Options For Treating An Overbite

Overbites come in two forms – vertical and horizontal. Vertical overbites happen when your top teeth significantly overlap the ones on the bottom. A horizontal overbite, on the other hand, results in some teeth sticking out beyond the edge of your bottom teeth. You can develop either one as a result of either dental or skeletal issues. Depending on which is the cause of your problem, your orthodontist will help you find an ideal treatment. Here's a look at some of the options you need to know about.

Clear Dental Aligners

Clear aligners are a great option for people seeking more comfort than traditional braces without sacrificing the results. You'll wear the aligners most of the day every day, switching the mouthpiece out every couple of weeks for the next one in the process. It can take many months to complete the process, but it's done without attaching brackets and wires. It's often reserved for overbites that are minor to moderate.

Traditional Braces

Braces are the most commonly used treatments for dental overbites, no matter what the cause. Adjustment with braces is usually done in multiple stages. It starts with straightening the teeth out, and then it transitions to adjusting the position of the teeth to fix the overbite. The braces, paired with rubber bands, pull your top teeth back where they should be. This can take many months to complete. Braces are usually the recommendation for moderate to severe overbites. Just keep in mind that opting for braces can make regular dental hygiene difficult, so you'll want to be more attentive to your routine just in case.

Oral Surgery

If your overbite is severe enough that braces would be a lengthy and difficult endeavor, your orthodontist may suggest that you have oral surgery to correct your overbite. Surgical options are usually a last resort, but are effective when the situation calls for them. In the case of a skeletal overbite, it may be necessary. Since this kind of surgery depends on your jaw line being fully grown, you'll want to wait until late teens or early twenties before considering this type of treatment.

You don't have to live with an overbite. Whether it's uncomfortable or just making it difficult to chew comfortably, you'll want to talk with your orthodontist today about what your options are. Understanding the three choices presented here will help you to approach the conversation with some understanding of what you'd like to do to correct your teeth.