What treatments are available for crooked teeth and misaligned bites?

Orthodontic treatments help straighten crooked teeth and misaligned bites (malocclusion) by correcting how the teeth are positioned. Dental braces or a removable retainer are used. If the teeth are crooked because they are very crowded, sometimes removing one or more teeth is necessary. Treatment also may include repairing or reshaping damaged, irregular, or rough teeth.
Miriam T. Furlong
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Orthodontic treatment may involve using fixed (attached to the teeth or mouth) or removable devices/appliances. Your orthodontist adjusts them on a regular basis until treatment is complete. An example of a fixed appliance is braces, and they can be made of a number of different materials including metal or clear/tooth colored. Braces are typically bonded to the front of teeth but some are on the back, or behind the teeth. They are designed to remain on the teeth until the orthodontist removes them.

An example of a removable appliance is Invisalign, which includes a series clear plastic tooth aligners that the patient changes on a regular basis. Retainers and other removable tooth aligners and habit correctors are more examples of removable appliances.

Orthodontists may use removable appliances and fixed appliances together, and treatment usually involves a combination of correcting the position of the teeth (orthodontics) and/or the jaws (orthopedics).

Fortunately there are many types of appliances available that are very effective. In general, it's the expertise of the practitioner rather than the orthodontic appliance that determines treatment outcome. So find a reputable orthodontist that you trust and they can recommend what's right for you.
Catherine O. Fulton, DDS
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics

Each person has unique facial and dental features. Orthodontists analyze a case by looking at the patient's face and the teeth. Properly aligning teeth is the ultimate goal of orthodontia. Achieving this goal requires patient cooperation with oral hygiene, avoiding certain foods, and wearing auxiliaries (i.e., elastics) as prescribed. There are a variety of treatment modalities: Siamese brackets, self-ligating brackets, tooth-colored brackets, lingual (tongue-side) brackets, and the ever popular Invisalign clear trays - all are used for straightening teeth. A problem with the facial aspect of a case might mean that the jaws are not coordinated. Jaws must also be aligned in order for the teeth to occlude or bite properly. In growing patients, growth modification appliances may be used to attempt to arrest one jaw's growth while simultaneously enhancing the growth of the other jaw. There are a variety of appliances which function to help with aligning the jaws. In non-growing patients, if the discrepancy between the jaws is great, oral surgery may be needed during orthodontic treatment.

If you are suffering from crooked teeth or a bite that is off, don't worry. There are several treatments for crooked teeth and misaligned bites which include: 

  • Veneers – thin, tooth-colored shells that are bonded, or cemented to the front of your teeth
  • Braces
  • Enamel Shaping – your dentist can “reshape” your teeth by contouring thooth enamel, the outer layer of the tooth.
  • Crowns – the outer part of the tooth is removed and a crown (cover) is placed over it. The crown can be made to look just like your other teeth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.