Overbite is a common orthodontic condition, but moderate to severe overbite — also known as a deep bite — can lead to other medical issues. Untreated deep bites can lead to persistent jaw pain and even disrupt sleep. Most importantly, they cause the upper and lower teeth to exert pressure on one another, leading to wear and damage. You may have heard that bite ramps can fix problems with jaw alignment and help you bite correctly. So what are bite ramps, and how do they work on aligners?
What Exactly Is a Bite Ramp?
A bite ramp is a small orthodontic appliance attachable to the back of the upper front teeth or, in some cases, to the posterior teeth. In most cases, they are attached directly to the top incisors and worn in conjunction with braces. Orthodontists can also affix them directly to Invisalign or SPARK aligners. Once attached, bite ramps prevent patients from biting down completely.
Bite ramps can fix various bite issues, but orthodontists commonly employ them to fix deep bites. Patients wear them until they correct the misalignment at the root of a deep bite.
How Do Bite Ramps Work on Your Teeth?
Bite ramps work by slowly bringing your teeth into proper alignment to correct overbite and other bite issues. They are typically placed on the upper front teeth. Once attached, they prevent the front teeth from closing completely and force patients to bite correctly.
The posterior teeth won’t meet when the bite ramps are installed initially. Over time, the pressure causes the jaw to move back into its proper position, the front teeth to move up and back, and the posterior teeth to drift closer together. When correct jaw alignment is achieved, the posterior teeth will be able to touch again.
If your back teeth can touch while you’re wearing newly installed ramps, consult with your orthodontist. Bite ramps must apply enough pressure to keep the back teeth apart.
Will Bite Ramps Be Painful?
Many patients wearing bite ramps experience some initial discomfort, gradually fading within a week or two. Once the teeth and jaws reach proper alignment, irritation and chewing issues also fade. Patients can easily treat this temporary discomfort with over-the-counter pain medications. Bite ramps can correct orthodontic problems requiring much more extensive treatments in the long term, so a few weeks of discomfort are well worth the final results.
Do Invisalign Bite Ramps Treat a Severe Deep Bite?
Braces are not your only treatment option if you have a deep overbite — Invisalign bite ramps are a great option to treat severe deep bites! On their own, invisible retainers work by moving the teeth back into their proper position. They perform the same function as braces in a discreet manner.
In some cases, moving the teeth back into proper alignment can fix deep bites on its own. If misaligned teeth cause a patient’s deep bite, pushing them back into their proper places could be an effective treatment. That is why not all clear aligners come with bite ramps.
Many patients need orthodontic appliances that can apply pressure to their jaw to achieve correct alignment. In such cases, orthodontists might recommend bite ramps for clear aligners. Invisalign bite ramps are molded directly on the back of clear Invisalign aligners. They are custom positioned and designed to be most effective for each patient. They are recommended for severe deep bites, but not all clear aligners come with bite ramps. Understanding the cause of your deep bite can help you understand why your orthodontist might recommend bite ramps as part of the treatment process.
What Causes a Deep Bite?
A deep bite is a severe form of overbite. It occurs when the top teeth overlap the lower front teeth by more than four millimeters. Over time, it can lead to damage to the anterior teeth.
Several different factors can cause a deep bite. Genetic factors can lead to misaligned jaws, which can, in turn, create a deep bite. Missing, crowded, or broken teeth can also force the upper and lower teeth to fit incorrectly, leading to severe deep bites. Habits like grinding teeth can also contribute to this orthodontic condition. Since deep bites can cause jaw pain and contribute to other medical issues, orthodontists typically recommend bite ramps for effective treatment.
Do All Patients Qualify for Bite Ramps?
In many cases, patients do not require bite ramps. Adding bite ramps to an aligner is only necessary if you have a deep overbite. Orthodontists can use X-rays to determine whether bite ramps are necessary.
Some patients only have a mild deep bite in which the top teeth overlap the lower teeth by about two millimeters. In such cases, clear aligners can often correct bite issues without the aid of bite ramps as they move the teeth back into proper alignment. Orthodontists only consider bite ramps when dealing with moderate to severe deep bites.
If you are concerned about your overbite, talk to your orthodontist to determine whether bite ramps should be part of your treatment plan. A slight overbite is common and may not require treatment, but anything more than a moderate deep bite is cause for concern.
Bite Ramps Are Now Available for SPARK Aligners, Too!
SPARK aligners have become our clear aligner of choice here at Loudoun Orthodontics. Like Invisalign aligners, they are effective for deep bite correction. However, they offer advantages beyond typical bite ramps. Since SPARK aligners are highly customizable, they can feature incredibly efficient bite ramps. Bite ramps for SPARK aligners are molded to each tooth so they can apply pressure to fix deep bites in the most effective way for every patient!
The customizability of SPARK aligners also allows them to maximize both effectiveness and patient comfort. They are molded closely to each tooth’s surface, resulting in a product that fits snugly over the teeth with few sharp-edged protrusions. SPARK aligners are an excellent option for younger patients or patients who struggle with discomfort and irritation when wearing orthodontic appliances. If you need bite ramps to correct deep overbite but are concerned about how they will feel, ask your orthodontist about SPARK aligners!
Let Loudoun Orthodontics Help You With Your Deep Bite Correction!
Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think that bite ramps may be a solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of bite ramps or simply have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a free consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!