What are Splayed Teeth?

Splayed teeth are an observed condition when the front teeth have an outward inclination. This usually results in spaces between the teeth.

Teeth typically find themselves in a position in the mouth for very specific reasons. They are acted upon by a variety of forces that include the muscles of the lips and the tongue, as well as the teeth they come into contact with. The stability of the teeth in this position can be impacted also by the health of the gums and bone that supports them. If the bone and gum that support the teeth is not strong, the teeth may not remain stable and become loose or shift.

If correction of splayed teeth is indicated for either function health or esthetic reasons, the first step is to determine the causes of why the teeth are in the position that they are in. Have the teeth always been in this position or have they shifted there?

If the reason is related to the bite and how the teeth come together, is there an opportunity to reshape, move or restore existing teeth to make the desired changes.  This would then let us return the front teeth to a more desirable position with orthodontics or restorations.

In some situations, splayed anterior teeth with spaces are actually very healthy and stable.  The teeth may have always been in this position and to move them would only result in the teeth rebounding to their original positions. The reason why they are the way they are is because the teeth are just smaller than the smile would like them to be, and the solution may be to alter the size of the teeth to close spaces that are undesirable with veneers or bonding.

If the reason is related to a habit like a tongue thrust or lip biting, is there any chance to change this habit.  Repositioning the teeth in the presence of the same habit would simply result in the teeth moving back and becoming unstable and loose.

As is always the case, solutions without first understanding why the condition exists as it does, can only result in failure.  Front teeth are designed to function in very specific ways. To make any changes to the front tooth that affects their stability would be to compromise the predictability and durability of the end result. Through the tools of a complete exam and often the study of mounted diagnostic models, your trained Dawson dentist can make the recommendations that are best for you.

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