Dealing With Crooked Teeth

cosmetic_dentistIf your teeth are crooked, it’s a bigger problem than just not looking your best. “Rotated or crooked teeth are in more danger of breaking or splitting,” says Dr. Ford from her Phoenix office. “Repairing crooked teeth isn’t just a cosmetic procedure, it’s often a health procedure,” Dr. Ford adds.

Most people think of orthodontics—braces—as a way of correcting teeth. That’s certainly an option. WebMd reminds us that “braces may consist of bands, wires, and other fixed or removable corrective appliances. No one method works for everyone.” Your specific needs depend on your age, your health, the amount of dental work you have already had and the amount of commitment you have.

“Braces require care and cleaning to maintain the equipment and your own health,” Dr. Ford says, “and for some people, other options are a better choice.

In the cases of slightly crooked teeth, some of the enamel can be shaped and replaced by a veneer that corrects the tooth, both visibly and functionally.  This works particularly well for front teeth that are slightly overlapped.

However, if the teeth are overlapped more than slightly, the shaping will need to be more aggressive. That means that if too much of the tooth structure is removed, a veneer is not longer an option. Instead, a crown is needed.

Restorative work is faster than orthodontics, and can combine the restoration with cosmetic results. WebMd reports that “a crown is a dental appliance that replaces and covers the entire part of a tooth above the gum line. A crown may be made of gold, porcelain, or a combination of other man-made materials.” The material choices creates a variety of results—excellent color match, strong grinding surfaces, and even-looking teeth.

Crowns can be made to match veneers, so an entire mouth of crooked-looking teeth can be transformed in a short time. A mix of crowns and veneers can create a “dazzling smile and a healthier mouth at the same time,” smiles Dr. Ford.

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