Overjet Protruding, an oral condition
What is overjet protruding?
As with any health professional, the role of the orthodontist is about effective communication and delivering quality healthcare to individuals, families and communities. Since terms and language reflect actual history, we look back on the past, and are taken aback by the bluntness of terms spoken in “less sensitive” days. For most terms in medicine, there are three categories of nomenclature (names or words for something) that things fall into:
- Old Form
- Common Parlance
- Worker’s Slang
In this case, the Old Form would make reference to the extent of the vertical (superior-inferior) overlap of the maxillary central incisors over the mandibular central incisors, measured relative to the incisal ridges. Common Parlance would reference the condition as “overjet” or “overjet protruding” or just “protrusion.” But in the Worker’s Slang of less socially sensitive times, we would just call the oral condition “buck teeth.”
It is a misconception that overjet is a form of malocclusion (that is, a misalignment between the two dental arches), but refers instead to the relation between the two parts of the jaw, and how that relationship can be affected, leading to protruding upper front teeth.
Overjet has many possible causes, and often results from a number of these causes:
- The lower jaw being shorter or less developed than the upper jaw
- Childhood habits such as thumb and finger sucking which continue after permanent teeth come in
- Tongue thrusting caused from a muscular imbalance which causes the tongue to protrude through the teeth during swallowing, speech, or while at rest
When and Why should overjet be corrected?
As with all things, it is important to make whatever decision is right for you. At Roeder Orthodontics, we encourage early assessment of conditions such as overjet to prevent the need for more invasive corrections later in life.
Overjet correction can yield many benefits including:
- Correction of protruding front teeth will improve their function
- Aesthetically improve the look of the smile, helping boost self-confidence
- Correction may prevent and reduce permanent wear on other teeth
- Improves bite function, molar connection as well as incisor connection and dention. (Better connections for a better bites)
- Can help improve speech impediments caused by tongue thrusting
Even in cases of marginal overjet (with protrusion ranging between 3mm and 6 mm), there is an increased vulnerability of the front teeth to incidental damage or injury from falls, sporting collisions, and other accidents. Overjet correction can reduce this vulnerability, protecting the teeth with proper alignment of the entire jaw.
What are the orthodontic options to correct overjet protrusion?
Traditionally, “headgear” or “functional jaw appliances” had to be employed for such corrections. Today, in most cases, overjet can be treated simply with braces, with many options available.
Roeder Orthodontics offers traditional metal braces, clear braces for those who want to minimize the appearance of brackets, and ceramic braces with a range of color customization for people who like their smile to colorfully shine. Orthodontics have come a very long way since the days of Edward Angle and thankfully, we don’t use terms like “buck teeth” any longer.
For any questions about overjet protruding or orthodontic treatment, it is important your decisions informed with all the options available. Call us on 828-274-2500 or send us a message to schedule a complimentary consultation at our office in Asheville, NC.
Dr. Jeffrey Roeder will perform an initial examination and present you all possible options, including costs and estimated treatment times based on a cooperative model of communication and following recommendations as advised.