Do I need braces for an overbite? Do I need Invisalign for crooked teeth? If you’re asking yourself these questions, the best way to find out is to visit an orthodontist for a consultation. Orthodontists like Dr. Hawley are experts in preventing, diagnosing and treating issues with the positioning, alignment and spacing of the teeth and jaws. They have the knowledge and experience to determine if braces or Invisalign are necessary to perfect your smile. While the only way to know for sure if you could benefit from straightening your teeth is to visit a specialist, in the meantime, we can give you a pretty good idea by describing the common problems orthodontic treatment can fix.
Common Braces and Invisalign Cases
Understanding the common cases orthodontic treatment can fix will give you some insight into how to tell if you need braces or Invisalign. If your smile falls into one of these categories, chances are, you could be a good candidate for treatment.
Spacing – Spacing is when there are gaps between two or more of your teeth. Beyond being a cosmetic concern, plaque tends to build up in the spaces, which can result in gum disease and bone loss. Braces and Invisalign are excellent options for closing the gaps between teeth!
Crowding – If the jaw doesn’t have enough space for all of the permanent teeth, crowding occurs. With nowhere to go, some teeth head in the wrong direction, stick out or start overlapping. Sure, it can make you feel self-conscious about how your smile looks but it also increases the odds of developing tooth decay and gum disease since crowded, crooked teeth are hard to clean properly. Orthodontic treatment can create more space and shift the teeth into their correct places for a fantastic smile.
Underbite – When the lower jaw protrudes further than the upper jaw, it’s called an underbite. Early treatment is really important for an underbite. If we address it when a child is still growing, we can often use appliances and then braces or Invisalign Teen to fix it. For adults, surgical correction is sometimes, but not always, necessary. An underbite can cause chewing and speaking difficulties, sleep apnea and strain the jaw muscles.
Crossbite – If the top teeth sit behind the bottom teeth in the back (posterior crossbite) or the front (anterior crossbite), you’re said to have a crossbite. To compensate, people will often move their jaw to one side, which can create unwanted, permanent changes in the facial and bone structure. This is another issue where early intervention can be extremely beneficial.
Overjet – If you have overjet teeth, often called an overbite, the upper front teeth stick out too far past the bottom teeth. In cases of a severe overbite, sometimes, the lower teeth hit the roof of the mouth when you bite down. Overjet teeth are more susceptible to injury, can lead to jaw pain and excessive wear of the tooth enamel, and can create the appearance of a “gummy” smile. We can improve the way the upper and lower teeth meet and eliminate an overbite with treatment.
Open Bite – An open bite is when you close your mouth and your top and bottom teeth don’t touch. It can interfere with chewing, biting into foods and speaking. Braces and Invisalign are effective treatments for an open bite.
If you’re ready to find out for sure if orthodontic treatment can give your smile a boost, book a free consultation with our Papillion orthodontist Dr. Hawley today! Schedule your complimentary exam by emailing us at [email protected] or calling us at (402) 592-3200.