Can I Get Braces on my Upper Teeth Only?

I would like to know, can I get braces just on my upper teeth, or should I have it done on my bottom teeth as well? My bottom teeth are okay.

Doctor Answers 6

Top braces only??

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Depending on your bite and the severity of your case, it IS possible to do upper barces only. Most of the time, I do recommend the full braces . As long as you are in treatment, you may as well get everything perfect.


San Diego Orthodontist

Not a real good way to go

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The most common reason for this question is one believe braces are cheaper if only one arch has braces or Invisalign. The cost is almost always the same anyway.

Placing the appliance on one arch actually makes it harder and sometimes longer to treat. It is like place a lid on a jar. You have to hold both in order to make them fit

Gilbert H. Snow, DDS
Encino Orthodontist

Braces for upper or lower arch ONLY...

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In orthodontics, aligned teeth is second nature.  It's primary purpose is for medical reasons, to correct the bite for efficient mastication without injuring the jaw, to provide ample space and exposure for easier cleaning to prevent cavities, gingivitis and other more severe health issues.  For people who have straight teeth only on one arch and wishes to correct the other arch, it is possible to just put braces and correct it independently but this is only possible after a case by case review and assessment to ensure that the bite will be or remain correct.

It is always a good idea to get second and third opinions to help you make the best decision.  I advise against deciding based solely on price because it is not the basis of experience, technique and quality of care.  As a reminder, it is a good idea to ask questions while at the dentist but make sure you ask what you need to know and not a condensed lesson on dentistry where doctors paid years of schooling to learn.

Henry Fung, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

Braces CAN be on just one arch

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But there is an extra challenge sometimes when doing so. Braces with wires is similar to a tug of war and as pressure is put in one area, opposite pressure is placed elsewhere. The lower arch is often used for leverage to get the job done.

Most of the time, the fee is the same whether one arch is done or two. If there is no cost savings and the treatment can be done better and faster, most people choose to have both arches treated.

Upper braces only

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                It is very rare that braces can be done on only the upper teeth because the most important reason for braces is to correct the bite and alignment of the teeth and it is much more difficult to do this when you only have control of half the teeth. Even though the bottom teeth may look straight to you, your Orthodontist would be able to show you the corrections that are necessary. Good luck.

Bernard Gorkowitz, DDS
Livingston Orthodontist

Upper braces only

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yes it is possible to do just one arch (althought the cost is never 1/2 the full case fee!).  Just because the other arch is "straigtht" doesn't mean that braces on it isn't necessary...often we need both arches in appliances to allow for bite alighment and elastic band wear

Robert Waxler, DMD, MS
Saint Louis 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.