What are Options for Correcting an Overbite?

By | Blog

portrait of teenage girl smiling and showing her braces in front of plain white backgroundAre you self-conscious about your smile? Do you feel that your teeth don’t fit together quite right? Malocclusion can lead to several oral health concerns, including tooth decay, gum disease, and erosion, among many other things. If you are considering overbite correction in Sacramento, CA, Dr. David Markham can help you determine a treatment option that will work effectively for you. Today, we will explore what causes an overbite as well as different methods used to treat the condition.

Overjet vs Overbite: What is the Difference?

Overjet and overbite are two terms that are commonly confused. Before we discuss ways to treat an overbite, we will discuss the differences between these two types of malocclusion. Simply stated, an overbite has to do with the depth of the bite, and an overjet has to do with the protrusion of the teeth. Did you know that even patients with a typical bite have a slight overbite? In fact, it is normal for the upper teeth to overlap the lower teeth by about one to two millimeters. However, when the teeth overlap more than that, the lower teeth can actually touch the roof of the mouth. This is referred to as a deep vertical overbite. In contrast, an overjet is present when the upper front teeth “stick out” or protrude. Many patients refer to this condition as “buck teeth”. It is possible to have one or both conditions. In either case, malocclusion of any type can impede your oral health as well as compromise your confidence.

What Causes an Overbite?

There are a few different factors that can contribute to an overbite. For example, genetics, bruxism (teeth grinding), and TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) can all potentially increase the risk for developing an overbite. More often than not, childhood habits such as prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use can exacerbate the problem.

If left untreated, an overbite can result in more serious dental complications, such as jaw pain, chronic headaches, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, sleep apnea, and more. Therefore, it is important to have this issue addressed by an orthodontist to prevent the condition from worsening over time.

What are My Treatment Options?

At Markham Orthodontics, we offer several treatment options. The appropriate solution for you will depend on your particular situation. Overbites can successfully be addressed with:

  • Traditional metal braces: It’s hard to compete with this tried and true orthodontic correction option. Traditional metal braces can address several different kinds of malocclusion and offer predictable treatment. Today’s braces are far more comfortable and sleeker than their older counterparts.
  • Ceramic Braces: Quite similar to metal braces, the primary difference with the ceramic option is that the braces are less noticeable. The brackets are crafted from ceramic and the wires are frosted so they are less visible.
  • Invisalign®: In some cases, Invisalign can be used to correct an overbite. However, if your case is more complex, traditional orthodontics may be recommended.
  • Headgear: When more anchorage is required, headgear can be used to correct an overbite. In most cases, headgear is worn by children. However, in some instances, adults can benefit as well.
  • Elastics: Who would have known that tiny rubber bands can make a big difference? Elastics are an excellent and effective way to correct the way your teeth fit together.

Most patients will not require all of these treatments for overbite correction. These are simply some of the methods used to achieve a healthy, functional, and aesthetically pleasing smile. During an initial consultation with Dr. Markham, he can help you determine which treatment options will work for you.

Learn More about Overbite Correction

If you think you may require overbite correction in Sacramento, CA, schedule a consultation at our practice. You can call us at (916) 924-8970 or contact us online anytime.

Do All Crooked Teeth Need Braces?

By | Blog

crooked teeth Sacramento, CAMisaligned teeth may be obvious in some cases, but even teeth that look evenly placed and symmetrical can have bite issues. Conversely, not all teeth that look uneven are going to cause problems with your jaw function down the road. However, any teeth that appear crowded together have a greater potential for developing tooth decay and gum disease because they are harder to keep clean.

The only way to know for sure whether your crooked teeth need braces is to schedule a consultation with an experienced orthodontist, like Dr. David Markham. In our Sacramento, CA dental office, we will assess your tooth alignment and take x-rays to see what’s really going on with your occlusion and bite. We always provide a formal diagnosis and written treatment plan when we make orthodontic recommendations, so you understand your situation and can make an informed decision.

The Difference Between Bite and Alignment

Alignment refers to the position of the teeth in relation to each other. Bite refers to how well your top and bottom teeth fit together when you bite down and chew your food. Common bite dysfunctions include overbite, under bite, cross bite and open bite. If you suffer from any of these problems, it can lead to improper function of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) when you open and close your jaw. Most people think of TMJ disorder as being a popping or clicking sound in the jaw, but there is more to it than just that. The jaw joints are composed of multiple moving parts including ligaments, muscles, and the bones themselves. If your bite is not functioning properly, it can affect any of those moving parts and lead to chronic pain, headaches, damage to the teeth, bruxism, and even tooth loss.

The way your teeth fit together can also affect your breathing. Since the position of your jaw can affect your airway at night, orthodontic intervention and TMJ treatment may be able to treat or prevent patients from developing obstructive sleep apnea.

Sometimes a bite problem will be obvious if a patient has a severe overbite (buck teeth) or under bite (bulldog bite) but it’s not always easy to see. That’s why we recommend everyone have an orthodontic assessment at some point in their life.

For Crooked or Crowded Teeth

Patients who have a proper bite, but whose teeth appear crowded together should consider braces for their role in preserving oral health. When teeth are too close together or sit at odd angles, it can be hard to brush and floss them properly. Those tight spaces may be too small for toothbrush bristles to get in, but they aren’t too small for bacteria to enter. If you can’t clean the teeth properly, you are at much greater risk of developing cavities between the teeth and below the gum line. These hard-to-reach places are also hard for dentists to reach and restore with fillings, so prevention is the best approach.

For adults and older teens without bite issues, Invisalign® may be a preferable method of straightening the teeth. Invisalign is not ideal for patients with severe malocclusion or bite issues, but can improve your overall oral health and aesthetics without the limitations of conventional braces.

To find out whether your crooked teeth need braces, visit our Sacramento, CA dental office. At Markham Orthodontics, we treat patients of all ages. We will assess your smile and let you know whether your teeth would benefit from orthodontic treatment. Contact our office today at 916-924-8970 to make an appointment.

 

Markham Orthodontics – For Crooked Teeth Sacramento, CA

Treatment Time With Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

By | Blog
Markham Orthodontics | Sacramento, CA | Orthodontist | Office Tour

Treatment Time

CAN I GET DONE FASTER WITH INVISALIGN?

Many patients ask if they can complete their orthodontic treatment faster with Invisalign vs. than with brackets and wires. And while treatment with Invisalign typically takes between 6-18 months vs. 2+ years with traditional braces, the most important factors to consider is goals of treatment and not necessarily the mode of treatment.

INVISALIGN AND TRADITIONAL BRACES TREAT DIFFERENT ORTHODONTIC PROBLEMS

While there is some overlap between what can be achieved with Invisalign and with traditional braces, it is important to understand that Invisalign tends to be used to treat less complicated cases; and accordingly, the treatment time is naturally shorter. Thus, the treatment time with any orthodontic treatment is more accurately based on the level of treatment needed.

Call our office today for your complimentary evaluation at (916) 924-8970.

Should I Get Invisalign or Braces?

By | Blog

Invisalign or bracesIf you are an adult considering orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering: Invisalign or braces? Should you go with a clear aligner system, or traditional bracket-and-wire braces?

Everyone you’ve known who’s worn Invisalign loves their discreet appearance and flexibility, but you also see adults with clear braces, too. You may wonder, why doesn’t everyone use Invisalign?

Invisalign® is favored by many—partially because of its appearance, and partially because you can simply remove the aligners for dates, business meetings, or photographs. But it’s not right for everyone. Both methods can straighten a crowded-looking smile, but there are few things Invisalign cannot do.

Sacramento orthodontist Dr. David Markham can help you decide between Invisalign or braces. Call our office at 916-924-8970 for an orthodontic consultation.

Braces are Better for Bite Disorders

Invisalign can gradually shift the horizontal position of your teeth, but it cannot correct bite problems. Nor can it rotate teeth or shift them downward.

How can you tell if your bite is off? You probably know already if you have an overbite or under bite you want to change, but cross bite is another issue that can damage your teeth. When the top and bottom arches of teeth don’t fit together when you bite down, this can lead to greater wear and tear on the teeth. Eroded enamel and cracked molars are more common with bite disorders—and they can even lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

If you notice popping or clicking sounds when you open and close your jaw, the joints may not be functioning properly. Improper bite can cause this, and it can lead to much worse than an occasional popping sound. TMJ disorder is often the cause of mysterious headaches, neck pain, and facial or jaw pain. It is often connected with bruxism (teeth grinding), which can further damage your teeth. If any of these symptoms coincide with what we find is improper bite alignment, we will always recommend traditional braces over Invisalign.

Braces are Better if You Don’t Want to Change Your Eating Habits

One of the biggest caveats about Invisalign is that you cannot eat while wearing the aligners. The only thing you can consume while wearing Invisalign is plain water. For everything else, you must remove the aligners and you must brush and floss your teeth before you put them back in. For those of us who like to sip our coffee or Diet Coke throughout the day, Invisalign would mean a drastic change.

Why is this rule so important? Eating while wearing the aligners can damage them, for one, but there’s more to the story than that. When you wear Invisalign, your teeth do not make contact with your saliva. This means they do not get the benefit of saliva’s acid-neutralizing and rinsing properties. If you drink coffee while wearing your aligners, the next few hours will be like wearing a whitening tray filled with coffee—you will get massive staining. If you drink soda while wearing the aligners, any small amount of soda that gets in will sit against the teeth and feed bacteria. This creates an acidic environment that causes cavities. Cheating on the no-drinking/no-eating rule (or not cleaning the teeth thoroughly before replacing your aligners) will land you with rapidly advancing decay and/or teeth stains. If this sounds like too drastic a change, then we would recommend you spend your money on braces instead.

Benefits of All Orthodontics, Invisalign or Braces

If you are an adult or teen thinking about orthodontic treatment, congratulations! You are making a wonderful decision for the long-term health of your mouth. Realigning your teeth into more balanced positions is usually an aesthetic choice, but it has great value for the health of your teeth and gums. Teeth that overlap or sit at odd angles are simply harder to keep clean. They may look clean, but more inaccessible spaces means more places for bacteria to hide. Mouths with poorly aligned teeth are more likely to develop cavities in those hard-to-clean areas, and gum disease can develop more quickly.

Leaving your teeth in their natural state can also be risky because poor alignment leads to greater wear-and-tear and structural damage to the teeth. If you have a bite problem, you may be more likely to develop TMJ disorder or bruxism.

Straightening your teeth is a wonderful decision to make—for your appearance, self-confidence, and oral health. Sacramento dentist Dr. David Markham can help you decide whether you should get Invisalign or braces. Visit our dental office for an orthodontic consultation and we’ll discuss how your oral health, alignment issues, and lifestyle might make one treatment preferable over another.

Call our Sacramento, CA dental office at 916-924-8970 to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic consultation.

It’s Never Too Late to Straighten Out Your Smile!

By | Blog

adult orthodonticsHas your crooked smile bothered you for years? Do you have teeth that stick out and disrupt the symmetry of your smile? If you’ve ever thought you missed your chance to correct your misaligned teeth, think again! Adult orthodontics are a popular treatment for improving your dental health and appearance. Perfecting your smile is a good idea at any age–and with today’s flexible alternatives to metal braces, you don’t have to look like an adolescent again in the process.

It’s never too late to correct a misaligned smile! Visit Markham Orthodontics to learn more about adult orthodontics in Sacramento, CA. Call us at 916-924-8970 to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. David Markham.

The Health Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

While aesthetics are often a patient’s primary concern, there are a number of health reasons for correcting maloccluded teeth. When teeth do not align properly, especially in the case of bite dysfunction (such as overbite, under bite, and cross bite), this can make them more vulnerable to cracking and breaking. It can also lead to dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which can cause cause chronic jaw pain, soreness, and headaches. Straight, evenly spaced teeth are also easier to keep clean, and therefore less likely to develop cavities in hard-to-brush areas.

Discreet Alternatives to Metal Braces

There are several options for adult orthodontics: traditional braces, clear braces, and Invisalign® clear aligners. Traditional braces are the standard, but many adults do not want to sacrifice their professional appearance by wearing obtrusive metal braces. For a less noticeable look, clear braces are one option. The brackets are made from clear ceramic and the wires are pale-colored, as well. Clear braces may still be visible at close range, but they do not alter the color of your smile.

For a more discreet appearance, Invisalign treatment is often the preferred choice. Rather than use brackets and wires to correct the position of the teeth, Invisalign encourages the teeth to shift using clear plastic aligner trays (similar to traditional retainers). Over a period of 12-18 months, your teeth will slowly move into more ideal positions, using a series of graduated aligners. The aligner trays are removable and are only visible at close range. This means you can simply take them out for business meetings, dates, or other occasions in which you don’t want them seen. Invisalign is an excellent choice for patients with mild-to-moderate crowding or misalignment, but is not ideal for patients with bite issues or teeth that must be shifted vertically; in those cases, clear braces will be recommended.

Orthodontic Treatment is Faster than Ever

With orthodontic accelerators, patients can now drastically reduce the time it takes to finish their course of orthodontics. Using the AcceleDent device or Propel in-office treatment, patients can reduce treatment time by up to 50-60 percent. These gentle devices use micro-vibrations to stimulate the bones and encourage teeth to shift more quickly.

Patients who choose Invisalign treatment are often pleased to learn that the typical treatment period is usually shorter than that of bracket-and-wire braces. Rather than the usual 24 month period, most Invisalign patients finish treatment in about 18 months. In some cases, patients may be able to finish their treatment plan in as little as 12 months.

Visit Markham Orthodontics to learn more about adult orthodontics in Sacramento, CA. We make orthodontic treatment more affordable by offering payment plans and accepting CareCredit. Call us at 916-924-8970 to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. David Markham.