An overbite occurs when the upper teeth severely overlap the bottom teeth. Often, the bottom teeth dig into the roof of the mouth behind the front upper teeth. In contrast, an overjet is when the upper teeth protrude farther out than the bottom teeth, leaving a gap when a person bites down. These issues are both a form of “malocclusion”, which means the teeth are not aligned properly. Read on for a quick overview of why overbite and overjet occur, and whether they can be fixed with clear aligner therapy, such as Invisalign® or ClearCorrectTM.
What Causes an Overbite or Overjet?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, all forms of malocclusion are most often inherited. Malocclusion is often caused by the difference between the size of the upper and lower jaws, or the difference between the jaw and tooth size. Both of those conditions can lead to tooth overcrowding, abnormal bite patterns, and unusual strain on the jaw muscles. Birth defects, such as cleft lip and palate are also suspected to be a factor in some cases. However, particularly in cases of an overjet, there are also causes that are unrelated to heredity, including:
- Thumbsucking or use of a pacifier or baby bottle past the age of 3 years old
- A tongue thrust past infancy, in which a person’s tongue pushes against the front teeth when swallowing or at rest
- Extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth, or abnormally shaped teeth
- Improperly fitted dental fillings, crowns, dental appliances, retainers, or braces
- A broken jaw that did not heal properly
- Tumors of the mouth or jaw
What Is Clear Aligner Therapy?
Invisalign and ClearCorrect are removable, plastic braces. Rather than using metal brackets and wires like traditional braces, the clear aligner therapy utilizes a series of custom-made, computer-generated plastic retainers to slowly shift teeth into the desired place over time.
Can Clear Aligner Therapy Fix an Overbite or Overjet?
Clear aligner therapy can be used to treat mild to moderate orthodontic issues (such as crowded teeth, crooked teeth, or gapped teeth and some bite issues), but severe orthodontic issues require the power of conventional metal or ceramic braces. Depending on the severity of your bite issue, clear aligner therapy may or may not be a good fit. But the best way to know for sure is to meet with our expert dentists here at Spanaway Dental Wellness for an orthodontic consultation!
How Long Does It Take?
Because no two patients are alike, predicting how long it will take for the Invisalign or ClearCorrect process to correct misalignment requires a thorough evaluation by our dentists. Though most patients have been successfully treated in 12 months, treatment can be shorter or longer depending on your misalignment and how consistently you wear your retainers.
If you have any additional questions about malocclusion, please contact us at Spanaway Dental Wellness today.Contact Us