Opening up the bite


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My lower front teeth dig into the backs of my upper front teeth and are wearing them away. Two dentists told me I needed crowns to open up my bite, then two orthodontists told me braces would do the job. I won't get crowns because they do too much damage and ultimately fail, but I don't understand how braces will correct the situation. Please explain.
 
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Any work you have done to try to fix this problem could create far worse problems. Your best bet is a nightguard and consciously avoiding grinding. It's not simple and I think you can see that given the radical suggestions for treatment which you have had to date, that it could cost a lot with no guarantee that any of their ideas will work. The suggestions will result in permanent changes which could affect your ability to talk, smile, eat and your appearance. Think carefully about whether the current problem is so bad that you want to take such a risk.
 
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Thanks. I appreciate the warning. I'll ask the orthodontist to consider what I think might work, and hope that he can explain, to my satisfaction, why it will or won't work. If he can't explain, I'll keep looking for a dentist who can.

I use a nightguard and I don't grind when I'm awake, but the backs of my upper teeth are damaged and need to be repaired. It seems to me if the bottom teeth can be moved back, so as not to dig into the backs of the upper teeth, that should work. What say you?
 
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Your front teeth are not supposed to touch like that. There's supposed to be a gap between your front teeth so that they are not touching one another constantly. If you have a poor bite relationship, or if your teeth have worn down over the years, your front teeth start to touch one another. This is referred to as edge-to-edge bite and is very harmful to your front teeth. Braces is your best option here. Your orthodontist can push your teeth apart to give you this safety space to protect your front teeth from further damage. Crowns may also work for some minor cases. But since crowns can't move your teeth much, your problem may not be permanently solved. Plus for crowns to work you need to place crowns on a whole bunch of your teeth (at least 6) which ends up costing more than braces anyways. Hope this helps guide you in the right direction!
 
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It is possible to open your bite and correct the occlusion with orthodontic treatment. However, to do so, your age and gum strength should support. If your dentist recommends you for braces, I believe, your gums and other supporting structure are pretty strong to accept the procedure. With the help of braces, it is possible to realign tooth position to the desired need and in general, it would take upto one year of treatment duration. Your condition is called " deep bite " which tend to damage the lower front teeth on due course of time if left unheard. It's better to opt for orthodontic management rather than the crown because of two reasons. 1) unnecessary grinding of tooth structure which is not a conservative procedure. 2) Even after placing the crown, there are more chances for the prosthesis to abrade or become wear-off because of minimal space available in your condition. For these reasons, it is better to go for braces, providing that your gums are supportive. I hope this helps to decide better.
 
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Can't afford crowns and I don't like them, anyway. They destroy the teeth they "crown", and they fail eventually.
 

honestdoc

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I agree with Busybee in considering a night guard. The Over-the-Counter night guard is less costly but it is one size fits all. The custom bite guard is very costly but will fit the best. If you opt for the custom guard, I recommend a hard/soft bite guard which is hard on the outside and softer on the inside contacting your teeth.
 
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