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Braces

Overbite

06/05/2006

Question:

I am 30 years old. I have what I would call a slight overbite--I can not even put my tongue between my top and bottom front teeth. I have never had braces. I have one tooth that is not straight--from the center of my teeth it would be in the top row, the third one moving left of center. The remainder of my teeth are straight. The appearance of this tooth bothers me and I would like to have it straightened. I saw an orthodontist 2 years ago who told me that I would need corrective surgery to take care of the problem. He said that he would need to open up the roof of my mouth and put a spacer in to spread the jaw apart, just for this one tooth. I had initially gone to him to see about invisalign. He stated that he would not do invisalign because it would only cause my overbite to get worse. In your opinion, do you feel this is true? I will not go through the ordeal of surgery just to fix one tooth when the rest have absolutely no problems. Thanks for any advice.

Answer:

I am relatively certain that your upper jaw is narrower than the lower, and that is why he wants to consider surgical widening because the sutures have long ago pretty much fused. One possibility I can think of is that he be asked if he could do slenderizing of all of the teeth, ala the technique of Dr. Jack Sheridan. This effort, coupled with braces and long term retainers, has worked in some cases of so called mild crowding. If the crowding is too severe, then extraction of a single tooth would be the third option. It is difficult if not impossible to diagnose from verbal information, so it might also be advisable to seek a second opinion via an office examination.

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Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University