Lynn, a mother of a boy suffering from misaligned teeth and an overbite, wrote to share her questions as to which course of action she should take. She said they met with two orthodontists. The first orthodontist suggested wearing orthodontic braces for about a year; on the other hand, the second orthodontist told them the treatment would involve pulling a couple of teeth along with wearing braces.
Confused by conflicting recommendations, Lynn sought advice as to which is the better treatment option so she could make a well-informed decision regarding her son’s oral health.
An Orthodontist’s Advice
Bite problems are a variation of teeth misalignment disorder. In overbite problems, the upper front teeth cover the lower front teeth. Ideally, this should not be the case since both the upper and lower teeth are supposed to fit just right, without one covering the other.
In correcting overbite, there are several factors to be considered. In deciding on the right treatment plan, the following should be taken into account:
- Patient’s age
- Size of the upper and lower jaws
- Health of the temporomandibular joints
- Likelihood of grinding or clenching of teeth
- Size of the front teeth as they relate to the upper and lower jaws
- Tongue in relation to swallowing patterns
- Spacing of teeth
Going back to Lynn’s inquiry, as a general rule orthodontists will try to salvage the teeth, so this eliminates the suggestion of removing teeth. But to save teeth from being extracted, the child’s upper jaw bone needs to be expanded.
While saving the teeth is the general rule, it is possible that it may not be the ideal option every time. Thus, Lynn may need to obtain several recommendations from other dental specialists.