There are many factors that contribute to a beautiful smile, but most people would agree that straight, well-aligned teeth are one of the most important. Indeed, most patients with alignment issues feel self-conscious about the appearance of their smile. The good news is that most malocclusion problems, including an overbite and overjet, can be treated.
At the dental office of Dr. Charles A. Robertson and Dr. Nicholas Perry Orchard, we offer a comprehensive range of general and cosmetic dentistry services to enhance the smile and address malocclusion problems.
But before treating these conditions, it is helpful for patients to understand the alignment problems that may be present. Here, we discuss the key differences regarding an overbite vs. overjet, and how our Corpus Christi, TX patients can best address these issues to enjoy straighter and healthier teeth.
Defining an Overbite and Overjet
Even if a person doesn’t suffer from malocclusion problems themselves, they have likely heard the term overbite. The term overjet is less familiar. Although an overbite and overjet both define a misaligned jaw, they affect the smile in two completely different ways.
Here, we provide a brief definition of these two conditions:
- Overbite: An overbite refers to how far the upper teeth vertically extend over the lower teeth when the mouth closes. When the teeth bite down, the upper teeth should overhang the lower teeth by a small margin, usually covering about one-third of the lower teeth.
- Overjet: An overjet refers to how far the upper teeth extend horizontally over the lower teeth. In other words, it describes how much further the upper teeth stick out from the lower teeth. Again, it is normal for the upper teeth to sit slightly forward from the lower teeth, but excessive protrusion is referred to as an overjet.
With professional dental care, we can correct the position of the jaw to improve oral functions and enhance the beauty of the smile. The two most common treatment options for overbite or overjet are braces and Invisalign®.
- Braces: Braces use a series of metal brackets and wires to place subtle pressure on the teeth and jaw. This pressure gradually moves the teeth and shifts the bite so that everything lines up as intended. In an average of 12 to 18 months, patients can enjoy a straighter smile that allows the jaw to function comfortably.
- Invisalign®: Invisalign® is a more comfortable and discreet alternative to braces. This technique also relies on gradual pressure to correct the position of the teeth and jaw. However, this treatment uses clear, plastic aligners to achieve desired results. Invisalign® treatment lasts about the same amount of time as braces treatment, but most patients believe its benefits make it a more desirable treatment option.
Dr. Charles A. Robertson and Dr. Nicholas Perry Orchard are happy to provide patients with the treatment they need to enjoy straighter teeth. If you have questions about correcting an overbite or overjet, contact us at your earliest convenience. Our dental team will help you find the treatment that is most appropriate for your unique dental needs.