What is an Overbite?
An overbite, also known as a deep bite, is a dental condition characterized by the upper front teeth overlapping significantly with the lower front teeth when the jaws are closed. In this case, the upper teeth protrude further forward than the lower teeth, resulting in an imbalanced bite.
What is an Underbite?
An underbite, also called a Class III malocclusion, occurs when the lower teeth extend outwardly beyond the upper teeth. This misalignment causes the lower jaw to appear more prominent than the upper jaw, resulting in an uneven bite.
Treatment Options for Overbites and Underbites
- Orthodontic Treatment: Braces or clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are commonly used to correct malocclusions. These appliances gradually shift the teeth into proper alignment, correcting the overbite or underbite over time.
- Orthognathic Surgery: In severe cases, orthognathic surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying jaw alignment. This surgical procedure involves repositioning the upper or lower jaw to achieve proper dental occlusion.
- Functional Appliances: For growing children, functional appliances can be used to guide jaw development and correct malocclusions. These appliances help stimulate proper jaw growth and promote optimal alignment.
Q. Can overbites or underbites be corrected in adults?
A. Yes, both overbites and underbites can be corrected in adults. Although treatment may take longer than in children, modern orthodontic techniques and orthognathic surgery can effectively address these conditions in adult patients.
Q. Can overbites or underbites cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD)?
A. Yes, untreated overbites or underbites can place excessive strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), potentially leading to TMJD. It is important to address malocclusions to prevent the development or worsening of TMJ-related issues.
Q. How long does treatment for overbites or underbites usually take?
A. The duration of treatment varies depending on the severity of the malocclusion and the chosen treatment method. Orthodontic treatment typically lasts between 12 to 36 months, while orthognathic surgery may require a more extended period for recovery.