Orthodontics Questions and Answers Archive

Dec
2001

Q&A: Should I have my wisdom teeth extracted because my teeth are overlapping after I had braces years ago?

Question:

I've had braces before, about 14 years ago, but my teeth have started to overlap and are getting worse as time goes by. My dentist said I need to get one of my wisdom teeth taken out but I really want to get braces again. Should I have my wisdom tooth removed first or can I have that done later?

- Andrea

Answer:

 Debra Gray King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

Without the benefit of examining you, I cannot tell you what sequence of treatment you should follow. It may very well be that your wisdom teeth are forcing your other teeth together. Here is something else to think about --A lot of adults that do not want to undergo braces have opted for veneers, which give the appearance of perfectly straight teeth and what some call, "instant orthodontics." This is just one option that you may want to discuss with an accredited cosmetic dentist to see if it is a viable alternative for you. If you have unanswered questions, ask your current dentist or seek a second opinion from a qualified dentist that can examine you.

-- Debra Gray King, DDS
Atlanta, Georgia



Dec
2001

Q&A: I was wondering, because I have an over bite and then my teeth are crooked, that would I be able to get this fixed with cosmetic dentistry or do I need to get braces?

Question:

I was wondering, because I have an over bite and then my teeth are crooked, that would I be able to get this fixed with cosmetic dentistry or do I need to get braces?

- Jeremy

Answer:

Debra Gray King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

Thanks for your question. The condition you have described with your overbite is usually correctable. Without the benefit of seeing you, I cannot tell you which treatment options would be best for you. Situations similar to yours are corrected all the time either through restorative dentistry, orthodontics, or a combination of both. We often correct these deep overbites with what we call an "open bite" treatment plan. This consists of reducing your overbite by placing porcelain veneers and onlys on your teeth. I hope this helps and good luck in getting a better smile!

--Debra Gray King, DDS
Atlanta, Georgia



Nov
2001

Q&A: Was my application of veneers abnormal because I had a lot of pain and still have sensitivity to hot & cold?

Question:

I just had a gum lift and 8 porcelain veneers applied to my teeth. I'm curious about a few things. I heard that the preparation and application of veneers is painless and sometimes unnessesary for anasthetic to be used. This is definitely not how my proceedure was. I was subjected to a lot of novacane and a lot of pain. I'm not sure why my case was any different. Although I couldn't see what the doctor was doing, it seemed as if he ground my natural teeth down drastically. Is this normal? My gums are extremely sore and swollen, and I'm very sensitive to hot and cold. I had my veneers applied just last week, but I'm still confused as to why this was such a painful proceedure. I also had to undergo 3 root canals for the proceedure. Previously, I had a very gummy smile, so I needed the gum lift. Subsequently, the doctor had to "shorten" my teeth. But it felt as though he ground them down to little points and then applied the veneers. I was very choosy when picking my doctor. He is very well know in the Midwest. The veneers look beautiful, but I'm a little nervous about what was done to my natural teeth. Also, will this sensitivity to hot and cold ever go away? Thanks

Answer:

Debra Gray King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

Sometimes veneers can be placed with little to no tooth reduction. Other times, a lot of tooth reduction is required. This is particularly the case when the natural teeth jut out, are twisted, or are rotated. Cases like this are sometimes called "instant orthodontics" because the end result looks like the teeth have been moved (but the illusion is due to porcelain veneers). In short, the more reduction that is required -- the more risk that it will be a painful experience and there will be root canals involved. That also provides part of the explaination why one person may have a virtually pain-free experience and another person may have a very different one. Some people just have a higher pain threshold than others. There are a variety of pain reduction devices (e.g., computer controlled anesthetic delivery devices) and techniques that are helping to minimize pain. At this point, however, pain is still a risk when teeth structure is reduced. Ususally, the pain subsides fairly quickly and the residual sensitivity to temperature goes away spontaneously. You should keep in touch with your dentist and have him check it out if the pain continues. You'll probably just be left with a beautiful smile and feel like it was well worth it.

--Debra Gray King, DDS
Atlanta, Georgia



Oct
2001

Q&A: What methods are available to correct an overbite or recessive chin or lower jaw?

Question:

I have an overbite in which my top jaw covers my bottom jaw. I am wondering what methods are avaible for correction?

- Joe

Answer:

David A. King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

Your top jaw should cover your lower jaw. If you are referring to a recessive chin or lower jaw, many procedures are available. Many involve orthodontics and surgery. Start with a referral from your general dentist to an oral surgeon.

--David A. King, DDS
Wilmington, Delaware



Oct
2001

Q&A: I have an overbite and want to know who I should see to fix this and give me a wider smile?

Question:

hi, i'm a 31 yr. old female and i believe i have "malocclusion"? an overbite.my top row of teeth almost completely overlaps my bottom row of teeth when i bite..my question is that i've been reading on the net that braces is recommmended for correcting this..does it matter who does this or is it like a plastic surgeon who will create his version of molding depending on his style, the reason why i'm asking is i would like to create a more wider smile since my teeth now which are straight are very narrow and i would like it to expand more outward and also my chin seems to be a little weak, would braces also fix that or do you think i would have to have jaw surgery to correct that. please let me know your opinion about finding a good doctor if it does make a difference on how my outcome of appearance will be..thanks for your patience and time.

- rachel

Answer:

Rachel, It sounds like you need an orthodontist. Find one who is certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. You may need jaw surgery if you have such a deep bite. If so the orthodintist will direct you to an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.

--Charles R. McNamara, DMD
Winter Park, Florida



Oct
2001

Q&A: is it possible to push back my top teeth and push out my bottom teeth?

Question:

hi, i have i believe whats called a over bite?..my top teeth goes down close to my lower gums on my bottom teeth, my teeth are otherwise very straight,but i'm bothered my by bite because when i smile all you see is my top teeth, can you tell me if it's possible to push back my top teeth and push out my bottom teeth to meet correctly to have a better smile..thanx

- rachel

Answer:

Debra Gray King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

Thanks for your question. The condition you have described with your overbite is usually correctable. Without the benefit of seeing you, I cannot tell you which treatment options would be best for you. Situations similar to yours are corrected all the time either through restorative dentistry, orthodontics, or a combination of both. We often correct these deep overbites with what we call an "open bite" treatment plan. This consists of reducing your overbite by placing porcelain veneers and onlys on your teeth. I hope this helps and good luck in getting a better smile!

--Debra Gray King, DDS
Atlanta, Georgia



May
2001

Q&A: What should I specify as my major to help me get into dental school?

Question:

I start college in the fall and I want to become and Dentist then specialize in Orthodontics. The college I will be attending at first does not offer dentistry (only pre-dental). Should I put pre-dental as my major, or would a different major be more beneificial? I really need to know as soon as possible. Thanks.

- Harmony

Answer:

Harmony, It really doesn't matter what your "major" is . The important thing is to see what pre-requisite courses are necessary for the Dnetal Schools your wish to attend. Some require core knowledge in the sciences, math, psychology, a foreign language, the humanities etc... You can get this information in the college library catalogue section. I also suggest you purchase a DAT book. (Dental Appitude Test) All accredited dental schools require a DAT exam prior to admission. Much like the SAT you took last year. It will also have information your will need for your application. In my class we had every type of college major. One of the better students actually was a Music major, and he was great to have at parties, too. (Do not become an engineer, they have no personality) Gook luck, work hard, AND have fun; but most importantly learn to become a well rounded person. Learn to deal with people one on one, and you should succeed in anything.

--Charles R. McNamara, DMD
Winter Park, Florida



Apr
2001

Q&A: The roof of my mouth is very narrow. What kind of procedures can be done to help make it more round?

Question:

Hello. The roof of my mouth is very narrow. What kind of procedures can be done to help make it more round?

- judie

Answer:

David A. King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

If you have no functional or bite problems with your jaws, you dont need to worry. Procedures are available to widen either jaw and they range from orthodontics to various surgical procedures. If you are having a problem, I suggest seeing both an orthodontists and a surgeon. Your dentist should be able to point you in the right direction.

--David A. King, DDS
Wilmington, Delaware



Feb
2000

Q&A: Should I let my now present wisdom teeth come in if I had 4 extractions before having braces which are now removed?

Question:

My two lower wisdom teeth are coming in and I have been feeling discomfort and pain for about five months, the pain has been on and off. The first time was in August and then again in December and now just recently. The first time the pain was very minimal. I felt some discomfort in my gums and they were swollen, this lasted about a week or so and then I was fine again. The second time the pain got stronger and now for the third time the pain has gotten unbearable. My right cheek is completely swollen, my gums and jaw are sore from the pain, my gums irritated, and I have also experienced some throbbing. I have been taking asprin and have been using an oral anesthetic for the pain. I have also experienced difficulty concentrating and falling asleep because of the pain. My concern is that I recently had my braces removed and I'm worried that my wisdom teeth might affect my newly straightened teeth! Before I got my braces I had 4 extractions: 2 lower and 2 upper. I originally planned on letting my wisdom teeth come in because I didn't want to go through any more extractions and also because I figured that I had enough space for them to come in anyway, but after experiencing such pain I am not sure what to do any more. Should I just wait out the pain again like I did in the past or just get the extractions done? What would be less painful and how long would the recovery be? How long does it take for your wisdom teeth to fully come in? What is the cost to get this procedure done? Would it be best to go to a regular dentist or an oral surgeon?

- Myra

Answer:

Myra, You had braces, and wanted to let your third molars to erupt? ot a good idea. If you had to have extractions for the braces, I'd guess you have a small mouth. If there is no room for the molars to erupt then you could be threatening the long term stability of your orthodontics.( I hope you're weariing your retainer!) Sounds like you have pericoronitis. I'd call your orthodontist, and have him refer youto an Oral surgeon. Don't let your general dentist do the extractons.

--Charles R. McNamara, DMD
Winter Park, Florida



Nov
1999

Q&A: Is there such a thing as invisible braces?

Question:

I'm an adult and wont toget braces. I saw something about invisiable braces.Is there such a thing. Because I dont wont all that metal in my mouth

- patti

Answer:

Sameer Paul Puri, DDS - LocateADoc.com

You are in luck. there are several ways to get straighter teeth without showing metal in the mouth. First there are clear braces. They are basically the same as metal braces but they are made of a plastic resin material instead of metal. the procedure is the same. you get the braces and wear them for 1 to 2 years for straighter teeth. In our office we have an exciting procedure we do called "instant orthodontics" This is basically a procedure to get straighter teeth without braces in about two weeks. Using a wonderful technology called procelain veneers, we straighten your teeth quickly. With this procedure you can not only change the shape of the teeth but the color as well. Sameer Puri DDS www.estheticdentalcenter.com Private Practice Los Angeles

--Sameer Paul Puri, DDS
Los Angeles, California