Should I Turn to Cosmetic Dentistry to Fix My Teeth?
That’s why if you’re considering cosmetic dental treatments for instant improvements to your smile, you might want to consult an orthodontist first to make sure there are no underlying issues that should be treated in addition to the cosmetic improvements you seek.
Besides creating a smile that can leave you feeling self-conscious, an improper bite can cause premature tooth wear, headaches that can feel like migraines, and muscle fatigue in the head, neck and shoulders.
Cosmetic dental treatments can offer the promise of a nearly immediate fix to crowded, crooked teeth, but it’s important to understand that unless you treat the root issue of the problem, those aches and pains are unlikely to disappear with the addition of a porcelain crown here or a few veneers there.
Orthodontic treatment’s primary goal is to address bone development discrepancies, poor tooth alignment and unhealthy bite issues that can detract from your smile and your oral health. The beautiful smile and the self-esteem improvements we achieve in the process are an added bonus, says Buffalo Grove orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky.
You might ask yourself how a bad bite could cause all the problems we identified above. It’s because like many other ailments, one seemingly minor symptom can be a sign of a larger issue, and small problems that aren’t treated can lead to more significant problems.
Let’s use headaches as an example. Headaches are the leading pain problem in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. About 40 percent of healthy Americans experience chronic headaches. Dental problems can cause tension headaches, because tension headaches are caused by muscle strain.
An improper bite such as underbite or crossbite can cause certain muscles to work harder than others, which can lead to muscle strain. Strained muscles that control your jaw movements continue to compensate for the muscles that should be used but aren’t because of the improper bite. When this goes on long enough, the muscle strain can reach other areas of the face, head and neck.
That same underbite or crossbite also can cause abnormal wear on your teeth because the bad bite forces unnatural contact among your teeth.
“You might think you can simply fix a prematurely worn tooth with a veneer or a porcelain crown, but until you correct the problem causing your teeth to wear, you’ll just be adding additional forces to your restoration, which could prevent it from lasting as long as it should,” Dr. Razdolsky says.
There are two pieces of information we hope you will take away from this article:
- It’s never too late to correct bite issues with orthodontic treatment. Even as an adult, orthodontic treatment can help correct bite issues that are causing you other problems.
- Cosmetic dentistry can drastically improve your smile, but make sure the areas you want to improve are purely cosmetic and not signs of a bigger problem.
“The standard of care is to perform all periodontal and orthodontic procedures prior to final (crown) restorations,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “There are dentists out there who will place implants and crowns and then either neglect to inform a patient about the benefits of orthodontic treatment, or expect an orthodontist to move the teeth around the final restorations. This is not ethical, and can be very expensive.”
If you would like to learn more about how orthodontic treatment might help address your oral health issues, please contact our office for an appointment.