Braces have been the tried-and-true treatment to address orthodontic problems like bite misalignment, crowding, and gaps between teeth for decades. Although in most cases, dentists will recommend straightening both of your rows of teeth at the same time to avoid complications down the road, some cases may warrant single arch treatment. Read on to learn more about when braces on only your bottom or top teeth are recommended and the problems that could arise if you opt for single arch orthodontics.
Can You Get Braces on a Single Arch of Teeth?
The most common way to receive braces is on both rows of teeth. However, that doesn’t mean that this is the recommended treatment method in every case. Since each smile is unique, each treatment plan can vary, and in some cases, like those that are more focused on cosmetic results, single arch orthodontics may be advised.
The best way to learn whether or not this is an option in your unique case is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. During this visit, they’ll examine your mouth and capture necessary diagnostic images to see what types of orthodontic flaws need to be addressed. You may learn that, despite thinking that braces would help you achieve a more beautiful grin, they also have a functional purpose.
The Risks of Single Arch Orthodontics
The primary reason why dentists rarely recommend getting braces on just your top or bottom arch is because it can create bite problems. Malocclusion is a complex issue that’s often treated with orthodontics like Invisalign and traditional braces, and when you only shift one row of teeth, it can create or worsen these issues, especially if you already have a minor overbite, underbite, or crossbite.
Instead of risking the function of your smile, your dentist will likely recommend moving both rows of teeth at the same time.
Why Do Dentists Recommend Getting Braces on Both Arches?
Orthodontics is an art that requires precision and detailed treatment planning. In many cases, it’s recommended for patients that want to achieve cosmetic as well as oral health benefits. Because of this, your dentist will take into account not just that your teeth will be aligned and even, but also that your upper and lower jaw will come together evenly. This will help relieve stress on the jaw joints as well as prevent the development of certain conditions like bruxism, often caused by malocclusion. By looking at the whole picture while planning your treatment, your dentist will ensure that you achieve ideal results.
About the Author
Dr. Rafiq Hirji has been practicing dentistry for over 10 years and has completed advanced training for specialized services, including orthodontics and pediatric dentistry. He offers both traditional braces as well as Invisalign aligners to address minor to moderate orthodontic problems like bite misalignment, crowding, and gaps, so his patients can choose the option that best fits their lifestyles. For questions or to schedule a consultation, visit Daily Smiles MacArthur’s website or call 972-546-4114.