Common Orthodontic Problems | Invisalign Specialists La Jolla | Dr. Paul J. Styrt, Specialists in Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry

Common orthodontic problems

Here at Dr. Paul J. Styrt, Specialists in Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, as orthodontic professionals, we love the challenge every patient gives us. You may only require minor teeth straightening treatment, or perhaps you need major orthodontic work – either way, every case is different.

Here are some of the most common types of problems we can treat with orthodontic treatment here at Dr. Paul J. Styrt, Specialists in Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry.

Crowding of the teeth

Crowding happens where teeth fight for space, causing them to overlap. This patient started treatment at age 11 and wore braces for 26 months to correct his crowding problem. He loves his new smile.


An openbite affects the jaw and means your front teeth don't touch. This patient sucked her thumb as a young child. She started treatment at age 13. She had braces and a special appliance called a crib to retrain the tongue for 28 months. Now she can bite the lettuce out of a sandwich.

Deep overbite

A deep overbite affects the lower front teeth, causing them to bite into the palate. This adult patient, age 25, required braces and jaw surgery to correct his severe overbite, with treatment taking two years. His problem could have been corrected without surgery if he had been treated before he was a teenager.


An underbite occurs when the lower front teeth sit in front of the upper teeth. This patient's underbite was causing her jaw joint discomfort and excessive wear patterns on her teeth. After about 30 months of treatment starting at age 32, she now finds smiling and chewing much easier.

Spacing of teeth

Spacing problems cause gaps between your teeth. This patient was bothered by the spaces between his teeth. Braces closed the spaces and gave him an ideal bite in 24 months. Special glued-in retainers help keep the spaces closed.

Missing lateral incisors

Lateral incisors are teeth to the side of your front teeth. This patient's lateral incisors were congenitally missing. She had braces for 20 months to move the teeth into their correct positions, then the missing teeth were replaced with bonded "Maryland" bridges.


An overjet is the name for protruding front teeth. At age 10, this patient had a big overjet with the top teeth protruding beyond the bottom. She had two phases of treatment. The first helped her jaws to grow more harmoniously and the second aligned her teeth and bite. At age 13, she was proudly displaying her new smile.

Non-braces treatment

Sometimes braces are not needed to get noticeable improvements in tooth alignment. This patient was first seen at age seven for crowding of the lower permanent teeth. A procedure was performed to reduce the width of the adjacent baby teeth and the permanent incisors aligned on their own in nine months.

Phase I treatment

Phase 1 treatment is for children, in preparation for orthodontic treatment. This patient's parents were concerned about both aesthetics and the health of the erupting permanent teeth when they brought him to the orthodontist at age eight. The lower front teeth were crowded and touching the palate, and the upper front teeth were extremely displaced from their normal positions. After 12 months of Phase I treatment with an expander and partial braces, his appearance and dental function was vastly improved.

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Treatment for kids

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