Crowding of the teeth
Orthodontic treatment for crowded teeth allows for better function, easier cleaning, and a more esthetic smile. Usually crowding can be resolved by moving the teeth into their ideal position. In more severe crowding situations, a small number of teeth can be removed to make room for the remaining teeth. This patient was in treatment for 16 months and did a great job with elastics and hygiene. Way to go A.J!
Open bite: Front teeth don’t touch
Ideal overlap of the front and side teeth allow for better eating function and better esthetics. Imagine trying to bite into a turkey sandwich with the bite on the left! 21 months of braces and elastics were used to accomplish our goals. This patient gave 110% with elastic wear to overcome 35 years of her open bite. You are awesome Patty!
Deep overbite: Lower front teeth bite into palate
Deep bite is seen when the front teeth overlap excessively in the front. Over time, this is very hard on the teeth and surrounding soft tissues. Alex was in treatment for 22 months to make room for erupting teeth and correct the deep overbite.
A cross-bite is seen when the upper teeth do not fit over the lower teeth properly. Ideally, the upper jaw fits over the lower jaw like a lid on a box. When the upper jaw is small, the child will shift her lower jaw to the side to make it easier to eat and bite. In the picture on the left you will see the lower midline shifted significantly to the patients right side. Over time, this leads to asymmetric growth of the lower jaw! If we correct it early in life (7-10 years of age) the lower jaw will have the opportunity to grow equally on both sides. After 12 months of treatment, Isabella’s midlines are back in the middle and she can grow normally until she gets the rest of her permanent teeth in. Please see Two-Phase Treatment for more information.
Underbite: Lower front teeth in front of upper teeth
The upper teeth are meant to be positioned in front of the lower teeth. Occasionally teeth are trapped inside of the lower teeth. This is very hard on the front top teeth and can cause severe damage to these beautiful smiling teeth. Underbites are best addressed early in life, usually around 7-9 years of age.
Spacing of teeth
Spacing is a common problem for patients that can be dealt with fairly easily. In the picture you can see a large space between the front teeth. This patient it took about 3 months to close the space and then ideally we hold it throughout the rest of treatment to stabilize. This patient has a strong frenum (the triangular muscle above where the space used to be) which may need a simple procedure called a frenectomy to release the muscle to a normal position and help the space stay closed.
Phase I treatment is the first part of a two phase treatment plan. It is used at an early age (usually between 7-10 years old) to eliminate jaw discrepancies like a cross-bite or underbite. It is also used when erupting teeth are blocked by adjacent teeth as is seen on the left. We spent 9 months moving the central incisors (middle teeth) together and then aligning the permanent lateral incisors as they erupted. Katy will now wait for a few years for her remaining permanent teeth to erupt. Once they have come in, we will go into Phase II treatment and address any remaining issues of crowding, spacing, or bite issues. By taking her treatment in two stages, Katy’s braces experience is much easier on her than if we were to wait and deal with it all as a teenager. Please see Two-Phase Treatment for more information.