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drbigreddog, Dentist (DDS or equivalent)
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  I continue to practice general (family) dentistry after 20 years and continue to love this great profession.
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I used to hav braces for 4 years and recently I took them

Customer Question

Hey I used to hav braces for 4 years and recently I took them out myself because I can't affort the treatment anymore. My teeths on the top are the worse they have gaps. I wanted to know if there are other treatments I could get except braces get my teeths straight ?! & where can I get it and what would be the costs? Because I really don't want to wear braces ever again.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  drbigreddog replied 2 years ago.

Hi Lisa,

There are other treatments that can close the gaps in between your teeth other than having braces. Usually that would mean crowning your teeth; basically making them bigger to fill in the gaps. Unfortunately, each crown is quite expensive also, so if you cannot afford braces, I seriously doubt you can afford crowns.

The other issue about crowns is that you would be putting artificial material on natural teeth. We need to place crowns if there are large cavities or fractures but with crowns, the risk of future decay is greater than with a natural tooth.

All things considered, braces is the most "natural" way and conservative way to straighten teeth. I personally do not feel good about putting crowns on people's teeth to close gaps.

One other alternative is to place fillings in the teeth to close the gaps. Fillings are much cheaper than crowns but will not last as long. You will have to be prepared for a lifetime of filling breakage and replacement. Ultimately, they will need crowns as each replacement filling will be a bit bigger than the last one. And a tooth can only take so much filling in it before a crown is needed.

I hate to give you the bad news but braces really seems like the way to go. I doubt if you would be happy with fillings.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank yoy very much for your reply and the information and yes I rather prefer to hav braces then instead of crowns or fillings I want to keep my natural teeths. Is there any age where it could be difficult with braces? Im turning 21 in September.
I added pics of my teeths how they are looking now to this msg. If I wear braces how long will I have to wear it? I also still hav the palate expander still in.Lisa
Expert:  drbigreddog replied 2 years ago.
All things considered, teenage years are the best to have braces in that the bone hasn't "matured" all the way, that is, it is easier to move teeth when the bone is softer. But many, many people have braces in their twenties without any problem at all.
I even had a patient that was 65 years old who had braces! He did fine. So there is nothing wrong with having braces at your age.
Thank you for your pictures. Its impossible to make an accurate time frame without xrays but from what I gather (your age and photos) I'm estimating about 28 months.
Regarding the palatal expander, your palate has already fused (matured) so you cannot expand your palate any more. Its useless now.
I suggest you visit a couple of orthodontists and get their opinion how much it will cost, how long will it take, and what the end result will look like.
Here in Northern California, orthodontic consultations are free so there's no harm in getting a second opinion or even a third opinion.
Good luck!