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What happens if you need orthodontic treatment, but you’re not sure you need it for all of your teeth? At Appel Orthodontics, we’ve had more than one patient come in and say they only need top teeth braces or top teeth Invisalign. Their bottom teeth are straight so they can get half the braces for half the cost, right? 

Unfortunately, that’s not usually how it works. Your oral health comes down to much more than whether your teeth look crooked or protrude. Your bottom teeth are still part of your overall bite. If your bite is not perfect, you could have other dental problems further down the road. Let’s look at why braces or Invisalign for ALL of your teeth is the best way to go.

Why Does an Orthodontist Put On Top Braces First?

In most cases, your orthodontist will install braces on your top teeth first. This is because they usually take longer to fix, especially if you have a deep overbite or extreme crowding. In some cases, you may wear your upper braces for several weeks or months before getting the lower braces. 

This doesn’t mean your bottom teeth don’t need orthodontic care. On the contrary, they likely need braces or Invisalign just as much as your upper teeth, but they may not have as many issues or may be in better positions than the upper teeth. Usually, the goal of your orthodontic treatment is to have the upper teeth and lower teeth finished simultaneously so that you can enjoy that complete, beautiful, new smile.

Can You Get Partial Braces or Top Braces Only?

Technically, yes, you can get partial braces or braces on top teeth only. Can you get Invisalign for top teeth only? Again, yes. However, it’s not recommended. There are several reasons why patients regret getting braces for top teeth only against orthodontist recommendations. 

Bite Worse After Top Braces Only

Many patients find that their bite gets worse after braces on top teeth only. Putting your upper teeth in their proper positions often reveals how misaligned the bottom teeth are. The bite becomes worse, which can make the jaw more tired during chewing because you have to chew more to achieve the same result you would with a proper bite. This can eventually lead to jaw and neck pain and headaches.

Bottom Teeth ‘Look More Crooked’

People who want front teeth braces or top teeth braces often believe that their bottom teeth aren’t crooked or aren’t THAT crooked. Once their top teeth are fixed, they discover their bottom teeth look worse than they thought. That often leads to a decision later to get lower braces. 

Crooked Bottom Teeth Could Impede Treatment

What happens if your bottom teeth are in the way when your front teeth start to move? This could impede your treatment. It could also damage your teeth. Full orthodontic treatment takes into account the location of each tooth but also the movement. That way, the teeth won’t bump into each other on their way to their proper positions.

Full Braces Are Faster and More Cost-Effective

It’s much more cost-effective to do all of the braces at once, and you’ll find that you have less time in braces. People find that braces cost for just top teeth isn’t as low as expected. Then, when they decide the lower teeth need braces, they discover that the cost to do them separately is more than what they would have paid to do them all at once. 

Full braces also reduce your time in braces. You could nearly double your time in braces by doing the upper teeth first and the lower teeth later. It’s faster to treat upper and lower teeth all at once.

What Is Single Arch Orthodontic Treatment?

Single arch orthodontic treatment is braces or Invisalign treatment on just the top teeth or the bottom teeth at one time. There are rare occasions when single arch treatment is needed. For example, if teeth have shifted after treatment on the top or the bottom, your orthodontist may use braces or Invisalign to return the teeth to their proper positions. 

Single arch orthodontist treatment is rare but may be necessary in the right circumstances. At Appel Orthodontics, we can let you know whether single arch orthodontic treatment is right for you or whether you need the full treatment. 

How Much Are Braces for Top Teeth Only?

Many people think they will save money by choosing braces for top teeth only. The truth is, you won’t save as much money as you think. You may think half the braces equals half the cost, but that’s not the case. You still need all of the office visits, all of the supplies, all of the x-rays and digital imaging, and all of the advice and recommendations for your treatment to be a success. So while you don’t have as many braces, everything else is the same. In the end, you won’t save as much money as you expect. If you decide the bottom teeth need straightening later,  you could pay more than if you had straightened all your teeth at once. 

Top, Bottom, or Both? Find Options in Philadelphia, PA!

What is your best option when it comes to your oral health? Do you need top braces only, bottom braces only, or should you get both? At Appel Orthodontics, we provide a full examination during your free, no-obligation consultation. We will draw up a treatment plan that works best for you, whether that’s single arch orthodontic treatment or the full mouth. We’ll also work with you on financing options so that you won’t feel obligated to reduce your treatment just to make it affordable. Let us show you what we can do to make your smile gorgeous! 

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