While it is technically possible to get braces on your top or bottom teeth only, it may not be the best treatment plan for some people. In fact, for most people, it is not the ideal treatment. Most of the time, when there is a problem in one arch, there is often a problem in the other arch as well. Also, some people may recognize that there is a problem with both arches, but elect to only have one arch treated. In these cases, often braces are sought out for purely cosmetic reasons. It is important to recognize that while we fix make the teeth straighter, we may in fact be making the bite worse. Hence, treating both arches together is often the best choice for most people.
Upper braces only
The top teeth are generally more visible when smiling, talking and eating. Some people may think that getting the top teeth straightened is enough as the bottom teeth are not that visible. While this is possible, it is important to note bite problems such as overbites, crossbites and underbites may not be fixed with upper braces only.
In some cases, such as if the person has already had braces in the past and experienced relapse, or if there is only very minor crowding and the bite is quite good already, upper braces only can be an option.
Lower braces only
People don’t often come to the orthodontist wanting lower braces only. However, in cases where the top teeth are already quite good and the lower teeth are crooked, such as in cases where a patient’s retainer hasn’t been worn adequately, lower braces only may be suitable.
An Orthodontic Consultation
The best thing to do is discuss your options with an orthodontist. As each case is unique and each person’s teeth and bite are different, it is essential that you speak to your orthodontist before deciding on your treatment. There may be problems that you had not noticed and it may be better for your long term dental health if all the problems were addressed at once. If, on the other hand, you are a suitable candidate for one arch treatment, the orthodontist will also let you know. Whichever option you select, making an informed decision is crucial to a successful orthodontic treatment.