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A crossbite is a type of dental malocclusion. It is a condition whereby the upper teeth moves behind the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. There is a bit of similarity between a crossbite and an underbite. First thing to note is that they are both dental problems, and are about the upper teeth fitting behind the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. The main difference, however, is that it is only a group of teeth that is affected in the case of a crossbite, whereas, in the case of an underbite, the whole teeth is affected. This is to say that in a crossbite, it could only be the front upper teeth that fits behind the front lower teeth when the mouth is closed, while the entire upper teeth fits behind the entire lower teeth in the case of an underbite.

Having a crossbite can be painful and can equally cause complications, however, with treatment from a dentist or orthodontist, you can have the problem corrected.

Classification of a crossbite

Having a crossbite generally means having groups of your upper teeth fitting behind your lower teeth when your mouth is closed. However, there are two ways a crossbite can be classified. They are

  • Anterior crossbite

This is a situation whereby the groups of teeth in the front part of the lower teeth covers the upper teeth when the mouth is closed.

  • Posterior crossbite

This is a situation whereby the group of teeth towards the back or inner part of your mouth covers the upper jaw when the mouth is closed.

Irrespective of the type or classification of crossbite you may have, you can still have the problem corrected through the help of a dentist or orthodontist.

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Causes of crossbite

Crossbites are usually caused by either dental problems or skeletal problems. However, other factors can play a role in the development of a crossbite including genetics.

If any member of your family has a crossbite or a treated one, there is a greater chance that you or your child may develop the problem as well. Your genes can play a role in contributing to either the dental or skeletal causes of a crossbite.

Other factors that can contribute to either the dental cause or skeletal cause include delayed setting of adult teeth, baby teeth not falling off during early growth, thumb sucking and breathing through the mouth.

Issues that can arise from crossbites

Not treating a crossbite on time can create further problems such as

  • Tooth decay
  • Speech or pronunciation difficulty
  • Pain in the jaw or teeth
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder
  • Constant headache
  • Pain in the neck or shoulder muscles
  • Sleep apnea

Treatment or correction of cross bite

Orthodontic devices are usually the best method for correction of crossbites, except in severe cases where surgery would have to be considered. Even after surgery, you would still have to use orthodontic devices like braces to ensure the correction or treatment lasts. The duration of treatment can vary, depending on how serious or how minor your case is, however, treatment usually lasts between a year and 6 months to 3 years.

For children whose crossbites have been identified earlier, the roof of the mouth can be widened using palate expander. This is quite reliable as the jaws are still developing at this stage. Treatment can further continue using traditional braces. For adults who have crossbites, severe cases would require a surgery, after which braces will be used. For less severe or mild cases, orthodontic treatment can take several forms such as;

  • Retainers
  • Elastics prescribed by orthodontists
  • Braces
  • Removable palate expanders

Cost of treatment

If your crossbite is negatively affecting your life, your dentist can advocate to your insurance company to cover the cost of the treatment. This is provided that you have a dental medical insurance. If your dental insurance plan has orthodontics included in it, it can cover the cost of a crossbite treatment for your dependent child only as dental insurance rarely covers the treatment for adults.

If there is no insurance, however, note that your cost of treatment will be dependent on the amount of treatment you have received. For example, the cost of surgery would be different and understandably higher than that of braces.

  1. A palate expander, which is the cheapest and most affordable, ranges from £2000 to £3000
  2. Braces are more expensive than palate expanders and range from £3000 to about £7000.
  3. Surgeries, which are the most expensive, cost from £20000 and above.

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Do I need to get treated for a crossbite?

Due to the mildness of the crossbite, some people may decide not to get it treated or corrected. Sadly, an ignored crossbite can lead to the development of more serious dental problems in the future. Dental issues like Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and dental decay can be really painful and arise as a result of untreated crossbite.

You might want to think twice before choosing to ignore a crossbite if you have one.

In summary, crossbites generate more problems if left unchecked for too long. Book an appointment with us today at www.adultbraces.london. You can get in touch with our team of dentists and orthodontists that will help you correct your crossbite and other dental problems. Call us today.

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