An overbite is when you close your mouth and the upper teeth cover the lower ones (also known as an overjet). It can occur in both children and adults. There are two types of overbites: dental and skeletal. A dental overbite is when the alignment of the teeth causes the upper arch to jut out over the lower ones. This can be easily treated with Invisalign orthodontic aligners.
The skeletal type is much more challenging because it involves a misalignment of the top and bottom parts of the jaw. However, Dr. Song is a highly-trained orthodontist who can solve the problem by performing surgery.
Overbites can be due to genetics, overdevelopment of the bone supporting teeth, or poor oral hygiene over time. The symptoms can be painful gums, a sore jaw, worn-down teeth, or problems with the temporomandibular joint (aka, the TMJ, the hinges connecting the lower jaw to the skull, which can be felt just in front of the earlobes when you open and close your mouth).
Invisalign has been proven to be as effective as braces in moving teeth gradually to their correct positions. In the case of their misalignment, the bottom row is set back too far and the top too far towards the front. Dr. Song would create a customized treatment plan to alter this relationship so the top teeth no longer cover the lower ones.
There are several big advantages of Invisalign over metal braces:
- The aligners are nearly invisible, so no one needs to know you are having your bite redone and teeth straightened as needed.
- These plastic trays can be removed when you eat, so there is no longer a need for severe dietary restrictions or very carefully cleaning afterwards to avoid periodontal infections. They do need to be worn all the time when you are not eating, including during sleep.
- Invisalign’s trays are much more comfortable than braces, which have metal parts that often poke the soft tissue of the mouth.
- They reach the goal faster. For the standard treatment of straightening a full bite, this can usually be done in less than 18 months, compared with 2-3 years for braces.
The Invisalign process does require changing trays every couple of months so that they fit with the changing positions of teeth. These will be sent directly to you and it will also be necessary to come into the office periodically so that Dr. Song can monitor your progress.
Call today for a full dental exam to determine how your overbite or any other orthodontic problem can be treated.