Are your eeth not touching? Malocclusion occurs when the teeth don’t align properly to fit in the mouth. Generally, your teeth should fit in the mouth without gaps, crowding, severe rotation, or twisting. Open bite can lead to serious oral health complications if untreated or neglected for long. Moreover, this condition can prevent your teeth from performing ordinary functions such as biting, chewing, or even grinding.
Who is the best dentist near me to treat this condition? At victory plaza dental group in North Hollywood, we offer comprehensive approaches to treating dental open bite complications. Our open bite treatment options depend on the severity of individual conditions. In some cases, we can fix open bites without braces. Alternatively, we can also use invisalign for open bites if you experience minor malocclusion complications. This article highlights a comprehensive guide to open bite correction among older children and adults. Whether you want to fix open bite with braces or not, here is everything you should know about open bite correction:
What is an Open Bite?
What is an open bite? Are your eeth not touching? This form of malocclusion mainly manifests in a visible, vertical gap between the front teeth. In most cases, the front teeth on the upper and lower jaws cannot meet if you close your mouth and bring the jaws together. Even though this condition is prevalent in about 0.6% of US residents, it manifests in many ways, including:
Anterior Open Bite
Anterior open bite is prevalent in the front teeth of the upper and lower jaws. It mainly occurs when the incisors in the lower and the upper jaws cannot overlap on a completed bite. Most patients who are suffering from this condition experience tearing and biting complications. Though rare, some patients may also experience speech difficulties. An anterior malocclusion may develop during early childhood.
Posterior Open Bite
Posterior open bite affects the teeth at the back of the mouth, primarily molars and premolars. You may notice that your teeth don’t touch during occlusion (the state of biting down). Experiencing this condition means you can hardly enjoy hard foods such as meat and raw vegetables. Corrective treatment for this condition restores the chewing function.
Dental Open Bite
You’ll likely experience this open bite if you suffer from the impediment of tooth eruption. Tooth eruption occurs when the tooth gets past the jawbone and the gum to align in the dental arch. Can invisalign fix open bite? Yes, your dentist may recommend the treatment for this type of malocclusion.
Skeletal Open Bite
Skeletal open bite is not common because it is primarily a genetic problem passed through generations. It manifests in abnormal growth of the face, which can lead to irregular growth and development of molars in the upper and lower jaws.
Even if you don’t experience any of the above types of open bite, any form of misalignment is essential to address. Professional dentists at victory plaza dental group in North Hollywood can help correct an open bite to ensure proper teeth alignment. Aligning the lower teeth will protect your tongue from accidental bites, while aligning the upper teeth prevents you from biting your cheeks or lips.
What Are the Possible Causes of an Open Bite?
Generally, malocclusion is a hereditary condition passed from one generation to another. That is why you can find almost the whole family suffering from it. This condition can also emanate from a mismatch in the size or structure of the upper and lower jaws. Other causes may include:
- Unhealthy oral habits after you’re three years old; may include tongue thrusting, pacifier sucking, or thumb sucking. A prolonged bottle-feeding period can also trigger malocclusion in early childhood.
- Facial trauma effects; accidents can affect the shape of your jaws.
- Poor dental fitting restorations; various dental treatments, including implants, can result in misaligned teeth if done carelessly.
- Airway obstruction; your teeth can misalign due to prolonged airway obstruction, making you breathe through the mouth.
- Poor dental care; malocclusion may occur due to poor dental care services when fitting braces and crowns.
- Extra teeth in the mouth; besides extra teeth, missing, abnormally shaped, or impacted teeth can also result in malocclusion.
- Lastly, this condition can also result from mouth or jaw tumors.
When Should You Visit a Dentist for Teeth Alignment?
The severity of the symptoms you may experience from malocclusion depends on the class of the condition. Prevalent signs of malocclusion include:
- Improper teeth alignment
- Facial appearance changes
- Chewing or biting discomfort
- Mouth inhalation instead of the nose
- Speech changes
During diagnosis, your dentist may classify the condition in the following classes:
- Class I Malocclusion: Your dentist will diagnose your condition as class I if the molars in the upper and lower jaws overlap in a good position, but there is still visible spacing or crowding in the other teeth. The misalignment is not severe, and you may still experience normal biting function.
- Class II Malocclusion: If you have a severe overbite, your dentist may classify the condition as class II. You may experience overlapping teeth on the lower and upper jaws. The jawbones may also misalign. Popularly known as retrognathism, this condition is prevalent in patients with relatively smaller than usual lower jaws.
- Class III Malocclusion: Your dentist may refer to this condition as prognathism, typically experienced when the lower jaw protrudes forward, assuming a slightly large size. You’ll suffer from this condition if you experience severe underbite, meaning the lower teeth overlap with the upper teeth.
How to Treat Open Bite
This type of malocclusion is common in kids, especially during the mixed dentition phase. Unless the condition is genetic, this condition may correct itself when the permanent erupts. If that doesn’t happen, there are several open bite treatment options for children, ideally above seven years and adults of all age groups. Your dentist will recommend either of the following options:
Dental Appliances or Retainers
Most cases of malocclusions are treatable with various dental appliances and retainers. The type of retainer depends on its efficacy in managing the severity of the condition. Sometimes, your budget also determines the appliance that your dentist use. Prevalent devices for treating dental open bite complications include:
Invisalign for Open Bites
Can invisalign fix open bite complications? The answer is yes. Invisalign can help correct minor malocclusions, especially on the front teeth. Even though its use is not common, we recommend invisalign to patients whose conditions don’t require invasive procedures.
Braces for Open Bite
Even though many people classify braces together with invisalign, the latter works faster at closing gaps or fixing complicated tooth conditions. You can fix open bite with braces, especially on the front teeth. These appliances work by aligning the teeth into the correct, balanced position.
Blue Grass Appliances for Open Bite
If you want to fix open bite without braces, especially in children, you can go for green grass appliances. These appliances work the same as plastic rollers and can help your child quit the tongue-thrusting habit. Alternatively, your dentist can also leverage tongue crib therapy, especially if you have mixed and permanent dentition. We install a removable crib in your mouth to prevent the tongue from thrusting against the upper teeth.
Elastics for Open Bite
Elastics are a go-to treatment option for anterior malocclusion. These appliances come in pre-configured vertical and triangular elastics.
Jawbone Surgery for Open Bite
For jawbone surgical procedures, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with a reliable orthognathic surgeon. This treatment will fix open bite conditions by addressing skeletal complications. It is ideal for adults and older children with fully developed permanent teeth. However, you shouldn’t take your child for this procedure before the jaws are mature since it can impede the growth of permanent teeth.
Sometimes, your malocclusion condition can be a trigger of overcrowding teeth. In most cases, overcrowding teeth is a genetic condition passed down in generations. Also, it can result if you lose primary teeth either too early or too late. Tooth uprooting may be the last option of managing overcrowded teeth to fix open bite complications.
Use of Veneers to Fix Open Bite
Veneers can fix an open bite if the gap in the teeth is relatively unnoticeable. Veneers are cosmetic additions often made from composite materials or ceramic. The dentist will scrape the teeth before adding the veneer fixtures to prevent the gap from further widening. This treatment option is fast, painless, and guarantees long-term results if done correctly. However, it is only effective as soon as you start experiencing the symptoms of minor malocclusion.
Headgear for Open Bite
Your dentist may also use a special headgear known as high-pull headgear to reverse the effects of malocclusion. This headgear controls jaw growth and development to fix open bite by realigning the teeth. You’ll need to wear the headgear on the upper and backside of the head. For quick, long-term results, your dentist may recommend using this headgear alongside braces.
If the patient is a child, say under seven years, the best way to fix open bite is by implementing behavioral change. The dentist will train you on how to discourage your child from sucking thumbs. You may also need to minimize the use of pacifiers and feeding bottles for an extended period. Behavioral change is a sure way to fix open bite without braces.
The Estimated Cost for Treating Open Bite
How much will it cost you to fix open bite complications? The cost for treating open bite in a reputable dental clinic is between $1,800 and $7,000. However, the actual cost depends on the type of restoration procedure and how extensive it is. Also, different clinics have varying pricing policies. It will help if you visit a certified clinic working in a dedicated orthodontist practice. That way, you’ll get a one-time quote for medical costs covering the entire treatment, which typically goes for about 18-30 months.
The Benefits of Treating Open Bite
The concerns of malocclusion conditions range from one patient to another. Whether it’s fractured teeth or aesthetic concerns, you can fix open bite complications as soon as possible addresses the following:
- Discomfort Due to Tooth Wear: The wear and tear of misaligned teeth (especially molars and premolars) can be severe, leading to other dental conditions such as fractured teeth. Open bite correction addresses this concern and guarantees comfort when chewing and grinding.
- Self-Esteem and Confidence: A small gap in the front teeth ceases to be beautiful once space widens. Thus, you may be unhappy with how you look because your teeth seem like they are sticking out. Open bite correction will help you restore that eroded self-esteem and confidence.
- Speech and Pronunciation: Depending on your occupation or daily activities, a change in speech can be a great concern. Developing a lisp means your colleagues can no longer hear you properly. Treating malocclusion can help restore your natural speech.
- Normal Chewing and Biting: How do you think it feels if you’re unable to enjoy your favorite meals? Misaligned teeth can prevent you from chewing and biting correctly. You would want to mitigate that by seeking the proper corrective treatment.
Possible Complications Associated with Open Bite Treatment
Just like any other teeth procedure, correcting misaligned teeth and jaws can also result in various complications. However, booking an appointment with the best dentists in town can help mitigate the risks for possible complications. Moreover, reputable dental clinics provide ongoing medical care and support until you heal completely. You might experience the following risks after you fix open bite complications:
- Extreme pain or discomfort
- Irritation from dental appliances (braces)
- Difficulties in speech
- Difficulties in chewing
- Tooth decay
How to Prevent an Open Bite
Preventing malocclusion can be pretty tricky since the condition is hereditary in most patients. In that case, you would want to begin treatment as soon as possible before the gap on your front teeth widens. Even so, scientific research and studies suggest that environmental factors can influence the growth and development of your jaw/ teeth. If your child is at a high risk of developing malocclusion, it will help if you limit pacifier or bottle feeding. You would also want to discourage thumb-sucking. These habits often interfere with the healthy development of the jaw. Also, kindly note that detecting this condition earlier may help influence the length and severity of the viable treatment option.
An open bite can affect the quality of your life in many ways, including speech and eating habits. Fortunately, this guide shows you how to treat open bite at any age; whether you’re a teen or an older adult. Orthodontists at the victory plaza dental group in North Hollywood offer innovative diagnosis and treatment procedures for all forms of teeth misalignment. Whether it’s helping in behavioral change or using adult braces, you can count on us to fix open bite complications. You can also bring your child for early dental evaluation, especially if some baby teeth are still left. Our orthodontists may implement several measures/ procedures to fix open bite at this age. We may recommend behavioral improvements or avoiding a sucking bottle. Schedule an appointment today to start your corrective treatment journey.