3 Options For Fixing Your Crowded Teeth

Do you have crowded teeth that make you self-conscious about your smile? Have you decided that it's finally time to fix them? Many people with crowded teeth are uncomfortable with their smiles. Crowded teeth isn't just an appearance issue, though. Your crowded teeth are also causing hygiene problems. Food and bacteria can get lodged between your teeth. Because of the crowding, that bacteria may not be easily removed by flossing or brushing. If the bacteria stays lodged between your teeth, it can lead to tooth decay and gum problems. You do have options to get your crowded teeth fixed. Here are three effective ways to improve your smile:

Tooth extraction. With tooth extraction, your dentist pulls out an unnecessary extra tooth. That gives your other teeth the space they need to settle in to a more appropriate location. Tooth extraction can be inexpensive and is a good solution when the overcrowding is limited to one specific area. However, it may not be the best solution if all of your teeth are overcrowded. Your dentist can't extract teeth all over your mouth.

Also, this method may not have quick results. It will take time for your teeth to adjust to the new space, so improvements will be very gradual.

Braces. This is one of the most common methods for dealing with crowded teeth. It's usually done in adolescence, but braces can also be for adults. The braces are installed on your teeth and push and pull your teeth into proper position over time. Depending on the severity of your overcrowding, you may wear braces for anywhere from several months to several years.

If you're worried about the appearance of metal braces, you can talk to your dentist about invisible braces. These usually cost more than metal braces, but they're only noticeable at a very close range.

Porcelain veneers. This is the best option when you want immediate results. Your dentist installs a thin layer of porcelain over your teeth, giving your teeth the immediate appearance of being straight. Veneers require no extra maintenance. They'll also protect your teeth and gums from food and bacteria.

Veneers can be costly. Your dental insurance may not cover veneers if there is another option available. Also, veneers are permanent. You can't decide later that you'd rather try braces or that you'd like to remove the veneers. Once they're bonded to your teeth, they can't be removed.

Talk to a cosmetic dentist, like Charlottesville Dental Medicine at Forest Lakes, about options for treating your overcrowded teeth. The dentist can examine your teeth and recommend solutions that meet your needs and budget.