These issues are not unique, but your smile is! As an orthodontist, Dr. Lee is specialized to correct these common orthodontic conditions.
Overbite – An overbite refers to the excessive overlapping of the top teeth over the bottom ones. If left untreated, an overbite can cause trauma to the gums behind the front teeth. In addition, top and bottom teeth that don’t come together properly can negatively affect the long-term health and function of teeth and their supporting structures.
Underbite – An abnormal alignment of teeth, known as an underbite, is a condition in which the lower teeth extend out in front of the upper teeth. If left untreated, an underbite can lead to jaw pain as well as increase one’s chances of damaging tooth enamel, developing gum disease, and decaying teeth.
Crossbite – This condition occurs in varying degrees, which can go from affecting single teeth, to entire sides or entire arches whereby the lower teeth extend out beyond the uppers. A crossbite could be a result of the shifting of the jaw from one side, a discrepancy in the size of jaws, or a disturbance in an individual eruption of a tooth or teeth. A crossbite is best treated at an early age in order to allow for jaw growth to occur correctly and without disruption.
Open-bite – Having an open-bite is often the result of persistent habits like finger/thumb sucking and/or tongue thrusting. This condition can also truly be skeletal in nature. An open-bite is best treated sooner rather than later, especially when habit correction is needed, in order to stop the habit and allow for a more effective and easier resolution.
Protruding Teeth – Protruding or flared teeth often do not allow for the patient to close their lips adequately, which can also lead to a higher chance of injury to the top front teeth, and possibly problems associated with dry mouth.
Spacing or Crowding of the Teeth – The spacing or crowding of teeth indicates that there is either too much or not enough room for the teeth within the jaws. In younger patients with crowding, growth can be used to one’s advantage in creating or regaining space.
Tooth/Jaw Size Discrepancy – This condition is one in which the size of the teeth do not match up with the size of the jaws and oftentimes can lead to crowding of varying degrees, excessive spacing, or an improper relationship of jaws to one another.
Problems with Unerupted Teeth – Unerupted teeth can cause a host of issues including impaction, development of cysts, or damage to surrounding teeth. As soon as this condition is detected, treatment to insure the proper guidance of these teeth into the mouth should be enacted through removal and resolution of the underlying cause.
Shifting of Teeth as a Result of Missing or Decayed Teeth – Orthodontics often occurs in conjunction with other dental work, particularly in restoration or replacement of lost or missing teeth. Since teeth are never static, it becomes necessary to move adjacent, supporting, or opposing teeth around an area first as to ensure the best results of future dental work.
Length of treatment varies with the type of correction. Most orthodontic problems are usually handled within two years followed by six months of retention. Treatment is generally well tolerated and relatively comfortable.