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  1. 1. I HAVE A VERY LARGE OVERJET/OVERBITEPeople have many types of dental smile, be they beautiful or ugly there are manytypes in the dental spectrum. Most fall within the normal ranges, but some will falloutside the spectrum and are called malocclusions.In a series of dental articles, Dr Raj Kumar will try to explain what dentalmalocclusions are, how you get them and how to get them treated.He has over 20 years of dental and cosmetic experience and is well versed intreatments that are tried and tested. He will give an unbiased view on how Invisaligncan help in most orthodontic problems with before and after examples.Don’t call me an overbite! I’m an overjet!!In a normal bite the upper and lower teeth are usually close to each other and withabout 2-4mm of vertical overlap. The vertical overlap is called overbite and theamount the teeth stick out horizontally is called an overjet.In the case below the overbite is about 2mm and the overjet is about 1mm.I will discuss overbites in another article, but most people get confused and call theiroverjet problem an overbite.The overjet is usually anything that is greater than 4mm which would require treating.The teeth may look fine from the front but it’s the side view that is most obvious.How did I get an overjet?There are many reasons and I have listed most: 1 Patient may have been a digit sucker as a child. The thumb or finger prevents the teeth from developing and meeting together; this is termed a tooth discrepancy 2 Having a dummy in the mouth for prolonged periods as a child can cause an overjet 3 The action of digit sucking can prevent the lower jaw from growing forwards and also push the upper jaw up and forward instead; this is termed a jaw discrepancy
  2. 2. 4 The afflicted may be called Goofy, Duck face, Chinless wonder etc 5 Chewing on a pen/nails as an adult can also create a small overjet 6 Where there is a jaw discrepancy the teeth can only be pulled together so much. Sometimes jaw repositioning surgery is needed 7 Sometimes you can inherit the flared teeth from your family 8 Sometimes the jaw discrepancy is also inherited 9 Tongue thrust can also cause the teeth to be pushed outwards 10 The side and back teeth can collapse inwards towards the tongue, even after orthodontic treatment and push the front teeth outwardsMy dentist told me that I need my jaw broken and reset to correct my overjetPatients with extreme overjets greater than 10mm/1 cm may have a situation wherethe lower jaw is set back and their side profile is not great.The jaw difference can be corrected once the teeth are pulled inwards but mostpatients do not opt for surgery. The lower jaw is broken and then positioned forwardto meet the upper jaw. The jaws are splinted with metal braces for about 6 weekswhilst the jaw sets.This is an extreme treatment and is not recommended except in extreme cases wherethe facial appearance is obvious.Most patients have full lower lips that mask the lower jaw position. Most patients arehappy just top get straight teeth insteadWill Invisalign help me?Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment and will help reduce the overjet. In cases ofextreme overjet it is recommended that you get help from a very experiencedInvisalign dentist.The teeth are gently pulled inwards to meet the lower teeth. It is possible that thelower teeth may also need correcting before the overjet can be reduced.I regularly treat patients with very large overjets (12mm) and find no problems withInvisalign. It takes about 15 months but the results speak for themselves.
  3. 3. This is a case treated by myself over 15 months. No teeth were removed in this caseas we had spaces at the front.The ideal anterior occlusion has been achieved with Invisalign and a little planning.ConclusionHaving a large overjet should not stop you living a happy life. But if it gets on yournerves then Invisalign can definitely help. Be prepared for about 12 months oftreatment, but what is 1 year out of a lifetime of happiness?Dr Raj Kumar BDSLDSRCS Clinical Speaker for Invisalign