Overbite – All you need to know

Overbite is a common dental condition where your upper and lower dental arches have a gap or overlap between them. Normally, the top teeth are positioned a little distance over the lower teeth but when this distance is excessive, it leads to a dental problem called an overbite. This gap can cause serious overbite issues but your dentist can correct this condition as there are various options available.

People with overbite issues often seek treatment as they usually feel self-conscious about their appearance. After the treatment, their face shape changes as the jaw will now protrude to the front but not in excess. It will also resolve the headaches, pain in the jaw and face which might be caused due to exerting force pushing your jaws to the back and putting pressure on nerves and blood circulation.

In this article we would like to address the following

  • What is an overbite ?
  • How can an overbite be treated ?
  • What is the difference between a deep, normal, and severe overbite?
  • What kind of treatment options are available for this malocclusion?
Overbite treatment in London - Invisalign London

Are you struggling with this problem and it’s giving you a concern? if so, keep reading as you will find answers to your overbite solution on this page.

What is an overbite?

An overbite can be defined as an overlap, either horizontally or vertically between the front teeth of the upper and lower dental arches.

The horizontal overbite is also called an overjet which occurs when the top teeth are seen projecting at the front of the mouth. Should the protrusion be visible or pronounced it might be referred by some people as “buck teeth” but we won’t use this term here. Sometimes you can also have an overbite along with an open bite, meaning there is a vertical gap between top and bottom teeth.

Normal overbite – vertical overlap measuring 2-4mm

Deep overbite / Deep bite – vertical overlap is between 4 – 6mm or more

Severe bite – upper jaw may cover the lower teeth entirely and may even penetrate the lower gum

There can be an overbite which both horizontal and vertical at the same time. In this condition, your upper teeth stretch further at the front of your mouth and sit over the bottom front teeth lower than usual.

What are the causes of overbite?

Some of the common reasons for an overbite are :

  • Nail-biting
  • Genetics
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Continous thumb sucking in childhood
  • A poorly-developed jaw during the fetal stage
  • Continuous chewing of hard on objects like pens and pencils
  • Overuse of a feeding bottle or dummy as a baby

What are the different types of overbite?

There are two kinds of overbite :

  • Skeletal Overbite – causes by irregularities formed during jaw bone development
  • Dental Overbite – caused by dental issues during the development of baby or adult teeth. For example, overcrowding of teeth or pressure applied from sucking of the thumb, etc.

Difference between Overbite VS Underbite :

An overbite is where your upper front teeth overlap your lower front teeth.

Whereas an underbite, also called prognathism is where your upper front teeth sit behind your lower front teeth. This is treated differently than overbite.

Is overbite harmful or why you need to treat overbite?

Are you a case of overjet or deep bite and need treatment? to simplify this matter, the British Orthodontic Society has a classification system (IOTN) for orthodontic issues in children. The table below shows the different conditions and treatment required for each type of overbite.


Types of overbite Size Cause Braces needed? Surgery needed?
Normal 2 to 4mm Typically dental-related Not likely Highly unlikely
Deep 4 to 8mm Can be dental or skeletal Very likely Not likely
Severe 9mm and above Can be dental or skeletal Yes Likely

If left untreated Overmigth may cause many issues like :

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Poor face structure
  • Rapid wearing down of teeth
  • Impaired speech
  • Temp or omandibular joint(TMJ) disorders
  • Pain or discomfort in the face

It’s best to have overbite corrected as early as possible as it is far more comfortable and easier to get good results if you get the treatment done in childhood than in adulthood – as with time the jawbones get developed it makes it more difficult to realignment.

Some people who suffer from overbite are put off by the treatment cost, or the treatment process which normally involves either getting long-term braces, putting retainer for an extended period, or getting surgery. However, one should note that the perks of treating misaligned teeth will be far better than the temporary discomfort you will feel during the treatment and it worth the money spent when you get your beautifully straight smile!

How to correct Overbite?

If you have normal overbite i.e 2-4mm gap then there is no need for correction. However, if the gap is more than dentist might recommend few options depending on the severity of your case

Braces for Overbite :

Treating overbite with braces is a popular method in London and UK. The braces treatment option is very effective and when accompanied with retainer fitting it gives long last results. Using braces to correct overbite takes anywhere between 1-4 years.

Most people who don’t like the idea of traditional braces can now opt for a private orthodontic treatment where you can now get clear braces that are almost invisible so that no one can easily notice to say you are undergoing treatment.

It’s helpful if at your consultation for overbite you not only ask the dentist about benefits, side effects, and procedure of braces treatment but also to show you before and after pictures of an overbites brace treatment. This would not only motivate you but also make you realise the difference braces treatment can bring despite of the temporary discomfort you may experience in course of the treatment.

Treating overbite with Invisalign

Invisalign aligners are a popular choice and appealing option for many when it comes to fixing overbite problems. Invisalign braces are invisible clear aligners that very effective in fixing mild to moderate cases of overbite. These aligners are very comfortable and also removable so that you can take them off for eating, drinking, brushing, or any special occasion. The aligners correct your overbite by exerting small and gentle pressure against your teeth to move them gradually to the right position and correcting your overbite. After every two weeks, patients switch to a new set of aligners provided by the dentist.

Compared to traditional braces Invisalign serve as a better and faster option. However, it doesn’t mean metal braces aren’t good or effective. Invisalign is a modern way to correct overbite and is a quicker solution that works, plus with an added benefit that it’s discreet so no one will know and it is removable which make the entire treatment process hassle free and more appealing to patients. Invisalign is not offered via NHS, yet so many parents are happy to go for this option privately and pay the additional price to get their children the clear braces options instead of metal braces to protect their self-confidence. Even among adults, Invisalign has a growing demand and it is one of the most popular teeth straightening options because of its benefits as it lets you get on with normal lives without anyone noticing and making the whole treatment journey comfortable.

If you want Invisalign braces to correct overbite In London then you can book a consultation with our Invisalign dentist at NW1 Dental Care and take a FREE smile assessment to know if you are suitable for Invisalign overbite correction. Our dentist will access your condition, answer all your questions and show you a 3d preview of how your teeth will move after the Invisalign treatment so you can see your transformation before committing to the treatment.

You’ll find lots of information about Invisalign on our website. If you’re ready to arrange a free no-obligation consultation, please get in touch.

Surgery to fix overbite

For correcting skeletal overbite issues a jaw surgery is required which is known as orthognathic surgery.  With this, your poorly developed lower jaw or mandible can be surgically reshaped and your face will have a different look post-operation.

In the UK, overbite surgery is free on NHS for children who are dragonised to be qualified for it. However, even adults with severe malocclusion may qualify for NHS treatment based on their fees.

An overbite surgery will normally have the following elements :

  • Extracting few teeth
  • Repositioning your jaw
  • Putting screw into jaw
  • Fixing plates around the jaw

As all the work is carried out inside your mouth you don’t get any post-surgical scare to worry about. After the surgery, you might be asked to stay overnight at the hospital and for the next 2-4 weeks avoid any strenuous work which means take time off work or school. Also, for better alignment of your teeth, you might be required to take more o orthodontic work pre and post-surgery.

Retainer for Overbite

After correcting your overbite with braces or Invisalign clear aligner, patients are required to put a retainer after the treatment to stop the teeth from any movement from the desired new position and hold it back from slipping into the old place.

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