Teeth crowding is a common dental issue that can occur at any age and may affect the upper and lower teeth, or both at the same time. It leads to misalignment of the teeth, and can lead to further health problems if left untreated.
Most dentists recommend that crowded teeth in children be corrected as soon as possible to prevent health problems later in life. In adults, cosmetic dentistry is available to realign the teeth but it’s not essential for physical health.
Overcrowding is most commonly caused by a significant difference between the size of the jaw and the teeth. When the jaw is too small or the teeth are too large, it causes some of the teeth to get pushed together.
Aging is another common cause of crowded teeth in older adults. Over time, the tendons and muscles in the face weaken, changing the shape of the jaw and adjusting the positioning of the teeth.
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Treatment Options for Crowded Teeth in Adults
Teeth crowding can impact an individual’s self-esteem and confidence but it’s not just a cosmetic issue. Crowded teeth can cause speech problems and poor oral health by making it difficult to follow a regular oral hygiene routine. This can eventually lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Getting severe tooth overcrowding fixed is important to prevent ongoing complications. Even if the crowding is minor, you may want to fix the issue to boost your self-confidence.
Luckily, every dentist knows how to fix crowded teeth and there are multiple treatment options, all of which are relatively simple and non-invasive. Below, we’ve discussed the most effective treatments for teeth crowding.
The best option for you depends on the severity of overcrowding and your personal preferences. If your crowded teeth are accompanied by a crossbite, more than one form of treatment may be necessary. To learn more about each one and determine which option is the best for you, discuss the options that are available with your dentist.
Braces are probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of overcrowded or misaligned teeth. They are by far the most common treatment option for children with crowded teeth and many adults also choose to get braces to resolve the issue.
Braces are a highly effective treatment option for teeth crowding and enable the dentist to assess the condition over the course of several months. They work by exerting constant pressure on the teeth, slowly pushing them into the optimal positions.
The downside of braces is their visibility. They are also pretty expensive, costing up to $7,000. While they are still a popular form of treatment, many people prefer to go for a less visible and cheaper option, such as invisible dental aligners.
2. Invisible Aligners
Invisible dental aligners, sometimes known by the brand name, Invisalign, are an alternative to traditional braces. They can be used to treat overcrowding by realigning the teeth.
The main appeal of invisible dental aligners is the fact that they’re less visible than metal braces. Many people also agree that they are more comfortable than braces and they’re a more suitable option if you have an overbite or crossbite.
The downside to invisible aligners is that they usually need to be worn at all times of the day, aside from when you’re eating or brushing your teeth. You’ll need to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups, just as you would if you got traditional braces.
Invisible dental aligners generally cost around $5000 pending on the dental practice that you use, so it might be worthwhile looking into dental insurance.
Dental veneers or another popular method of treating teeth crowding. This is a much more invasive option but is often more suitable in the case of severe crowding. They only work in certain cases so you’ll need to speak to your dentist to check if they’re suitable for you.
Veneers realign the teeth much more quickly than braces or invisible dental aligners. In fact, veneers provide an immediate transformation in your smile. They are also less uncomfortable than braces or aligners.
The only issue with veneers is that they don’t fix the root cause of teeth crowding and so are not a permanent solution. This treatment method also requires the enamel of your natural teeth to be shaved down, and this is an irreversible process.
Veneers can be pretty pricey, costing an average of $500-$2000 per tooth. Since they are not a permanent solution, you will also need to pay for maintenance and check-ups at the dentist in the future.