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Overbite vs. Overjet: What Is the Difference?

By Andrew Mortensen, DDS on May 23, 2018

Photo of a young woman examining her teeth in the mirrorThere are several different forms of malocclusion, including overbite and overjet. When the teeth do not fit together properly, it can have a negative impact on the aesthetics of your smile. More importantly, however, it can hinder your chewing function and overall oral health.

Today, our Fountain Valley, CA team discusses overbite vs. overjet, and explains how to treat each of these conditions with either orthodontic treatments or procedures in cosmetic dentistry.

What Is an Overbite?

Generally speaking, when closed down, the upper teeth should just slightly cover the incisal edges of the lower teeth.

An overbite is present when the upper teeth cover more than one-third of the lower teeth. Also referred to as a deep bite, an overbite can be so severe that the lower teeth actually touch the gum tissue behind the upper teeth when closed down.

An overbite is a type of skeletal issue commonly caused by an overdeveloped upper jaw or an underdeveloped lower jaw.

How Is an Overbite Corrected?

Because an overbite is a skeletal issue, it cannot always be successfully addressed with braces alone. Corrective jaw surgery may be necessary, along with the application of braces afterwards.

If your malocclusion is due to an overbite, Dr. Andrew Mortensen can discuss your treatment options with you and refer you to a trusted oral surgery specialist if necessary.

What Is an Overjet?

An overjet is a common condition, but it is not a term you hear frequently. In most cases, an overjet is mistakenly referred to as an overbite.

Commonly called buck teeth, an overjet is characterized by a significant discrepancy in the distance between the upper and lower teeth. As a result, the upper teeth protrude forward.

Overjets are much more common than overbites. This condition can be hereditary. However, it can also be caused by childhood habits, such as thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting, or prolonged pacifier use.

How Is an Overjet Corrected?

Fortunately, patients with an overjet can correct the issue with traditional orthodontic treatment. Typically, there is no need for oral surgery or additional procedures. Depending on the complexity of the case, your doctor may recommend traditional metal braces or Invisalign®.

Invisalign for Overjet

Patients who wish to correct their overjet, or protruding front teeth, can benefit from Invisalign treatment at our office. To begin, impressions will be taken of your teeth. An Invisalign dental lab will fabricate a series of aligner trays to fit your unique dental anatomy.

The trays will be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day, and every two weeks, you will switch out the current trays for the next set in the sequence. Through these subtle differences, your teeth will be moved into their desired positions over time.

On average, Invisalign treatment takes between 18 and 24 months. However, this timeline can be much shorter or longer depending on the unique needs of the individual.

Are There Non-surgical Treatment Options?

In mild cases, certain types of malocclusion may be aesthetically improved through cosmetic dental treatments. For example, dental bonding, crowns, and veneers can sometimes mask aesthetic imperfections and make the teeth appear flush and in alignment.

However, it is important to note that not everyone will be a candidate for this type of treatment. If your malocclusion is affecting your bite function or your oral health in any way, orthodontic treatment or surgical intervention is highly recommended.

Contact Our Practice to Learn More

Both an overbite and an overjet can have a negative impact on the health of your teeth and gums. If you have malocclusion, our team can help you determine a treatment option to effectively meet your needs. To schedule a consultation at our practice, contact us online anytime, or give us a call at (714) 964-4183.

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I am proud to have served patients in our community. Through continuing education and state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to offer you and your family the high level of care you're looking for. Andrew G. Mortensen, D.D.S.

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Fountain Valley Office

18837 Brookhurst St
Ste 109
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

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Fountain Valley Office

18837 Brookhurst St
Ste 109
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

More Info Directions (714) 964-4183