One of the most common dental problems is crooked teeth. However, as common as it may seem, there is no reason for you to disregard this and avoid treatment, as doing so can lead to more serious problems in the long run.
There is more to crooked teeth than meets the eye, so to arm you with the most important information that impacts on your oral health, we have provided the answers to the most commonly asked questions about crooked teeth.
1. What are the Types of Crooked Teeth?
While crooked teeth may be identified easily, there are differences that give way to various types, each showing characteristics that make one distinct from the others.
• Overbite – (buck teeth) this condition results from excessive over lapping of the top teeth to the lower teeth or the evident protrusion of the upper jaw beyond the lower jaw. When left untreated, it can worsen and lead to speech issues, teeth damage, jaw pain and difficulty when eating.
• Underbite – (square lower jaw) this is the opposite of overbite wherein the bottom teeth are the ones protruding over the top teeth. Overtime this can cause jaw pain, irregular wearing of teeth, tooth decay and serious gum disease
• Crossbite – this is a complex condition that is considered serious and requires immediate treatment. With crossbite, the back teeth on the top jaw bites inside the lower teeth, which can lead to more serious conditions such as gum problems, bone loss, or wearing down of the teeth, when left untreated.
• Crowding – one of the most common types of crooked teeth, it usually results from the size differences between the upper and lower jaw, but it can also be associated with the varying sizes of the teeth both leading to lack of space which causes the teeth to overlap or become crooked. Without proper management it may lead to bacterial infections in the mouth, gum problems, and tooth decay.
• Openbite – this is a condition that usually occurs when some teeth fail to connect with the opposite teeth the way they are supposed to do. One of the factors that lead to this condition is thumb-sucking, but it can also be acquired through genetics. If not treated, this can cause speech problems, difficulty when eating, headaches, and more serious conditions like temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ.
2. What are the Causes of Crooked Teeth?
Problems with crooked teeth occur as a result of different factors. Some of these include:
One of the most common causes of crooked teeth is genetics a factor which usually leaves a person with no choice but to deal with their inherited traits. Some of the dental traits that are passed on by the parents to their children include the size of the mouth and teeth.
There are certain habits formed during infancy that can affect dental health. Infants who have extended the habit of sucking their thumbs or those who use pacifiers until toddlerhood are more prone to having problems with crooked teeth as they grow older. There are also habits that are done in the unconscious state that can contribute to this condition including mouth breathing, tongue thrusting and reverse swallowing.
Illness or injury
There are traumas to the face and mouth that can cause injuries, resulting to the unexpected movement of the teeth out of its normal place. Injuries that results in tooth loss or shifting of the jaw also causes the remaining teeth to gradually shift over time as they fill the gap that has been created.
Baby Teeth Health
Baby teeth guide the growth of permanent teeth in their correct places. However, if baby teeth are lost as a result of tooth decay, trauma and other reasons, there is a tendency for the permanent teeth to be shifted towards the wrong direction and eventually causing them to grow in some unexpected places in the mouth.
3. Can You Straighten Crooked Teeth without Braces?
If you have long been avoiding treatment for crooked teeth because of the thought of using metal braces, you now have a better option with Invisalign, retainers and expanders.
Of the three options, Invisalign is used as an alternative to straighten teeth without the discomforts of using braces in just a matter of 18-24 months. Unlike braces, Invisalign can be removed when eating or brushing your teeth. It is most preferred for the treatment of crossbite, underbite, overbite, crowding and spacing.
4. What are the Treatment Options for Crooked Teeth?
As mentioned above, people with crooked teeth can now find a suitable alternative to lengthy orthodontic treatment.
To deal with its cosmetic aspect, porcelain veneers can be used to hide crooked teeth as they allow polished, even, and well-aligned appearance. However, they won’t be effective in treating the underlying cause of crooked teeth and only works well for minimal overcrowding.
Apart from veneers, there are also other treatments that can be used depending on the type of misalignment.
Retainers may be used to treat slight mispositioning of teeth or to correct overcrowding issues. Another option is interproximal reduction. In this treatment, the enamel of the teeth is filed away to achieve smaller and more slender teeth.
In the treatment of underbite, a special jaw expander may be used in order to increase the size of the upper jaw. Surgery may also be done to reduce the size of the lower jaw.
5. How Much does it Cost to Fix Crooked Teeth?
With the range of dental treatment options that can be used to correct misalignment in teeth, the next thing that you’d want to know is the cost of treatment.
So how much will you be spending to fix your crooked teeth?
Here’s a summary of your dental treatment options along with their estimated cost:
- Metal Braces (Upper and Lower) – $2,500 – $8,000
- Ceramic Braces (Upper and Lower) – $5,000 – $8,500
○ Minor treatment – $3,500 and up
○ Full treatment – $6,000 and up
Crooked teeth can be troublesome and if the thought of wearing metal braces doesn’t appeal to you, there are better and more convenient methods of correction.
Talk to a dental expert and find out the best alternatives to wearing traditional braces.
Got other questions about crooked teeth? Let us know by leaving a comment below.