Overlapping Teeth: What Treatments Are Available?
Not everyone can be born with a perfectly aligned smile. Thankfully there are many dental care options that can address issues with crooked teeth and malocclusion. Our Virginia Beach cosmetic dentistry center offers a wide array of treatments that can address all sorts of issues that impact dental alignment.
When it comes to overlapping teeth, the right approach is determined by the degree of overlap. Let's consider the problems caused by teeth that overlap and then look at some of the options for treatment.
Problems Caused by Overlapping Teeth
Overlapping teeth can cause a combination of cosmetic and health issues.
In terms of cosmetic problems caused by overlapping teeth, your smile may appear extremely crooked and misaligned. This can result in a great deal of self-consciousness, making you hesitant to smile, laugh, and speak around others, even people you have known for many years.
With regard to dental health, overlapping teeth may result in pain and soreness, particularly when biting and chewing. It can make eating certain foods next to impossible. Overlapping teeth can also contribute to teeth grinding (bruxism), which can cause tooth damage, gum recession, and problems with the jaw joint such as TMJ disorders.
Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry Procedures
When the overlapping of the teeth is not so severe, cosmetic and restorative dentistry procedures may be considered. This is only an option when the overlap is purely aesthetic and does not impact a patient's dental health and wellness.
In some cases, a porcelain veneer or two may be used to slightly reshape a tooth and conceal the minor overlap. In other instances, a dental crown may be considered. The overlapping tooth can be reshaped and capped, allowing for a normal and perfectly aligned appearance.
Orthodontic Care for Overlapping Teeth
The most common treatment for overlapping teeth is orthodontic care. Braces, palatal expanders, headgear, and other appliances can be used to reshape and straighten a person's smile. The gradual application of tension over several months can lead to excellent alignment.
Orthodontic care can be performed on minors as well as adults. In general, it's best for orthodontic treatment to be implemented earlier in life. When people are still growing and maturing, it's easier to improve dental alignment.
Oral Surgery and Advanced Dental Procedures
When the overlapping is too severe for orthodontic care alone, the ideal approach is to perform oral surgery. Dental surgery can used to adjust bone structure, reshape or reposition a tooth, alter the shape of the dental arch, and extract teeth that are too far out of position. Following oral surgery, orthodontic care and restorative measures can be taken to straighten teeth and create an optimally aligned smile.
As you can imagine, these dental procedures vary from patient to patient depending on the issue they're dealing with.
Developing a Treatment That's Right for the Patient
So which treatment option is right for you? The best way to find out is to visit our practice for a consultation. During your visit, we will take x-rays and asses your situation to determine the right approach to take to improve the alignment and appearance of your smile.
Learn More About Your Treatment Options
For more information about treating overlapping teeth and improving the alignment of your smile, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist today. We will work with you to improve the health of your smile as well as its overall appearance.