Orthodontic Problems

Below is a list of common orthodontic issues to discuss during your treatment:

Overcrowded teeth    This occurs when there is a discrepancy between the size of the jaws and the size of the teeth. The teeth are too large for the available space for them in the jaws. Generally, in children, the earlier an orthodontist sees this developing, the more effective is our ability to create space by harnessing jaw growth. Overcrowding makes it more difficult to keep teeth clean and healthy.

Excessive spacing of teeth    The opposite discrepancy of crowding where there exists too much jaw space for the size of the teeth. This is generally considered more of a cosmetic concern, however, spacing can allow the eventual drifting of the teeth into a poor bite relationship.

Overbite    When the front teeth in the upper arch are either too far ahead of the lower teeth (“buck-teeth”) or overlap too vertically over the lower front teeth (deep bite). Both are functional as well as esthetic problems that can be caused by the position of the teeth, the jaws or both.

Underbite     When the upper front teeth are behind the lower front teeth. Again, this needs to be treated as early as possible as it affects function and aesthetics and can interfere with jaw growth in a growing child. Adults can be treated for underbites, as well. This tends to be more effective if the teeth and not the jaws, themselves, are the cause of the underbite.

Crossbites     The upper arch of teeth, both front and back, is supposed to fit outside of the lower arch. If there is any tooth (or teeth) that fit inside of, or behind, a lower tooth, this is said to be in crossbite. An underbite is an example of a crossbite of the front teeth. This is a functional problem that requires orthodontic treatment.

Open bite    There should be proper contact of the top and bottom teeth throughout the entire mouth for optimal health and function of the teeth and jaws. If there are teeth out of contact, this creates a space between the top and bottom teeth called an open bite. This problem is often due to a tongue-thrusting or thumb-sucking habit.