Time to Straighten those Crooked Teeth – Understand your Options
Why is it important to correct crooked teeth?
Crooked teeth are misaligned teeth: they can pose a threat to your dental and general health in a number of ways:
1. Cleaning- it can make keeping your teeth clean more difficult which, in turn, can lead to potential problems with gum disease and tooth decay.
2. Chewing- if your teeth don’t meet correctly you can have difficulty chewing, – often the case with misaligned jaws.
3. Aesthetics- we sadly live in a very visual and judgemental world, even more so with the rise of social media and crooked teeth don’t look so good!
4. Confidence- it can lower your self-esteem and prevent you from smiling as often as you would like.
5. Tooth wear- it can make you more prone to worn teeth.
6. Sleep apnea/snoring- if there is insufficient space for your tongue – because of the position of your teeth – the airway can become blocked far more easily.
So, having straight teeth, has the following advantages:
Better hygiene, which means improved long term health for your teeth.
Better tongue position and reduced risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
Lower risks of wear and joint problems
Improved confidence and self-esteem: imagine every time you smile, lighting up the room with an infectious beaming smile. How can this not make you feel good?
“Fixing your corked or misaligned teeth can be quite an expensive and involved treatment, but in my opinion, the difference it can make is so significant, that this outweighs that fact by many times”. [Dr Jamie]
Why choose Dr Workman to look after you?
Not only is Dr Workman a very good dentist, he has genuine caring nature and always makes sure you feel truly looked after. This is why he has such a loyal following of, families, young professionals right through to our older generation. With over 12 years experience, he is young, passionate, great at what he does and has an excellent aesthetic eye. If you would like a dental professional you can really trust, who places your health, happiness and comfort as an absolute priority, then you would be hard pushed to look any further. If you have typed ‘dentist near me’ then our state of the art Maroubra dental practice won’t be far away.
Why do people have crooked teeth?
There are a variety of reasons:
Jaw/ tooth size discrepancy- If the jaws are too small for the teeth, or the teeth are too big for the jaws, then crowding is inevitable. The growth and final position will be affected and teeth may need to be removed to create some space to straighten them.
Top jaw to bottom jaw discrepancy- if the upper jaw is larger or smaller than the lower jaw, it can lead to an over-bite or an under-bite; this affects tooth position and the aesthetics of your smile.
Tooth loss- losing a tooth can lead to shifting, tilting, over-erupting and the balance of the surrounding teeth being affected.
All of these affect the visual and the straightness of the teeth.
If baby teeth are lost early, the adult tooth sequence can become disrupted and the space for the tooth to come can be lost, leading to crowding and misalignment
Medical conditions – such as cleft palate or Downs’ syndrome often coincide with overlapping and crooked teeth.
Genetics- most crooked teeth are simply a result of genetics: the teeth coming through are misaligned as a result of the follicle developing in different positions.
Gum disease- as bone supporting the teeth is lost, the pressures of the bite, tongue and soft tissues can cause the teeth to move and drift more easily.
Not wearing retention aids- if you’ve had ortho treatment, or your child is a dedicated ‘thumb or bottle sucker,’ the negative pressures created and the forces applied, will cause a narrowing of the palate and may change the angles and position of the teeth.
How do I know if I have crooked teeth?
If you have slightly crooked teeth and are perfectly happy and able to smile with confidence then that’s amazing.
If you ever wish to give your teeth a boost then a simple and easy whitening treatment would be perfect for you, giving a lift and brightness to your smile.
Everyone is different: some people notice the tiniest misalignment when they smile, others only if their teeth are considerably crowded.
‘So, what if I have got crooked teeth’…the answer is simple… is it an issue for you and would you like to have a straighter smile?
Crooked teeth in adults
We are treating more and more adult patients who may have not had the financial resources in their early years.
Tooth movement and teeth straightening can be performed at any age – though during a growing phase, movement tends to occur more quickly and this is why where possible it is preferable to carry out the appropriate procedures in children.
We have the advantage of being able to influence jaw position more readily in growing children.
Later in life, depending on the severity of the misalignment, tooth extraction or surgery may become necessary.
Many adults are also hesitant to wear braces, but with the advent of other less visible solutions such as Invisalign, we are finding that this concern is becoming much less of an issue.
What treatment options are there?
Crooked, crowded or misaligned teeth are often best fixed by orthodontic treatment which simply moves your natural teeth into a more favourable and straighter position.
Dr Jamie currently refers his patients to the Ortho Practice in Maroubra for their Orthodontic or Invisalign treatment.
These specialist orthodontists have been looking after his patients for over a decade now.
In this regard, they have built up a very strong relationship on the back of their attention to detail, excellent teams, and the wonderful care and outcomes they give their patients.
They will discuss the various options that are available to you, all the pros and cons and answer any questions you may have.
Dr Jamie will discuss the options with you first and decide on the timing of your referral.
Treatment options include:
• Removable appliances and expanders– to expand the arches and give more room for the top teeth to come through.
• Traditional braces (train tracks)– Metal braces are very effective and because they stay on your teeth all the time they achieve good predictable results –they’re still the most popular orthodontic treatment performed, although, they can take from several months to a few years to create the desired result.
• Lingual braces (on the back of teeth)– Lingual braces, also known as ‘inside’ braces attach the brackets and wires to the inside of the teeth, rather than the outside, which makes them less visible.
They can be trickier to place and keep clean but are useful in some cases.
• Ceramic braces– These are just traditional braces but with ceramic brackets instead of metal ones to make them a little less conspicuous.
• Removable braces– these can serve various functions to help improve teeth position. They can move single teeth or whole arches depending on what is required. They ‘must’ be worn to be effective and require regular appointments for monitoring and adjustment.
• Invisalign– this is the largest company to offer clear sequential aligners in order to move the teeth, but there are others such as ‘Clear and Correct’. You’ll wear a set of aligners customised for your mouth that will be changed about every 2 weeks, thus applying different forces that will gradually move the teeth towards the desired end position.
There aren’t a set number of aligners: each case is different but the technology can be used for a wide range of applications and this continues to be the case. It is definitely one of the most popular treatments today.
Sometimes braces or orthodontic treatment may not be the ideal approach and Dr Jamie will be able to advise you of any other options and perform these treatments… if, of course, they are deemed to be in your best interest regarding the long term health of your teeth.
How can the shape and visual appearance of teeth be changed?
The following options are available to you, depending on your circumstances:
or a combination of those approaches.
Remember that there are always advantages and disadvantages to everything… orthodontic treatment takes time – an average course would be 18 months.
Restorative treatment is considerably faster but when you make changes to natural teeth, they will always require up-keep… inevitably needing further treatment or replacement down the track.
A full examination and discussion of all the options is always necessary allowing you to make an informed decision about your care.
Dr Jamie’s patients:
|Treatment time||6 months – 2 years|
- Dr Jamie’s education site; Jamiethedentist.com where you can hear him speak and read about TOPIC in a lot more detail.
- These other excellent resources: