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What is ‘overjet’ and how can it be fixed?

If you have an issue with the way your teeth bite together that is making you feel self-conscious, it’s almost certainly something that can be fixed by a specialist orthodontist.

The terminology around dentistry can sometimes be confusing, so here’s a brief guide to what we call ‘overjet’.


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What is ‘overjet’?

Overjet describes what happens when the top front teeth point outwards, or protrude, over the bottom teeth towards the lip. It is also known as ‘protrusion’. In the past it was common to call it ‘buck teeth’.

Protruded upper teeth are often due to having a lower jaw that’s underdeveloped in proportion to the upper jaw.

This condition can cause embarrassment and self-consciousness, and people with overjet often try to hide their teeth when they smile.

Is overjet the same as ‘overbite’?

Overjet is different to ‘overbite’, although the two terms are often confused.

They are similar in that both conditions involve the top front teeth coming over the bottom teeth.

Overjet is to do with the extent of the horizontal angle of the top teeth, compared with the bottom ones (in other words, how much they are jutting out towards the lip rather than pointing straight downwards).

Overbite is concerned with how much the top teeth are over-lapping the bottom teeth - it might just be a few millimetres of overlap, or the top teeth might cover the bottom set. This can expose the teeth to more wear, as the lower teeth hit the back of the upper teeth when chewing.

To book a free consultation and find out the options for improving your smile:

Call us on 020 3828 7116 or email smile@metamorphosisorthodontics.com

Can overjet cause problems?

A protrusion like this can expose the teeth to a higher risk of getting damaged by an impact, for example, if you have an accident.

The way the jaws and teeth are aligned with overjet can cause issues with chewing, especially on the back teeth (molars), as well as uneven wear-and-tear on the teeth.

It can also affect your appearance and self esteem.

What treatment can fix overjet?

Braces can fix an overjet by gently coaxing the teeth into a straighter position.

There are many different types of braces, including discreet and invisible options.

Fixed braces have brackets that are attached to the teeth, then connected with wires. Many modern designs have discreet clear ceramic brackets. A new generation of fixed brace treatment called Damon Braces is faster, discreet and more comfortable thanks to a sliding mechanism over the bracket that helps to reduce friction.

Lingual braces, which are also fixed, are fitted behind the teeth which makes them invisible. These are really popular with people who, due to many different reasons, don’t want their braces to be seen at all.

Removable braces are also available, such as Invisalign - a clear brace that is tailor-made to fit exactly over your teeth and can barely be seen. They are worn for most of the day and night but can be removed for eating and cleaning.

A trained orthodontist can assess your situation and talk you through the specific options.

What can I do next?

Talk to a trusted expert!

Each individual case is different, and a specialist orthodontist can offer a bespoke solution that looks at what you want to achieve, and takes your whole situation into account.

It’s important to choose someone with the experience and expertise to help you through the process.

To book a free consultation and find out the options for improving your smile:

Call us on 020 3828 7116 or email smile@metamorphosisorthodontics.com

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