Overcrowding affects the appearance of the smile. It can also lead to significant dental issues, including tooth decay, gum disease, uneven wear, and more. Therefore, correcting crowded teeth is a matter of function as well as aesthetics.
Here, our team at Fort Bend Dental in Missouri City, TX explores treatment for crowded teeth, including orthodontic options such as Invisalign® and braces. No matter what your dental concerns, we can help you achieve and maintain the smile you desire.
Invisalign® for Crowded Teeth
Over the past several years, Invisalign has become one of the most popular alternatives to braces among teen and adult patients. Virtually invisible, this system gradually shifts the teeth into their desired positions using a sequence of clear thermoplastic trays.
Rather than having braces tightened every month, patients will exchange the current set of aligners for the next one in the series approximately every two weeks. All in all, the total Invisalign treatment process takes about 18 to 24 months on average.
Invisalign is an excellent treatment option for overcrowding and other types of malocclusion. The majority of patients seeking orthodontic treatment will be eligible for Invisalign. During a consultation at our practice, your doctor can let you know if this may be a solution for you.
Traditional Metal Braces
While Invisalign is effective for many patients, it simply is not for everyone. Patients who have severe or complex cases of malocclusion may benefit from traditional metal braces.
Used in orthodontics for decades, braces are a tried-and-true method for straightening teeth. Metal brackets, bands, and wires are used to apply gentle but steady pressure to the teeth.
The total treatment timeline can vary significantly based on your unique dental needs. However, on average, most patients complete their treatment in about 18 to 24 months.
If your specific situation requires braces, we can refer you to a trusted orthodontic specialist who places braces on a routine basis.
Is Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
When it comes to cases of malocclusion, orthodontic treatment is often the most predictable and reliable option. However, some mild cases of crowding can be corrected with cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers or tooth contouring:
- Porcelain veneers: In some instances, porcelain veneers can be placed to conceal overlapped teeth. This procedure requires some removal of natural enamel. However, it can deliver dramatic results. Patients who choose this option should be aware that veneers, like most restorations, will need to be replaced every few years. The average lifespan of dental veneers is about 10 to 15 years, but they can last even longer with proper care.
- Tooth contouring: Also referred to as slenderizing, tooth contouring can give natural teeth the space they require to align. If crowding is due to mismatched tooth sizes, then contouring may be enough to correct the problem and deliver a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Extractions for Crowded Teeth
If overcrowding is due to an underdeveloped jaw or a similar condition, extractions may be the only viable option. By strategically removing certain teeth, more space can be provided for more optimal positioning.
Contact Us for More Information
If you have crowded teeth, our team can help you find a solution that will meet your needs. To schedule a visit at our dental practice, contact us online or call us at one of our two locations in Richmond or Missouri City.
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