Getting Braces On The Upper Teeth – 4 Things You Must Consider
By Dr. Dustin Coles – Premier Orthodontics
Table of Contents
Many adults feel that their bottom teeth don’t show very much, and they’re curious if they can get braces on upper teeth only. The top teeth definitely show the most when we smile, so it makes sense that we’d care most about having straighter teeth there.
However, there are more than just cosmetic factors to consider when deciding between getting top braces only or getting braces on both the upper and lower teeth.
Can You Get Braces on Just the Top Teeth?
The simple answer is, yes! It’s definitely possible to put braces on just the upper teeth. We do it from time to time and for some patients it works great.
But it’s a more suitable option for some people over others. Here are some signs that you would be a good candidate for getting braces on the the upper teeth only:
- Those who had braces when they were younger and their top teeth have shifted.
- Those who have straight lower teeth, a healthy bite, and just mild crowding or spacing on the top teeth.
- Those who are only concerned about getting their front teeth straightened and aren’t worried about fixing their bite.
If bite correction is needed, getting braces on the upper teeth only may not be the best option
If you think you may fit into one of the three categories above, then getting braces on the upper teeth only may be an option for you. The next best step for you would be to schedule a free braces consultation with an orthodontist to find out if braces on just your upper teeth will work.
Your orthodontist will look at many factors during this consultation, including the 4 listed below…
4 Things to Consider When Getting Braces on Just the Upper Teeth Only
1) Braces on just the top teeth can make your bite worse.
Your orthodontist will carefully evaluate your teeth and bite to determine if getting top braces only will be in your best interest. Here’s why—whenever we move teeth on one arch, it naturally affects the teeth on the opposite arch. This means that moving just the top teeth can’t help but affect your bite…
… as well as the way your upper and lower teeth fit together.
If it’s believed, after consultation, that moving just your upper teeth is going to negatively affect your bite, your orthodontist will caution you away from getting top braces only.
2) Your teeth need to have room to move.
If you want to get braces on your top teeth to close spaces, you must consider whether you can close the upper gaps and pull the teeth back without having them run into the bottom teeth.
Closing gaps on the upper teeth will sometimes require first moving the bottom teeth.
Many times, depending on the bite and the tooth size, you may not be able to close upper spaces without also moving the bottom teeth and making room to close the upper spaces. Like a puzzle, your upper and lower teeth have to fit together at all times to look great and work correctly.
3) Once the top teeth are straightened, many people feel more self conscious about their bottom teeth.
This one’s more about human nature than about orthodontic science . . . once your top teeth are straightened and look perfect, you may suddenly feel like your bottom teeth look really bad in comparison.
By contrast, your lower teeth will seem less “correct” than they did before. You should consider whether you may end up wanting all your teeth corrected down the road. If so, it will be time and stress on you to have braces on both your upper and lower teeth at the same time….which brings us to the next factor…
Some patients who get upper braces only end up getting lower braces as well.
4) Getting braces on just the top teeth may not save much money or time.
Depending on your teeth and bite, getting everything fixed (both your top and bottom teeth, plus your bite) may only cost a bit more than braces on just the top teeth. Additionally, it may not take any extra time to fix all your teeth rather than just half. After considering all your options, you may find that getting all your teeth fixed at once may be the best way to go.
Alternatives to Getting Braces on the Upper Teeth Only
There are a small number of people that really do only need braces on their upper teeth. If you fall into that category, then that may be your best option. Most people, however, will benefit from getting braces on both their and bottom teeth.
If your orthodontist determines that it would be best to get braces on the top and bottom teeth, you do have some alternatives which we’ll discuss below…
Alternative #1 - Clear Braces On Top / Metal Braces On Bottom
Many adults are hesitant to get full braces because they’re worried they will look like a teenager again . . . luckily there are esthetic options that help you get your teeth and bite fixed without the metal mouth.
One popular option is to get clear braces on the top teeth and metal braces on the bottom. Most don’t show their lower teeth when they smile and getting clear upper braces makes it so you can get your perfect smile with a more transparent and cosmetic look.
Alternative #2 - Invisalign
Invisalign is a great option for most patients. It’s definitely the most discreet option and can fix both your top and bottom teeth! To learn more about Invisalign check out Invisalign Guide.
How Much Do Braces Cost for the Top Teeth Only?
At your orthodontic consultation, your orthodontist will determine if getting braces on the top teeth only is the best choice for you after all. If so, they will give you a treatment quote based on:
- How long your treatment is expected to take.
- How many visits your treatment will require.
- If retainers will be needed after treatment is completed.
Everyone is so unique that it’s difficult to give an exact estimate of anyone’s upper braces treatment without seeing them first. Generally though, getting braces on the top teeth only will cost less than getting braces on both top and bottom teeth. But like we mentioned earlier, it’s important to consider whether you may want braces on your bottom teeth later on and whether it’s worth it to wait.
If your orthodontist determines that getting braces on both your top and bottom teeth would be best, they will give you an estimate of these costs.
Learn more about the cost of braces with Premier Orthodontics.
Where to Get Top Braces in Phoenix, Chandler, Maricopa, Anthem, and Casa Grande?
You can schedule your free consultation for clear braces below or click here to see our comprehensive guide to the cost of braces. (We are very transparent about our process and our pricing, as you’ll see in this guide.)
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