Will Filing of Teeth Help in Correcting Overbite?

I have been wearing braces for about 10 months now but the overbite is not yet corrected. The dentist is talking about removing the braces in another 1 month or so. When I pointed out that the overbite is not corrected on the front tooth, he mentioned that he will do filing on my next sitting and that filing will correct the overbite? Will it do so? Is there any side effects of filing? Or will wearning braces for longer time resolve the overbite without filing?

Doctor Answers 4

The term "overbite" may mean different things

Often patients say "overbite" when they mean "overlap", which is normal and desired.  Depending on what you mean and what your situation is, it is possible that your orthodontist is right and some minor contouring will correct your concern.  A photo would really help us determine how to help.

Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Filing front teeth to correct an underbite

If the amount of remaining overbite is small, filing may be able to correct it.  However, if it is large, filing alone may not suffice.  Finling, also known as "slenderizing", is safe and does not hurt your teeth if done in moderation.  Has your orthodontist asked you to wear rubber bands to correct the overibte?  Sometimes if a patient doesn't wear their rubber bands enough, slenderizing the upper front teeth may be the only way to finish correcting the overbite.

Brian Povolny, DDS, PhD
Seattle Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Filing to Correct an Overbite

An "overbite" in dental speak refers to the overlap (in a vertical direction) of the upper front teeth over the lower front teeth.  The ideal amount of overlap would cover1/4 of your lower front teeth while biting on your back teeth. Assuming this is what you are referring to and assuming your dentist/orthodontist is suggesting filing your front tooth/teeth to decrease this vertical overlap this is NOT a good way to solve this problem. It is the quickest and easiest way to do it however.

Brad Lockhart, DDS
Tustin Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Will filing the teeth correct overbite?

In certain circumstances, removal of some enamel between tooth surfaces (particularly the front teeth) can be effective in helping to correct overbite.  If your bite is very deep, filing (otherwise typically known as "interproximal reduction") may not be very effective.  If your bite is open, it can be helpful.  Interproximal reduction is commonly used when there is a proportionate tooth size discrepancy between the teeth.  Commonly a person might start with more crowding between the teeth in the lower jaw because relatively speaking, the lower front teeth are proportionately wider than the top front teeth.  In situations such as this, your dentist/orthodontist could choose to either build up small upper incisor teeth or file between the lower front teeth to reduce the proportionate disparity.  Another thought - if you are referring to "overbite" as space between top and bottom front teeth - you may want to inquire about the use of elastic bands to help with this situation.  Good question!

Kara J. McCulloch, DMD
Mercer Island Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.