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Dr. Arman Torbati DDS.

➤ Harvard & USC Graduate
➤ Associate Professor at USC
➤ Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics
➤ Prosthodontist, Cosmetic & Implant Dentist

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11600 Wilshire Blvd. Ste 300
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How to Treat Crowded Teeth

Crowded Teeth Picture of Crowded Teeth

Crowded teeth is a condition also known as dental crowding or overcrowding. This happens when the mouth doesn't have enough space for the permanent teeth to properly grow in straight. Crowded teeth are treatable with options that include retainers, braces, and Invisalign.

What Does It Look Like?

This is a form of misalignment or malocclusion. Sufferers have crooked and crowded teeth that overlap one another. This overcrowding can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe, based on the size of the patient's jaw and the number of teeth that they have:

  • Mild Cases: A mild case of crowded teeth is usually just a single tooth that's rotated slightly.
  • Moderate Cases: This is when two or three of the anterior teeth of either jaw are overlapping.
  • Severe Cases: Severe crowding happens when most of the anterior teeth in either the upper or lower jaw are overlapping.

Causes of Crowded Teeth

Crowded teeth have numerous potential causes, including but not limited to the following:

  • Genetics might cause a person's teeth to be bigger than their jaw. This would result in teeth with tendencies to twist or overlap.
  • Another result of genetics can be a jaw that's too small, meaning normal-sized teeth get crowded as the permanent ones grow into place.
  • Losing a primary tooth before you should can mean surrounding teeth start moving into the resulting empty space.
  • Over-retained baby teeth might prevent permanent teeth from properly erupting.

Can Impacted Wisdom Teeth Result in Crowded Teeth in the Front?

The short answer is no. Research just doesn't support this idea. An impacted tooth is one that's stuck underneath the gums, blocked out by other teeth. A common misconception is that this can result in crowded teeth. In actuality, wisdom teeth simply don't have the necessary force to impact frontal teeth enough to be crowded. Everybody's teeth get more crooked over time, and it doesn't matter if they have any wisdom teeth.

Fixing Crowded Teeth

The specific kind of treatment that is possible will rely on the age of the patient and the severity of their dental crowding. Potential solutions include the following possibilities:


Dental braces are used more commonly than any other treatment option for cases of overcrowding. This is particularly true among children. Patients get braces for two reasons. The first is for aesthetic purposes, such as correcting smiles. Functionality is the second reason, such as realigning the upper and lower jaw. Braces come in many forms, including lingual, clear, and metal. Patients usually visit their orthodontists monthly or bimonthly until the removal of the braces, which can range from 18 months to several years.


Clear aligners, such as the Invisalign brand, can correct crowded teeth, among other kinds of misalignment. They are similar to braces in cost but far less visible. This treatment pattern uses removable aligners that get replaced every two weeks. Patients can correct mild misalignment if they wear these 22 hours per day for 20 weeks.


Adults with moderate cases of crowded teeth might be able to use dental veneers. Dentists bond veneer shells to a patient's teeth to alter several physical characteristics, such as:

  • Color
  • Function
  • Length
  • Shape
  • Size

Dental veneers are customized to be thin shells of materials that look like teeth. If you get them, they are fitted to the front sides of your teeth in order to make them look and work better. The downside of veneers is how they usually cost more than Invisalign or braces. On the other hand, you won't have as many office visits involved.


If teeth are crowded only slightly, then fixed, removable retainers might have enough pressure to correct things. However, they won't straighten them entirely, so they're not used for moderate or severe cases.

Dentofacial Orthopedics

Dentofacial orthopedics might, such as palatal expanders and headgear, might be necessary for extreme cases of dental crowding where facial bone growth needs guidance.

In Conclusion

At-home treatment of dental crowding isn't possible. Ignoring the problem is also unwise, as the condition can lead to anything from gum disease to heart disease and compromised immune systems. Dealing with crowded teeth will improve your smile and it easier to keep things clean between your individual teeth. To learn more about your options, contact My Dentist in Los Angeles for an informative consultation.

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