Parma and the surrounding communities have a large contingent of people of European descent. This population exhibits a high percentage of patients with overbites, or small lower jaws in relation to their upper jaw. Although this is not a life-threatening affliction it can impact a patient’s quality of life from a functional and aesthetics standpoint.
Most patients who have an overbite have a bad bite which can lead to TMJ problems and a multitude of dental problems. There are currently two techniques to correct this skeletal malformation. The surgical technique involves sectioning the lower jaw and repositioning it down and forward. Although an accepted practice this technique can result in a number of post operative complications.
The most conservative technique is performed with orthotic appliances which repositions the lower jaw to its ideal physiologic position and allows muscular adaptation as well as bony changes to occur resulting in an ideal bite.
Although this technique will work on patients of any age, the most efficacious time is when the patient is undergoing a pubertal growth spurt. (see Early Treatment information). Current literature confirms this technique as being an effective and viable treatment for correction of overbites. In most cases orthodontic treatment is required after the repositioning procedure is completed to stabilize and finalize the patient’s bite. This orthodontic treatment will also enhance a patient’s smile so it has a two-fold effect. We treat overbites with functional orthopedic appliances. These removable appliances correct skeletal misalignments and allow proper growth and development of the upper and lower jaw. Proper relationship of the jaws can have major seemingly unrelated benefits. We see children with chronic ear problems achieve dramatic reduction in ear infections by bringing their lower jaw down and forward. An article published in 1990 showed 10 out of 10 chronic bed-wetters stopped after only a few months of palatal expansion. A study published in 1998 showed orthopedic treatment to be 80% effective in reducing or stopping bed wetting. Contrary to old orthodontic theories, treatment should be initiated on children as young as 3 years of age, that is because 80% of jaw growth occurs by the age of 8.
If you or someone you love has an overbite which they would like corrected please contact our office for a no-charge consultation.