Getting Braces Only on Your Top Teeth | Braces Q+A

The Secrets of Single-Arch Orthodontics

wedge of cheese

In the world of braces and clear aligners, a particular trend has been creating quite a buzz with some of our patients: single-arch orthodontic treatment for top teeth. This type of tooth transformation is unique in that it only straightens the top teeth (for a super-perfect smile) while leaving the bottom teeth as they are. Whether they’re trying to save money or only care about fixing their upper teeth, patients sometimes ask about this option when they visit our braces space.

It may seem like a great idea at first glance, but is it really a shortcut to a perfect smile? Let’s break it down!

What’s the Deal with Single Arch Orthodontic Treatment?

First, let’s unbox this specific style of orthodontic care. Single arch treatment applies braces to only one arch, often just the top teeth. Since smiling mostly shows your top teeth and not your bottom teeth, many people want to ensure that just the upper teeth look their best.

Those looking to cut costs during treatment or who don’t think their bottom teeth need adjusting might forgo braces on the bottom arch.

Why It’s Better to Fix Upper and Lower Teeth All at Once

Your orthodontist at Pachter will carefully evaluate your two arches, bite problems, and other factors to determine if you’re a good candidate for one-arch orthodontic treatment. Typically, our tooth experts will recommend steering clear of one-arch treatment. But why?

Your Entire Bite Might Get Funky

Here’s where it gets tricky. Your teeth have a complex relationship, and everything matters when you get braces: where upper teeth and lower teeth meet, how front teeth fit over the lower jaw, and how teeth shift forward and back when closing gaps or adjusting crowded top teeth.

smiling girl with braces

That’s right – your top and bottom teeth work as a team. When you alter the alignment of just your upper teeth, it can throw off the equilibrium of your bite, leading to potential issues like jaw pain, difficulty chewing, overbite, underbite, and uneven wear. Braces on both arches distribute forces evenly, and your treatment plan ensures that top or bottom teeth (and jaws) have enough room to close gaps and correct bite issues.

Single Arch Treatment isn’t as Affordable as You Think

As mentioned earlier, most patients think they can cut costs by getting braces to only straighten their top teeth. After all, you’re only getting half the braces – right?

Actually, this is a money myth. When you get braces, there’s a lot more than material that goes into the overall cost of clear braces or metal braces. The cost of single arch treatment is still impacted by seeing the orthodontist regularly, the complexity of your bite issues, adjustments, and treatment time. Depending on your journey, it costs nearly the same as getting braces on the bottom and top row.

You’ll Want the Rest of Your Teeth Straightened, Too

Here’s the kicker: when you get one set of teeth straightened, you’re more likely to return for more time in the patient chair. There are a few reasons for this.

When you only correct one set of teeth, it can make the rest of your chompers look a lot less perfect. Minor problems, gaps, and crowded teeth tend to stand out more – which can make anyone self-conscious about their grin!

In addition, new bite issues can pop up when your teeth aren’t adjusted as a team. If severe enough, these issues will force you to go back to the orthodontist for more time with braces or Invisalign.

Let’s Talk Top and Bottom Teeth at Pachter Orthodontics!

While getting braces on your top teeth might seem like a tempting shortcut, it’s important to remember that your teeth perform best when moving and shaking together. At Pachter Orthodontics, we believe in comprehensive care that addresses every needs – bringing patients healthy, beautiful smiles packed with positivity! So why settle for half measures when you can go the full mile with your orthodontist? Schedule your assessment with our team in Paramus, NJ, or Middletown, NY, and let’s talk top and bottom teeth together!

teenager with braces in the fall