Common Orthodontic Problems and Their Treatment Options

December 12, 2023

A smile is more than just a universal sign of happiness; it's a reflection of our health and confidence. 

Orthodontic problems, ranging from minor misalignments to more complex dental issues, can significantly impact this aspect of our lives. But what exactly are these issues, and how can they be effectively treated?

In the world of orthodontics, advancements in technology and treatment methods have made it possible to address a wide range of dental irregularities. 

However, the first step in this journey is understanding the common orthodontic problems many face and the array of solutions available.

Common Orthodontic Problems

Orthodontic issues can vary significantly in their nature and severity, impacting not only the aesthetics of one's smile but also the functional aspects of oral health. 

Understanding these common problems is the first step towards seeking appropriate treatment. Here are some of the most prevalent orthodontic issues:

1. Tooth Misalignment

Misaligned teeth, often referred to as malocclusion, is one of the most common orthodontic problems. This condition includes issues like crooked teeth, overcrowding, or unusually spaced teeth. Misalignment can lead to difficulties in cleaning teeth properly, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It can also cause strain on jaw muscles and joints, potentially leading to chronic pain or even temporomandibular joint disorders.

2. Overbite and Underbite

An overbite occurs when the upper teeth protrude significantly over the lower teeth, while an underbite is characterized by the lower teeth extending beyond the upper teeth. Both conditions can affect chewing and speaking abilities and may contribute to the wearing down of tooth enamel. In severe cases, they can alter the shape and appearance of one's face.

3. Crowding and Spacing Issues

Crowding happens when there is insufficient space in the jaw for all of the teeth to fit normally. This can lead to teeth becoming twisted or displaced. Conversely, excessive spacing between teeth, often simply due to genetics or the result of missing teeth, can impact the effectiveness of chewing and the aesthetic of the smile.

Additional Issues

Other common orthodontic problems include:

  • Crossbite: A misalignment where some upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth when the mouth is closed.
  • Open Bite: A condition where the upper and lower teeth do not meet properly, or at all, when the mouth is closed, often caused by habits like thumb-sucking in children or specific genetic factors.
  • Impacted Teeth: Teeth that have not erupted properly or are blocked from coming in.

Each of these conditions presents unique challenges and can have broader implications for oral health and general well-being. 

It is essential to identify and address these issues promptly to prevent more severe complications in the future.

General Treatment Options

Orthodontic issues, while varied in nature, can often be effectively treated with a range of options. 

The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the problem, the age of the patient, and individual preferences. Here are some of the most common treatments for orthodontic problems:


Braces are perhaps the most well-known orthodontic treatment. They are used to correct issues like misalignment, crowding, and bite problems. Braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. There are several types of braces:

  • Traditional Metal Braces: Made of high-grade stainless steel, these are the most common type. They are more noticeable but often the most cost-effective option.
  • Ceramic Braces: These function like traditional braces but are made with clear or tooth-colored brackets to blend in with teeth, making them less visible.
  • Lingual Braces: Similar to traditional braces but fixed on the inside of the teeth, making them invisible from the outside.
  • Self-Ligating Braces: These use a specialized clip in place of elastics to help the archwire guide teeth into place, which can reduce the number of adjustments needed.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, like Invisalign, are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional braces, particularly for adults. These are virtually invisible trays made of a thermoplastic material custom-fitted to the individual's teeth. Aligners are removable, making eating, brushing, and flossing easier, but they require discipline to wear as directed.


Post-treatment, retainers are often used to keep teeth in their new position. They may be removable or fixed and are crucial for maintaining the results achieved through braces or aligners.

Palatal Expanders

For patients with a narrow upper jaw, a palatal expander can be used to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth fit together better. It is most often used in children, as their jaws are still developing.

Each treatment option has its own set of advantages and limitations, and the choice largely depends on the specific needs and lifestyle of the patient. 

It's important to have a thorough consultation with an orthodontist to determine the most suitable treatment plan. In the next section, we will discuss some of the innovative treatments that are emerging in the field of orthodontics.

Choosing the Right Treatment

When it comes to orthodontic care, selecting the right treatment is crucial for achieving desired results with minimal discomfort. 

For those considering Invisalign, understanding the factors that influence the effectiveness and comfort of treatment is essential. 

Here are key considerations to help you choose the right orthodontic treatment, especially when considering options like Invisalign:

Assessing Your Orthodontic Needs

  • Severity of Dental Issues: Not all orthodontic problems are created equal. Invisalign is highly effective for mild to moderate misalignments, but more complex issues may require traditional braces.
  • Age and Lifestyle Considerations: Invisalign, known for its discreet appearance, is popular among adults and teens. However, lifestyle factors, like the ability to maintain oral hygiene and wear the aligners for the recommended 20-22 hours per day, are crucial for success.

Understanding Treatment Expectations

  • Treatment Duration: Invisalign typically requires 12 to 18 months, depending on the complexity of the case. It's important to have realistic expectations about the treatment timeline.
  • Invisalign Pain and Discomfort: While Invisalign is less invasive than braces, some discomfort is expected, especially when switching to new aligner trays. Discuss pain management strategies with your orthodontist.

Financial Considerations

  • Cost of Treatment: Invisalign can be more expensive than traditional braces. Consider your budget and check if your insurance covers part of the cost. There are also payment plans and financing options available in many clinics.

Orthodontist Expertise and Consultation

  • Choosing the Right Orthodontist: Look for an orthodontist with extensive experience in Invisalign treatments. Their expertise can make a significant difference in the effectiveness and comfort of your treatment.
  • Initial Consultation: A comprehensive initial consultation should include a discussion of your dental history, a thorough examination, and possibly digital imaging. This is the time to ask about the pros and cons of Invisalign versus other treatments.

Maintenance and Aftercare

  • Oral Hygiene: Invisalign requires strict oral hygiene practices. Ensure you are committed to maintaining good oral health throughout the treatment.
  • Regular Check-ups: Frequent visits to the orthodontist are essential for monitoring progress and making adjustments as needed.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about whether Invisalign is the right choice for you. Remember, every orthodontic journey is unique, and what works best for one person might not be ideal for another. 

Consult with a professional to discuss your specific needs and expectations to ensure a successful and comfortable treatment experience. In the next section, we will explore maintenance and aftercare tips for those undergoing orthodontic treatment.


Orthodontic problems, ranging from simple misalignments to more complex bite issues, play a significant role in the quality of our overall oral health and well-being. Fortunately, with the wide array of treatment options available today, achieving a healthy, confident smile is more accessible than ever. 

The key to successful orthodontic treatment lies not only in selecting the right option but also in the expertise of the professionals guiding you through the process.

At Wilde Ortho, we understand the importance of personalized care in orthodontics. Our practice is dedicated to providing top-notch orthodontic solutions tailored to the unique needs of both adults and children. 

Whether you're considering traditional braces, innovative Invisalign aligners, or other advanced treatments, our team is equipped with the knowledge and technology to address all common orthodontic issues effectively.

If you or your loved ones are seeking professional and compassionate orthodontic care, we invite you to Wilde Ortho. Schedule your appointment today

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