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Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist

Overbite vs. Overjet: What Is the Difference?

By Alex Hecht on June 24, 2018

Invisalign for a crooked smileIf you have crooked teeth or suffer from any sort of malocclusion, our Staten Island, NY dental practice is here to help. We offer a host of treatments to straighten teeth and improve dental health, including Invisalign®, an invisible orthodontics solution.

A number of our patients suffer from overbites and/or overjets. These terms are often misunderstood by patients. Let’s take a moment to consider what each means and how they impact your smile.

What Is an Overbite?

An overbite refers to the upper set of teeth being projected forward, meaning that they are positioned in front of the lower teeth. A slight overbite is considered healthy and ideal, but a pronounced overbite is a cause for concern.

Why Overbites Are a Problem

If you have a serious overbite, it can lead to serious problems with dental alignment and overall smile appearance. It leads to buck-toothed smiles, which is a major sources of self-consciousness for some people. A serious overbite can also result in difficulty biting and chewing, and even dental pain.

Poor dental alignment can increase your risk of teeth grinding (bruxism) and TMJ disorders (TMD), both of which result in a number of dental health issues ranging from tooth fractures and gum recession to jaw pain and jaw misalignment.

Treatment Options for Overbites

If you suffer from an overbite, orthodontic care is your best option for treatment. The use of braces, palatal spacers, and other types of appliances can shift the position of your teeth and also reshape your dental arch. Thanks to orthodontic procedures, your upper and lower teeth can be better aligned.

For overbites that cannot be corrected with orthodontics alone, oral surgery may be required to improve your dental alignment. The surgery will allow for more dramatic changes to your dental alignment and tooth position.

What Is an Overjet?

An overjet often occurs when someone has an overbite. This refers to cases in which the upper teeth are projected far in front of the lower teeth and when they also cover up a substantial amount of the lower teeth as well. In essence, an overate occurs when your upper teeth block out most of your lower teeth from view. A slight overate is considered ideal, but a pronounced overjet can lead to major flaws in alignment.

Why Overjets Are a Problem

As with overbites, an overjet can contribute to cosmetic and health problems when it comes to the overall alignment of your smile. You may feel self-conscious about the buck-toothed appearance of your smile, making you reluctant to laugh, smile, and speak around others. Alignment issues from an overjet can also result in difficulty chewing, speech impediments, teeth grinding, and TMJ disorders.

Treatment Options for Overjets

Like overbites, the ideal treatment option for an overjet is orthodontic care. This will help alter the shape of the dental arch and the position of the teeth, allowing for a less pronounced overjet and better overall dental health.

For serious overbites and overjets, oral surgery will be required to achieve the dramatic changes to tooth alignment and the dental arch. This can result in ideal dental alignment, and less risk of the above mentioned problems.

Learn More About Your Treatment Options

For more information about treating crooked teeth and improving your overall dental health, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. The team at Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist is here to help you smile with greater health and renewed confidence.

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