Fixing Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth come in a wide variety of severity, from having one tooth slightly rotated to having multiple teeth piled upon one another. While mild crowding is barely noticeable, severely crooked teeth give an unattractive appearance to the smile, causing many people to hide their smiles or laughter behind hands.
Why Crooked Teeth Matter
Teeth crowding is not simply a cosmetic problem, as many people mistakenly believe it is. Severely crooked teeth can cause speech impediments and problems with chewing. When the cause of the crookedness is a small or narrow dental arch, you are also at more risk for biting your tongue and lips during normal function. In cases where speech and eating are negatively impacted, orthodontic correction of crooked teeth is medically necessary.
Scientific research studying crooked teeth found that they actually attract worse, more virulent bacteria (those more likely to cause severe gum disease) in their dental plaque than straight teeth do. That means that straight teeth are actually healthier by promoting less dangerous dental plaque. Straight teeth are also easier for patients to clean at home, so they have a lower risk for both gum disease and cavities.
Having crooked teeth is not just a cosmetic problem. It is a dental health concern.
What We Can Do About Crooked Teeth
In general, the only way to straighten crooked teeth is through orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry involved in moving teeth in a way that preserves the health of the surrounding jawbone and gum tissues (which is why you should never attempt to DIY tooth movement).
Invisalign is an alternative orthodontic treatment that moves the teeth using a series of clear plastic aligners. They work by putting a pushing force on the teeth. Each aligner fits intimately over the teeth and puts force on each individual tooth in a very precise amount and direction.
Invisalign offers the discretion of moving your teeth virtually invisibly as the clear aligners are difficult for others to see. It also carries the requirement for strict compliance on the patient’s part. If you do not wear the aligners, they cannot move the teeth. Unlike braces, which will move the teeth and are not removable by the patient, Invisalign needs commitment and participation on the part of the patient.
Like traditional braces, the length of Invisalign treatment depends on the severity of the crowding of the teeth.
Clear aligners are not the answer for everyone. If Invisalign is not the right solution for your mouth, we will refer you to a qualified orthodontist to explore traditional braces.
Start with a visit to one of our dental offices
The first step to fixing crooked teeth is reviewing x-rays and determining the best course of action. Our board-certified dentists can provide that exam and create a care plan to ensure the orthodontic treatment is the right one for the shape of your teeth and jaw. Find a Premier Dental office near you to get started.