Let’s start by saying this: crooked teeth aren’t uncommon–many adults and children have crooked teeth in various forms. Furthermore, there’s nothing inherently wrong with crooked teeth; in fact, they can add a bit of charm and a unique flair to your smile. You shouldn’t feel like you have to fix your crooked teeth to fit some outside standard of beauty. On the other hand, there are some good reasons why you may want to fix a crooked tooth. If you choose to go that route, there are a variety of dental techniques which your dentist may employ. Let’s take a look at the ways in which dentists approach crooked teeth, and how they can fix them.
What Causes Crooked Teeth?
Crooked teeth occur in both children and adults, and they may appear for any of a variety of reasons. Some of the more common causes of crooked teeth include:
- Genetic predisposition: some people are born with misaligned teeth or jaws and are thus more prone to crooked teeth throughout their lives.
- Premature loss of baby teeth, or baby teeth that hold on for too long. Either can lead to permanent teeth coming in crooked.
- Childhood habits like thumb sucking or using a pacifier are common causes of crooked teeth in both children and into adulthood.
- Facial or oral injuries can lead to crooked teeth or teeth coming in crooked.
- Poor dental hygiene, particularly in childhood, is a prime cause of crooked or misaligned teeth.
Do I Need Braces?
Orthodontic braces are a common approach to fixing crooked, misaligned, or spaced teeth. So will your crooked teeth mean that you need braces? Well, that depends on both your situation and your goals for your teeth and smile. Your dentist can help you make that decision, and if necessary will refer you to a trusted orthodontist who can provide the care you need.
Dental Approaches to Crooked Teeth
While orthodontics is common, there are some things your dentist can do to fix crooked teeth that don’t need braces. This branch of dentistry, known as cosmetic dentistry, relies on a number of cosmetic fixes to correct issues in the appearance, position, or shape of the teeth. Depending on your situation, your dentist may recommend any of the following:
- Veneers — Veneers are a simple, direct solution to crooked teeth. As the name suggests, dental veneers are thin porcelain or ceramic shell applied to the outer surface of the tooth. This allows your dentist to correct the appearance, color, or spacing of the tooth without repositioning the tooth itself.
- Dental bonds — Bonds work much like dental veneers do, in that they are a means to reshape the tooth to improve its appearance or fix a broken tooth. A malleable material is shaped to correct the issue with the tooth and then hardened using a special blue light. Once in place, they function much as a natural tooth does.
- Crowns — Crowns are a restorative technique that can be used to correct crooked teeth. Crowns restructure the tooth by implanting a crown or cap over the top. While often used to repair broken or cracked teeth, they also have cosmetic applications.
The key thing to realize is that when it comes to crooked teeth, you have options for treatment. Your dentist can help you decide what the best approach might be, and how it fits your overall goals for your smile and your dental health. No matter what, your smile is uniquely you, and we want it to be the best it can be. So whether you have a crooked tooth or just need a routine exam and cleaning, get in touch today and we’ll make an appointment!