may be extracted to allow the rest of the teeth to move into a more ideal, natural position that corrects the overbite. After a patient undergoes a tooth extraction, orthodontic care with invisible aligners can complete the process of shifting the rest of the teeth.
Not all patients need intensive orthognathic surgery or tooth extraction. In many cases, an overbite can be corrected with orthodontic treatment alone. If you’d like to avoid surgery, talk to a cosmetic dentist about getting started on Invisalign treatment on Long Island.
When you do, you’ll receive a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners. Your dentist will show you how to insert them, remove them, and keep them clean. One of the many benefits of Invisalign compared to traditional metal braces is that you’ll require fewer dental visits overall.
Overbites can often be corrected without orthognathic surgery. And metal braces are definitely not a necessity. Instead, talk to the dentists at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry about your malocclusion correction options, like Invisalign. We use state-of-the-art digital technology to precisely map every stage of your treatment, so you’ll know exactly how your smile will look when you’re done. Call today at 631.246.4992 to request a consult at our office in Long Island, Suffolk County.
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