Overjet vs. Overbite, What Is the Difference?

Misaligned upper and lower arches (the top and bottom sets of your teeth) can lead to periodontal infections and other health problems, even if the teeth are otherwise straight. Two of the biggest mismatches are known as an overbite and an overjet.

As WebMD explains https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/teeth-straightening/overjet-versus-overbite:

  • An overbite with the upper arch sticking out over the lower 2-4 mm is actually normal, allowing the teeth to tear something while chewing, like an apple or pizza. But more than that needs correction to avoid problems with chewing, digestion, speaking, and impact of the teeth against each other that wears down their protective enamel surfaces. An overbite can even result in sleep apnea, an unconscious disruption of sleep that has serious health implications.
  • An overjet refers to an overbite which also has the front teeth protruding outward (“buck teeth”). This can be genetic or caused by lengthy childhood thumb-sucking or use of a pacifier and can make it difficult to close the lips, in some cases changing the shape of the face. This can cause a loss of self-confidence, as well as the other problems that an overbite can create. 

The good news is that Dr. Cluff can correct both overbites and overjet’s with a variety of approaches. The most important is that she is one of the few specialists in FastBraces. These have the same benefits of traditional orthodontic braces, but take less than six months to move teeth to their ideal positions, compared with the normal two to three years. This is due to the fact that FastBraces use a patented technology that has been tested for 25 years to move the root (bottom) and the crown (top) of each tooth at the same time, while traditional braces reposition the crown first, then later the root. FastBraces also have smoother wires that do not cut the gums like the others, are smaller so they can be cleaned easier, and they require fewer visits to the dentist for adjustments.

Other cosmetic dental technologies can help change the appearance and correct some misalignment. One is dental bonding: this is a tooth-colored resin that can be formed by Dr. Cluff to cover gaps, chips, cracks, and stains and improve the appearance of teeth that are misshapen or too small, so that teeth impact each other in a normal way. Veneers are made of cosmetic dental porcelain and can also address the same problems as bonding, but are much stronger and last longer. Dental crowns cover the worn-down or damaged top of a tooth, protecting it from further harm and holding it together, significantly improving a healthy alignment of the upper and lower arches. 

Set an appointment today to have Dr. Cluff provide a thorough examination of your overall dental health and advise if you need treatment for an overbite over overjet.