Among all of the various issues that can affect a person’s teeth, an overbite is among the most common. In some cases, the overlap is of such a minor nature that patients give it little attention. In more extreme instances, however, the overbite is so significant that it requires treatment. That, of course, leads to the obvious question: how are overbites fixed? Dr. Karen Kang, a dentist in Midtown West, can help you to learn more about your dental issues, and provide the care you need to correct this and other dental issues.
This problem can come in two varieties: the horizontal overbite and the vertical overbite. With the horizontal type, the top teeth actually protrude father out than the bottom. With the vertical overbite, the top teeth partially overlap the bottom. This can be caused by either a dental issue or a skeletal defect with the jaw. Dentists have to know which problem you are suffering from to know how to treat it.
For the more moderate forms of overbite, retainers such as the Invisalign system are used to correct the issue. During such treatments, a retainer is worn for most of the day to help move the teeth into their proper alignment. This can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more to take full effect. It is especially effective in the milder cases of overbite, and can even help to move the jaw to its proper place as well.
Braces are a well-known option too. In fact, braces have long been the standard too employed by dental professionals for correcting these misalignments. Typically, the bracing process focuses first on getting the teeth straight, and then moves on to correcting the overbite. This is the option most commonly used with severe overbite issues, and can take up to two years to complete.
Surgery is often the option of last resort, and for obvious reasons. However, this option is typically reserved for adults, since their bones are already set in place, fully grown, and less malleable than children’s. Adults who never had the opportunity to use braces often choose to get surgery as adults to correct jaw issues and teeth misalignment that were unaddressed in their formative years. Most dental professionals will avoid the surgical option until the patient is at least past the teen years.
If you have an overbite issue – or know someone who does, you should be aware of the risks associated with ignoring it. Severe overbites can often cause various speech problems, pain in the jaw line, and tooth enamel erosion. Though most people focus on these dental issues for aesthetic reasons, these health consequences cannot be ignored either.
Fortunately, Dr. Karen Kang can help you with this problem. While overbites are most easily corrected during childhood, the truth is that there are options for people of any age. As a result, your best bet is to contact your dental professional and make arrangements with him or her to discuss the best treatment options available for your unique needs.