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Oral Surgery/Dentist attempted to "fix" bite



I am not sure if you can answer this, but nobody was available in the orthodontist category. My dentist noticed one tooth on my left side was hitting just a little harder than the other teeth. He filed it down, and then it felt like the right side was off, so he just kept trying to "fix" my bite. I tried to tell him my top teeth are slanted (left top teeth hang just a little lower than right top teeth), and that I also have a slight overbite. Therefore, any adjustments he made still felt weird because my mouth isn't perfectly aligned to begin with! I am so mad at myself for letting him do this because now I feel like one of my front bottom teeth is hitting my top tooth. My question is, is reshaping my bite even possible without braces? I can't afford braces right now, but now I'm afraid that when I do get them my teeth will still not have a good bite because he shaved down my teeth. I've attached photos of my teeth in hopes you can tell me whether reshaping is really going to solve anything.

Emily - You are correct in being wary of the adjustments your dentist has done and might try again.  You did not provide a film from the side showing your profile, but often the overbite that you do show, can occur due to teeth growing in wrong or it could be that your upper jaw and lower jaw are not properly line up.  If the first picture it shows that you have to bring your lower jaw forward to allow the upper front teeth and lower front teeth come together in a proper position and yet they cannot bite down properly there.

So without getting overly detailed into what the situation might be, there appears to be an alignment problem of the upper to lower jaw.  That can sometimes be changed somewhat with braces, but other times jaw surgery might be necessary to create and ideal situation (not that ideal is always needed or wanted).  So relax for now and don't let the dentist adjust your bite, but if the teeth keep hitting up front, a simple cure might be a simple little appliance, called a guard that will protect your teeth from banging into each other or hitting.  

So for now, get an opinion in time from an orthodontist and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  That simple bite guard might be helpful now to protect the teeth from hitting (if the dentist who makes it is skilled and has it made correctly).  

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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