How Orthodontics Can Fix Crooked Teeth, Bite Problems and Other Dental Issues

Feel confident again with a new smile through orthodontic treatment

Who is an orthodontist? Why and when do you need one?

Crooked teeth can affect confidence and make you reluctant to flaunt the beautiful smile. However, you can get it fixed by seeking professional help and consulting an orthodontist.

An orthodontist is someone who has specialised in diagnosing, preventing, and treating the facial irregularities caused by dental issues. Depending on the situation, they offer a wide range of treatments. These options can help in straightening crooked teeth, alignment, abnormal bite, and jaws.

After concluding the basic dentist’s degree, an orthodontist further does an additional three-year-long training. They receive formal training to take care of dental and aesthetic problems. Hence, for adults or children who need to get braces, clear aligners or Invisalign, an orthodontist can best guide them.


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What orthodontist treatment options are available?

Having elaborate experience and expertise in treating abnormal tooth movements and facial irregularities, they will be able to suggest orthodontic treatment options which are most suitable for you.

After conducting a detailed examination of the misaligned teeth, the dental health practitioner will be better able to design a proper treatment plan. Some popular treatment options on how to fix crooked teeth are:

  • fixed and removable plates
  • braces made of metals
  • braces made of ceramic
  • Invisible (lingual) braces
  • clear aligners

Crooked teeth: What can be the cause of it?

Primary or permanent teeth can grow out crooked, or can become like that over time. Sometimes, primary or baby teeth can come out in a crooked position because their size is smaller than the gum space allocated to them. Other than that, genetics and heredity might also play a role in this.

Moreover, having a habit of sucking your thumb or pacifier, which is quite common among kids, can lead to crooked teeth. Having crooked primary teeth does not mean that the permanent teeth will be crooked as well. But if the baby teeth grow out to be crowded with less spacing, there is a high chance for the permanent teeth to look like that as well.

If any trauma or tooth decay leads to one or more baby teeth to fall out sooner than the actual timeline, the permanent teeth grow out slanted rather than straight aligned.

Other reasons for primary teeth that can lead to crooked permanent teeth are: The size of the jaw

Due to jaws being smaller, hence having less space, issues like bite problems, misaligned and crooked teeth can occur.

Repeated myofunctional habits

Myofunctional habits, which are repeated behaviors involving functions and muscles, can also lead to crooked teeth. These behavioral patterns include: - sucking the thumb - prolonged use of pacifier or bottle - tongue thrusting and mouth breathing

Misaligned jaw or ‘malocclusion’

Misaligned jaw, referred to as malocclusion, can also be the cause of crooked teeth. Naturally, the upper jaw must slightly fit over the lower teeth while the points of the upper molars fit in the grooves of the lower. Malocclusion occurs when this alignment does not occur.

Common misalignments are: - Overbite: Upper front-teeth protruding out further from the lower front teeth. - Under-bite: Front lower teeth jutting out further than upper teeth.

Heredity and genetic issues

Genetics can also play a part in crooked teeth. It means that if your parents have misaligned teeth, you might have them too.

Neglected oral hygiene and dental care

If you are not seeing the dentist regularly, cavities and gum diseases can go unnoticed. It can also result in crooked teeth and other related dental health problems.

Poor or inadequate nutrition

Poor or inadequate nutrition, particularly in children, can cause tooth decay and abnormal dental development.

Facial injuries

Any unfortunate incident or a hit to face or teeth can also result in crooked teeth, bite problems and teeth spacing.


Abnormal bite: causes, complications, and treatment

Abnormal bite issues can fall under these three cases:

  • When bite is normal but lower teeth slightly overlap the top.
  • Overbite: When upper front-teeth protruding out further from the lower front teeth.
  • Under-bite: When front lower teeth jutting out further than upper teeth

Depending on the situation, the dentist/orthodontist might recommend:

  • Braces to fix the alignment
  • Removing teeth to fix overcrowding
  • Surgery for reshaping and shortening to the jaw
  • Bonding, reshaping or capping
  • Wires and plates for the stabilization of jawbone

The treatment of bite problems also depends on other complications. These complications can be pain, tooth decay, irritation caused by installation of devices like braces and difficulty with chewing.


What are some of the problems affiliated with abnormal bite and crooked teeth?

Some of the complications associated with crooked teeth, teeth spacing and abnormal bite are:

  • It can interfere with proper chewing.
  • Cleaning teeth can be a problem, leading to cavities, gingivitis and tooth decay.
  • It can increase the straining to the tooth and jaw, which can cause broken teeth in the longer run.
  • It can affect confidence, as it can make a person conscious about their self-esteem.

Excessive spacing between teeth: What are the causes and how to get it treated

‘Diastema’ or excessive gap between teeth can be caused by tooth loss, accident or discrepancies between tooth and jaw size. It is imperative to take timely action so that excessive gaps are closed and teeth do not shift out of their position. One might or might not need treatment for this situation, depending on the underlying cause for it. It is usually a cosmetic issue and not linked to gum disease.

The most common treatment for diastema is braces. They put pressure on teeth and slowly move them. If you do not want to go for braces, consider cosmetic procedures. The gaps between the teeth can be treated via bonding and veneers as well. They can also help treat chipped and cracked teeth, giving you a more confident smile.

If you have a gap between teeth because the gums above the upper teeth extend further, a surgery can help correct it by removing excess tissue. You may also need braces to close the gaps fully.

If you also have any gum disease, you must get it treated by scaling or root planing first to contain the infection; before getting treatment for the tooth gap. In case of severe gum disease, you may need surgery to remove the extensive tartar first.


What are the treatment options for crooked teeth?

The following orthodontic treatment options can be considered for fixing crooked teeth.

Metal braces

Fixed metal braces are attached directly to the teeth with brackets, bands and a wire which is flexible. For people with more complex dental alignment, braces will be a better choice.

In some cases, headgear might also be recommended to fix braces. Over time, metal braces have evolved. Now they make use of less metal and smaller brackets. They even come with colorful bands and are comparatively comfortable.

Ceramic braces

Braces made of ceramics and arch-wires are clear, or the same color as the teeth. Due to that, they do not stand out like metallic brackets.

The straightening process is the same for both. However, ceramic brackets are more prone to breakage. They generally cost between $3,500 to $8,000.

Invisible braces

Invisalign or invisible braces cannot be seen and are meant to be worn by adults and teenagers only. They are custom-made to fit the size of the mouth and fit on the teeth like a guard. They have to be removed and replaced two times monthly. They cost between $6000 to $9000, but start as little as $1800!

Lingual braces

The lingual braces are another form of invisible teeth. Lingual surface is the side of the teeth facing the tongue. They are the same as metallic braces, however, they are attached to the backside of the teeth. They are not for everyone, primarily because they are expensive. Average lingual braces cost $5,000 to $13,000.

Surgery

A surgical procedure is another option, usually a last resort, for teeth straightening and bite problems. A dentist might suggest surgery to reposition bones and gums that hold the teeth.

A surgical procedure is an orthodontic treatment that can cut the braces time in half. They can also recommend an orthognathic surgery, which is a surgical procedure to completely realign the jaw. The cost for these surgeries depend on the condition and location of the teeth and may be expensive.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to fix alignment of the teeth with aligners?

Average time for aligner treatments is between 12 to 18 months. However, it is highly dependent on tooth movements and varies case to case. The time might be shorter than 12 months for small movements. However, if you do not wear the aligners for the recommended 22 hours long span daily, the treatment time might be extended as well.

What is the average cost of the braces?

The cost of braces depends on the initial examination of the teeth. Depending on that and your preference, the average cost of different types of braces is:

  • the cost of metal braces is between $6,000 – $9,000
  • the cost of ceramic braces is between $6,500 – $9,500
  • the price range of lingual braces is between $9,500 – $15,000
  • the expenditure on clear aligners can range from $6,000 to $9,000.

Can adults get braces? If so, what options are available for them?

Even though getting braces earlier is recommended, adults can also get braces and they have a wide range of orthodontic treatment optinos to choose from. Some options on how to fix crooked teeth in adults are:

  • Conventional metal braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Clear plastic aligners
  • Self-ligating braces
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