Common Orthodontic Problems and Treatments

Although every case is unique and every patient’s smile is one-of-a-kind, there are a few common orthodontic problems we see in new patients.

No matter your condition or the severity of your case, our experienced orthodontists will create a personalized treatment plan that optimizes your health, functionality and appearance.

Crowded Teeth

‘Crowded teeth’ describes the condition when there’s not enough room in a person’s mouth for all of their teeth to fit in alignment. Insufficient room in the jawbone causes the teeth to grow in crooked, crowded and overlapping each other. 

To correct crowded teeth, we may suggest a form of braces or Invisalign® Clear aligners, depending on the severity of your condition and your preferred treatment method.

Spacing of Teeth

Spaces between the teeth are often related to the size of the jaw bone, relative to the size of the teeth. When the teeth are significantly less proportionate to the jaw bone, spacing between the teeth often occurs. 

To correct this condition, your orthodontist may suggest braces or Invisalign®, as well as retainers to hold the teeth together and prevent further spacing.

Open Bite

An open bite is a condition in which the upper teeth and lower teeth protrude outward, causing a major misalignment when the jaw is closed. With this condition, the front teeth and bottom teeth do not meet in the front.

To correct this condition, we may suggest braces or Invisalign. In some cases, the patient is given a “crib” appliance to prevent further thumb-sucking/pacifier-sucking behavior. Depending on the patient’s age and the width of his or her palate, a palatal expander appliance may be the best route.


An overbite condition is characterized by the upper jaw overlapping the lower jaw. This condition can result from prolonged childhood habits, especially thumb-sucking and pacifier-sucking, and oftentimes is caused by genetics.

Overbite correction can be achieved with growth modification appliances, braces or Invisalign. Surgery may become necessary if this condition is left untreated for years.


Similar to an overbite, the underbite condition is characterized by a misalignment in the jaw and teeth. An underbite causes the lower jaw to overlap the upper jaw and is often caused by genetics.

If the underbite condition is not too far advanced, it can be corrected with growth modification appliances and braces or clear aligners. If this condition remains untreated, the patient may require surgery to reverse years of misaligned growth.


The overjet condition is one characterized by the top teeth protruding over the bottom teeth in a “buck-tooth” manner. This is often caused by an underdeveloped lower jaw. 

Growth modification appliances and braces or Invisalign may be prescribed to push the lower jaw forward and align it with the upper jaw. If the upper jaw is underdeveloped, then we retract the upper jaw to align with the lower jaw.

Missing Lateral Incisors

The lateral incisors are the two teeth on either side of both front teeth. Missing lateral incisors are most often caused by genetics.

Depending on the severity of the condition and varying factors, such as the patient’s jaw size and growth pattern, braces or clear aligners may be suggested to guide the teeth into proper formation.

Still Have Questions

about common orthodontic problems?

We’re here to answer your questions! It’s important to us that we make you feel comfortable and provide you with the information you need to undergo a smooth, successful orthodontic treatment.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. We’d love to hear from you, and we’re committed to providing the highest quality of patient care in the area.

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