Orthodontic Problems and Treatments - Invisalign in South Bay Area, California
Having a picture-perfect smile might be a motivator for some to properly align their teeth. However, alignment of our teeth is also necessary for functional reasons – to allow us to eat and speak properly. This is because our teeth can only perform optimally if they are aligned, and more importantly, they occlude properly with their opposing counterparts. Neglecting to have one’s teeth aligned at an early age can lead to various complications such as jaw joint disorders, tooth sensitivity, and periodontal issues – besides causing systemic problems like indigestion and malnutrition.
This article discusses the common types of orthodontic problems (crowding, spacing, under bite, overbite, open bite, cross bite) and how they are treated by our experienced dentist, Dr. Mahsa Esfandiari.
Table of Contents
1. Teeth Crowding
What is Teeth Crowding?
This is a condition in which the teeth appear crowded. Also known as overcrowding, this typically occurs when there is insufficient space in the jaw to accommodate all the teeth. As a result, the teeth erupt in abnormal positions or are crowded together. Teeth crowding is not just a cosmetic concern, but it can also affect one’s speech and chewing efficiency.
How is Teeth Crowding Treated?
At Dr. Mahsa Esfandiari Dental group, we utilize various options to treat overcrowding, depending on the severity of the issue. For minor crowding, we will remove a very thin layer from the sides of your teeth to create space. Don’t worry; it will not make your teeth sensitive as an extremely thin layer would be removed. For more severe cases, Dr. Esfandiari may remove one or two teeth from each jaw, usually wisdom teeth, or premolars to align the remaining teeth using braces or Invisalign aligners.
2. Excessive Spaces Between Teeth
What is Excessive Teeth Spacing?
Also known as diastema, this condition occurs when one has excessive spaces between the adjacent teeth, creating an obvious aesthetic problem. Besides, these spaces may also result in a distinct “lisp” when one speaks, especially in the case of the front teeth.
How is Spacing Between Teeth Treated?
Excessive spaces between the teeth are typically managed by moving the teeth towards the midline using fixed braces or removable clear aligners. Alternatively, teeth spaces can also be managed cosmetically by placing veneers over them. However, this is not an ideal solution as it only fixes the aesthetic issues and does not treat the root cause.
What is an Overbite?
An overbite is when the upper teeth excessively overlap the lower front ones vertically. Sometimes, this condition is so severe that the lower teeth bite into the roof of the mouth.
How is an Overbite Treated?
Treatment of an overbite involves raising the “bite” – by bringing the lower back teeth upwards and moving the upper front teeth backward so they occlude properly with their lower counterparts. Dr. Esfandiari will do this by using various orthodontic equipment like orthodontic chains, bands, and mini-implants – depending on the cause and severity of each case. An overbite can be fixed using fixed braces and clear aligners. However, for more severe cases, fixed braces are generally more suitable.
What is an Underbite?
This is a condition where the upper teeth extend forward excessively compared to the upper ones. As a result, the lower front teeth sit in front of the upper ones. This condition typically occurs due to an excessively large lower jaw, small upper jaw, or a combination of both.
How is an Underbite Treated?
To treat an underbite, Dr. Esfandiari will first diagnose the underlying issue. If the problem is due to the excessively forward placement of the lower teeth with normal jaw position, it will be treated with traditional orthodontic treatment options like braces and aligners. Conversely, if the problem is due to a mismatch between jaw sizes, treatment of the issue will require orthognathic surgery to fix the alignment of the teeth.
5. Open Bite
What is an Open Bite?
An open bite occurs when there is a vertical gap between the upper and lower teeth, creating a window that keeps the mouth constantly open – even when the upper and lower bite each other. Besides causing cosmetic issues, an open bite can create significant problems in eating and speech. An open bite can occur both in the front or back teeth.
How is an Open Bite Treated?
Treatment of an open bite involves diagnosing the root cause. If the upper teeth have not come down properly, Dr. Esfandiari will bring them into proper position with orthodontic bands or elastics attached with fixed braces. Alternatively, special attachments with clear aligners can also be used. Similarly, if the problem is due to the insufficient eruption of the lower teeth, it will also be fixed using braces or aligners.
What is a Crossbite?
A crossbite occurs when the relative horizontal positioning of the upper and lower teeth is reversed – the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth. A crossbite can cause various problems if not treated timely, such as the overeruption of certain teeth and misalignment of the jaws.
How is a Crossbite Treated?
A crossbite generally requires dentists to use special attachments as anchors to bring the horizontally protruded teeth inwards. While minor crossbite may be treatable with braces and Invisalign aligners, more complex problems require treatment with fixed braces.
7. Deviated Dental Midline
What is a Deviated Dental Midline?
Your upper and lower front teeth should be centered exactly along the midline to enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile. If the midline has deviated, it can lead to significant cosmetic issues.
How is a Deviated Dental Midline Treated?
A deviated dental midline can be treated using fixed braces and clear aligners.
What Options are Available to Treat Common Orthodontic Problems?
At Dr. Mahsa Esfandiari Dental Group, we use multiple orthodontic appliances to treat tooth alignment issues. For example, Dr. Esfandiari may use removable functional appliances to treat certain problems. These functional appliances utilize a growing child’s growth spurt to realign the teeth and jawbones. For older patients, conventional orthodontic treatment using clear aligners or metal, ceramic, or lingual braces is performed. For cases where the underlying issue is due to an overly large or small jaw, orthognathic surgery is indicated.
Contact Our Invisalign Dentist in Los Gatos
As part of our commitment to bringing a comprehensive array of quality, in-house dental procedures, the Dr. Mahsa Esfandiari Dental Group is proud to offer Invisalign clear aligners to our patients in the South Bay Area. Invisalign costs are similar to the price of traditional braces, making this option a more comfortable and practically invisible way to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (408) 371-1070 to have a consultation with any of our Los Gatos Dental Group dentists, and we will be happy to help!