When You May Need Orthodontics Rather Than Cosmetic Dentistry

oYou may assume that an orthodontist straightens teeth only to make them look good and that you should just see a cosmetic dentist to have your crooked teeth capped or bonded so they look straight and attractive. However, an orthodontist not only improves the look of teeth, but also corrects their actual alignment. There are many reasons why you may need to have your teeth realigned rather than just covered; note when you may need to see an orthodontist versus a cosmetic dentist, for addressing your crooked teeth.


An overbite is rather common, and a cosmetic dentist can add bonding or veneers to the lower teeth so that they look more prominent and appear to be aligned with the upper teeth. This is not always the best choice, as an overbite can cause problems with speech and with eating if the misalignment itself isn't corrected.

An overbite also means that the muscles of the jaw are overworked in trying to support the upper and lower parts of the mouth; in turn, this can cause headaches, shoulder pain, and other aches in the upper body. Cosmetic fixes won't address these issues, so seeing an orthodontist to have your teeth and jaws aligned is the better choice.


When teeth are crowded, a cosmetic dentist might drill down the teeth so they're smaller and don't push against each other, and then put veneers on their front, to make them seem properly aligned. However, smaller teeth may be more easily broken when eating and chewing, and may also not provide proper support for the jaw. As said above, without this support, you may suffer muscle aches and headaches. An orthodontist can install braces that push teeth into alignment while still keeping them a healthy size.


A crossbite is when the upper jaw is not wide enough to sit properly on the lower jaw, so the lower jaw may tend to swing to one side. This can cause muscle aches and damage to the teeth, as they're pushing against each other and potentially causing erosion. A cosmetic dentist may add veneers or caps over the lower teeth to make them look like they're properly lined up with the upper jaw, but this still doesn't provide support to the jaw itself. Braces can widen or reset the upper jaw so that it sits properly on the lower jaw, and also move the lower jaw back into place, so your teeth are aligned and the jaw muscles and teeth don't suffer added wear and damage.

Contact a dentist that specialises in orthodontics for more information and assistance.