Are braces the only option for fixing overlapping teeth? About how many more visits to the office does this involve compared to people with milder crooked teeth? An extra 6 months, and extra year? Is it more painful to straighten overlapping teeth? What else needs to be considered? like tooth removal?
Cosmetic Dentistry for Overlapping Teeth?
Doctor Answers (3)
Best Treatments for Overlapping Teeth
When teeth overlap, it is usually because they are crowded (not enough room). While there are other options besides moving the teeth (cosmetic bonding or crowns that can be done to make the teeth look straight), orthodonitcs is the healthiest and most long term solution. There are two approaches when it comes to getting rid of overlapping teeth: expansion or extraction. Expansion means that you make more room for the teeth so they can be lined up. This can be done with an expander, braces (clear or metal), or aligners (Invisalign). Extraction means to remove teeth. Removing teeth is necesary when it is not possible to expand. The amount of expansion that can take place is limited by the bones and the gums around the teeth. Everyone is different and it takes an experienced orthodontist to determine not only what will look best for you, but also what will give you the most healthy and stable results.
There are many ways to correct overlapping teeth
Braces are not the only way to fix overlapping teeth. They are often the best way, but it depends too on if there is tooth wear, how extreme the overlap is, are the teeth heavily filled, do you intend to do cosmetic dental treatment afterward (such as porcelain veneers). If you plan to give your teeth a lift any way, it may be a lot to go through the orthodontic treatment first, only to do further treatment later.
I have done many "instant orthodontic" treatments using porcelain veneers, and even direct bonded veneers that have turned out to look, function, and last amazingly well.
You should discuss the pros and cons of the various options with your dentist. This is a situation where there can be many options to correct your problem.
Healthy Options or Fast Treatment?
There are usually more than one option to 'fix' crooked teeth, but it takes a good conversation with your dentist to see what those choices are. If your teeth are healthy but overlap, and you have something artificial, like bonding, crowns or veneers put on them, that means you'll have to replace the dentistry from time to time, which costs more money, tooth structure, time, and other resources. The more crooked your teeth are, the more invasive the dentistry must be to 'straighten' them, and often the cosmetic result is not near as good as you want. Straightening healthy teeth leaves you with an easy to maintain, low-cost smile.
It is not more painful to straighten overlapping teeth. It is more painful to deal with the consequences of those crooked teeth, because they are at much more risk for cavities or gum disease than straight ones. A few extra months of treatment will be soon forgotten as you enjoy a beautiful smile, so please talk to your dentist about the choices you have.
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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.