Over bite as the name suggests is when maxillary teeth extend and crosses mandibular dentition. Over bite is sometimes referred to as buck teeth. In orthodontics, overbite is the most commonly occurring malocclusion and is seen among 70 percent of children.

Medically speaking, overbite is the amount of vertical overlap of maxillary anterior (central incisors) over the mandibular anterior. The normal overbite is 3 to 5 mm and when it crosses 5 mm then the condition is termed as abnormal overbite.


Types of overbite

Overbite can be further classified into various types.

 

Dental overbite is the condition due to irregular spacing between teeth. It is corrected by using orthodontic braces.

Skeletal overbite is due to abnormal placement of the maxilla. Here the whole maxilla protrudes and crosses the mandible.

Vertical overbite is when the maxillary central incisors overlap the mandibular central incisors vertically.

Horizontal overbite is the excess protrusion of maxillary anterior and is also termed as overjet.


Reasons that may lead to overbite

There are varying reasons that might lead to over bite. Few of them are:

Thumb sucking: As a result of thumb sucking, the upper central incisors are pushed forward thereby leading to overbite. Especially if the child continues with this habit even after attaining an age of 2 years then the chances of overbite increases. Some other oral habits that might lead to overbite are nail biting, pencil chewing and tongue thrusting.

Hereditary reasons for overbite: Many a times it is seen that children born to parents with one or the other malocclusion also suffer from same condition. The similar thing implies for overbite. Child born to overbite parents has much more tendency to develop overbite.


Symptoms of overbite

Child suffering from overbite comes up with the following symptoms:

  1. Difficulty while eating especially while consuming chewy foods like pizza, chocolate etc.

  2. If the condition is left untreated, then it can lead to chronic headaches and TMJ problems.

  3. Jaw bone can also be penalized.

  4. Due to the increased pressure on lower central incisors, there is accelerated wear and tear of the enamel.

  5. Chances of tooth decay with respect to anterior tooth increases.

  6. The child may find it difficult to pronounce certain words.

  7. Also lowers the self esteem of the sufferer.


Treatment of Dental overbite

 

To prevent any further complications, overbite should be treated at early stages. Dental overbite is only due to mal positioning of upper and lower teeth. Here are some of the modalities used to treat overbite:

If overbite is due to poor oral habits like thumb sucking and nail biting then steps can be taken to eradicate them. For e.g. coating a bitter substance on thumbs or pencil tips. Due to the bitter taste, child will gradually slow down the habit of thumb sucking or nail biting.

Use of functional appliances: If the overbite is due to under growth of mandible then functional appliance can accelerate the growth of lower jaw. They are effective at an age group of 7 to 9 years.


Classic orthodontic treatment for overbite

Classic orthodontic treatment is divided into two stages and roughly takes around two years for its completion. Here brackets and bands are used for anterior and posterior teeth respectively.

Stage one: In this stage, braces are used to align the teeth. This stage is also called leveling and aligning.

Stage two: After the teeth are leveled and aligned, the upper teeth are pulled backward while bottoms teeth are pushed forward to achieve proper alignment. The results can be achieved by the use of rubber bands, Nickel titanium (Ni-Ti) coils, springs and rarely headgears.


Treatment of Skeletal overbite

In some cases, the overbite is due to skeletal reasons. Under such conditions, jaw surgery is the only way out. A team of oral surgeons, orthodontists and prosthodontists is required to perform the surgery. A careful evaluation is required before performing the surgery. Either the maxilla in pushed backward or the mandible is pulled forward or it can be both, till the correct occlusion isn’t achieved.


Cost of the treating overbite

Treatment cost depend upon various factors like the region from where you are getting the treatment done, specialization of the dentist (general dentist will charge less while a specialized will be charging more). Also braces treatment for overbite will be less costly as compared to dental surgery.

Keeping all these factors in mind the average cost for treatment of “dental overbite” ranges from 3000 to 6000 USD while the treatment cost for treating “skeletal overbite” varies from 20000 to 30000 USD.


 

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