What are ways to fix cross-bite apart from braces? (photo)

Doctor's Answers 2

A crossbite is a term used to describe malalignment of teeth and can be classified according to its location. An anterior crossbite refers to the upper teeth being behind the lower front teeth, while a buccal or lingual crossbite describes the back teeth where there is a mismatch in its position. A crossbite can be localised to one or 2 pairs of teeth. It can also be generalised involving more than 2 pairs of teeth. It can be unilateral or bilateral, meaning on one side only or happening on both sides.

The presentation of the crossbite gives me a clue on whether the cause of the crossbite is just malalignment of the teeth or its related to a malalignment of the jawbones housing the teeth. Generally speaking, if the crossbite is localised and unilateral, it is confined to malalignment of the teeth and can be corrected with repositioning the teeth in crossbite.

This can, of course, be achieved with braces or aligner treatment. Alternatively, though this is not something I would recommend, it may be possible to change the orientation of the crowns of the teeth by repositioning the crowns prosthodontically. This involves cutting the teeth involved in the crossbite correction to a small stump and placing an artificial crown in a different orientation to mask its previous position. However this may not be possible for all crossbite correction and is also quite destructive if the teeth are intact, it is best to check with your dentist.

If the crossbite is bilateral and generalised, it is likely related to the jawbones housing the teeth. A buccal crossbite that is bilateral may suggest a narrow upper jaw or a wide lower jaw. The correction will have to be done orthodontically through an expander or other orthodontic means.

Lastly, if the crossbite is unilateral and involves both the front teeth and the back teeth, it is quite likely that it is related to the jawbones housing the teeth which seems to be the case from the photo you have submitted. It appears to me that you have a lower jaw that is shifted to the left side resulting in a crossbite on the left side.

Correcting a crossbite related to the jawbones housing the teeth will require repositioning the cause of the problem (i.e repositioning the lower jaw), this involves braces treatment together with orthognathic surgery. Do speak to your dentist/orthodontist about what are your treatment goals and he/she will be able to inform you of your options.

Besides braces, you may choose an aesthetic dentistry solution.

Aesthetic dentistry in its simplest term is like renovating your teeth by the use of normal dental treatment to change the look of the smile. The aesthetic dentist would generally use dental veneers as the main treatment modality. The actual position does not change, so there are the added benefits of speed, comfort and convenience. Unlike braces, because there is no moving of teeth, the result is stable without wearing retainers.

The procedure does, however, require a high degree of planning and experience and is probably not going to be available in every dental clinic.

Do please note that for a procedure to be an aesthetic solution:

  1. You have to look good
  2. It has to look natural
  3. It has to be functional (you must be able to bite with them)
  4. It has to be biological (not compromise the health of your mouth)
  5. It has to be durable and long-lasting

My advice is to find the right dentist, look at past work that he/she has done and discuss in detail what changes you would like to make in your smile.

Similar Questions

In what situations would a dentist advise a delay for braces treatment?

Thank you for your question. A dentist may advise to delay braces for a few situations, and some of the common ones include: 1) A need for growth monitoring. Some patients may present with a more prominent lower jaw or a long jaw which may continue to grow further and thus may affect the dentists' final treatment plan. Your dentist may also notice some aberrant growth such as an asymmetric jaw which may continue to change with growth. Males tend to grow for longer compared to females and some don't stop growing until their late teens or even their early twenties.

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Why do black spaces at the gums appear during braces treatment, and what can be done to treat it and maintain healthy gums?

Black spaces that appear at the gums during braces treatment are termed black triangles. It appears black as you can see the darkness of the mouth behind the teeth through these gaps. It occurs as a consequence of straightening the previously crooked teeth. When teeth are crooked, they often overlap each other. With braces treatment, the crowding is resolved and the teeth no longer overlap. However the gums, unfortunately, do not grow with the teeth into a new position hence it is the lack of gum coverage in between the teeth that results in the black spaces.

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