Crowding of the teeth is probably the most common orthodontic problem. This is when your teeth are too large or if you have too many teeth to fit in your small jaws. Crowded teeth can be unattractive and difficult to clean. They can also create problems with chewing and biting.
Spacing is having gaps (or spaces) between your teeth. This can be the result of missing teeth or smaller teeth that are not big enough to fill the entire jaw. Spacing can often be closed with braces alone, but sometimes will require cosmetic bonding to make the teeth more aesthetic and of proper width.
Protruded teeth (known as overjet) is when your upper front teeth extend too far forward or your lower teeth don’t extend forward enough. This is sometimes known as “buck teeth” which can be unattractive and prone to accidental damage. These patients often have an abnormal bite and will usually be corrected with braces and elastics (rubber bands).
Underbite is when your lower front teeth are too far forward or your upper front teeth are too far back. This is sometimes known as a “bull dog” appearance. This is also an abnormal bite and can often be corrected with braces and elastics, but severe cases may require surgery. Early treatment (before puberty) is highly recommended in these cases.
A deep bite is an excessive overlap of your front teeth. This is also known as an excessive over bite and can sometimes result in the lower front teeth biting into the roof of the mouth (palate). A deep bite can cause excessive wear on the teeth and even damage to the palate.
An open bite is when your front teeth do not overlap at all, while the back teeth are biting together. Open bites are usually caused by abnormal habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusts. An open bite can cause speech problems and eating problems as well.
A cross bite is typically caused by a narrow upper jaw or an abnormally wide lower jaw. This can cause one or more of the upper molars to bite on the inside of the lower molars. This is often corrected with expanders and early treatment (before puberty) is highly recommended.
Many patients are both with one or more missing teeth. This can cause excessive spaces and bite problems due to an unequal number of teeth between the upper and lower jaws. Braces can help move the teeth into the proper position and retainers are used to hold the space until you are ready for a dental implant or bridge to replace the missing tooth.