A common dental issue known as a snaggle tooth can affect people of all ages. It is often characterized when a misaligned tooth disrupts the harmony of your smile in various forms, such as having a slight protrusion, a noticeable tilt, or an awkward gap.
While this dental concern can affect oral aesthetics and functionality, it can easily be alleviated.
So, how do you resolve and correct a snaggle tooth?
This article seeks to answer this and other questions by highlighting:
- What a snaggle tooth is;
- How you can get a snaggle tooth;
- How to fix the condition;
- Cost implications for resolving a snaggle tooth.
What Is a Snaggle Tooth?
A snaggle tooth is a tooth that deviates from its usual alignment within the dental arch. Unlike the other teeth on the dental arch, a snaggle tooth can jut out, lean at an angle or sit slightly askew.
In other words, it may appear turned at an angle that others aren’t. Moreover, such teeth may also appear pushed forward or behind the other teeth, altering your overall dental appearance. In other cases, a snaggle tooth may also be broken, which makes it appear generally pointy.
In a nutshell, such teeth can significantly impact how you view and feel about your smile. Moreover, besides affecting your oral aesthetics, a snaggle tooth can also impact the functionality of your teeth.
Causes of a Snaggle Tooth
Generally speaking, the leading cause of a snaggle tooth is overcrowding or as a result of a narrow roof mouth.
The teeth can start competing for room if the jaw has insufficient space. This causes some teeth to shift from their intended natural positions, contributing to the emergence of a snaggle tooth.
However, there may be some other reasons for getting a snaggle tooth, including:
- Genetics: Genetic traits influence the size of the jaw, alignment of teeth, and other aspects of dental development. This means that you may easily inherit the traits of misaligned or snaggle teeth from your parents if the condition is prevalent in your family.
- Early tooth loss: Losing baby teeth prematurely without a timely replacement from an emerging adult tooth can create gaps, forcing adjacent teeth to encroach on the gaps. This ultimately leads to misalignment.
- Habits and oral development: People that have gone through childhood habits like prolonged thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting can easily get affected by a snaggle tooth.
This habit puts pressure on developing teeth, pushing them further from their intended positions. Moreover, habits, such as using pacifiers past a particular age, can also lead to a snaggle tooth.
- Facial injuries: Facial trauma, especially to the mouth area, can disrupt teeth alignment, leading to the emergence of a snaggle tooth.
- Impacted teeth: When teeth fail to fully or correctly erupt, it can affect the overall alignment of neighboring teeth, potentially resulting in misalignment and a snaggle tooth.
Consequences of Neglecting a Snaggle Tooth
Having well-aligned teeth has numerous benefits, including enabling you to enjoy the full functionality of your teeth and improved looks.
However, when a snaggle tooth disrupts that symphony, the consequences may extend far beyond mere aesthetics. Neglecting a snaggle tooth can lead to more severe oral issues that deserve dental attention.
So, what are some of the consequences of neglecting a snaggle tooth? Check out these seven common consequences of a neglected snaggle tooth:
- Poor oral hygiene: Snaggle teeth can make it more challenging to clean and reach tight spaces due to the misalignment. As a result, plaque and food particles can accumulate in these crevices, increasing your risk of contaminating cavities, gum disease, or bad breath.
- Bite problems: When the natural alignment of your bite has been disrupted, it may lead to bite issues, including overbite, underbite, crossbite, and more. These bite problems and irregularities can cause numerous issues, such as jaw pain and difficulty eating.
- Uneven pressure: A snaggle tooth can cause uneven pressure, especially when biting and chewing. Over time, this may lead to excessive wear on certain teeth, an action that causes fractures and sensitivity, making it necessary to seek restorative treatments.
- TMJ issues: An imbalanced bite that comes as a result of a snaggle tooth can strain the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), potentially leading to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), often characterized by jaw pain and discomfort, among others.
- Aesthetic concerns: One of the most prominent consequences of not correcting a snaggle tooth is the aesthetic concerns it raises. Neglecting a snaggle tooth can impact your self-confidence and self-esteem, which may eventually affect how you interact with others, as well as affecting your overall being.
- Speech impediments: In some cases, a snaggle tooth can alter tongue placement when speaking, making it difficult to articulate certain sounds the way you have been used to.
- Risk of fracture: A protruding snaggle tooth is more vulnerable to trauma or accidental injury. This makes it easy for it to undergo chips, cracks, or fractures, which not only affects your overall appearance but also causes discomfort.
Ways to Fix a Snaggle Tooth
Depending on your unique needs, there are numerous solutions to a snaggle tooth. These treatments vary in pricing and treatment period, and your dentist can help you to determine the best mode of treatment that is ideal for you.
Here are the top treatments and ways to show you how to fix a snaggle tooth:
The most straightforward way of resolving a snaggle tooth is extraction. If you only have one tooth causing problems to your bite, removing it can be a fast and effective way to get rid of it.
This means you only remove one tooth without impacting the neighboring ones, ultimately resolving the numerous consequences of a snaggle tooth.
After extracting the problematic tooth, you can easily replace it with various tooth replacement methods, including dental implants.
The cost of tooth extraction can vary widely depending on the tooth’s location, the complexity of the procedure, and whether it requires surgical extraction.
On average, simple tooth extractions can range from $75 to $450, while surgical extractions cost between $225 and $600.
- Effective for severe crowding or misalignment.
- Can create space for neighboring teeth to move into proper alignment.
- May be part of a comprehensive orthodontic treatment plan.
- Permanent removal of a tooth.
- Requires additional dental work to replace the extracted tooth.
- Potential impact on the overall bite and chewing efficiency.
Traditional braces have been the go-to solution for fixing misaligned teeth for decades. These orthodontic devices use brackets attached to teeth and connected through bands.
These wires and bands are adjusted and tightened to move teeth to the desired positions. This makes them a good solution for resolving a snaggle tooth, enabling you to get them back to the desired position, getting you back your oral aesthetics and functionality.
For people that are more concerned about the aesthetic considerations of traditional braces, you may opt for lingual braces. These braces are also made of metal, and instead of being attached to the front of your teeth, they are attached to the back.
The cost of traditional braces for snaggle tooth correction can range from approximately $3,000 to $7,000.
Factors influencing the cost include the severity of misalignment, the length of treatment, and the specific orthodontic practice.
- Can address complex snaggle tooth cases effectively.
- Offers controlled and precise tooth movement.
- Typically more affordable compared to some alternatives.
- Aesthetic concern due to their noticeable appearance.
- Discomfort and potential irritation caused by brackets and wires.
Clear aligners and Invisalign
Clear braces, also known as clear aligners, like Invisalign, offer a more discreet alternative to braces. They are made of clear, dental-grade plastic that gently shifts the tooth’s position over time.
However, it would be prudent to note that Invisalign is only suitable for mild to moderate misalignments. This means if your snaggle tooth has excessively protruded, using clear braces or aligners like Invisalign may not be the most suitable solution.
Invisalign treatment for correcting a snaggle tooth typically falls within the range of $3,500 to $8,000. However, depending on your budget, you can also easily get cheap teeth aligners.
The cost variation is influenced by the complexity of the case, the number of aligners required, and the geographical location.
- Virtually invisible, providing a discreet treatment option.
- Removable for eating, brushing, and special occasions.
- Reduced risk of mouth sores or irritation.
- Can be more expensive than traditional braces.
- Compliance is essential; aligners must be worn as instructed.
- Limited to treating mild to moderate misalignments.
In cases where the snaggle tooth has caused a minor misalignment, dental veneers may be considered.
Veneers are a thin shell of porcelain placed at the front of the teeth to enhance their aesthetic appeal. Note that veneers may not be suitable if the snaggle tooth requires extensive treatment.
Moreover, veneers may not be the best option if you require them to restore the functionality of your snaggle tooth. You may consider other options, such as extraction and restoration or orthodontic treatment.
Here’s our comprehensive dental veneers guide to help you get more insights into this treatment.
Dental veneers are generally more expensive than orthodontic options. The cost per veneer can range from $800 to $2,500, depending on factors such as the material used and the location of the dental practice.
For a full set of veneers, the cost can add up significantly.
- Provides an immediate cosmetic solution.
- Minimal alteration of natural tooth structure.
- Resistant to staining.
- May not be suitable for correcting significant misalignments.
- Irreversible procedure; once applied, veneers require maintenance.
Tooth reshaping (Odontoplasty)
If the snaggle tooth only protrudes by a small margin or is broken, tooth contouring may be considered a cheap and fast option.
Odontoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that involves shaving down small bits of your tooth without destabilizing too much of the enamel. Tooth contouring improves the overall appearance of your teeth and can be recommended by your dentist if you have a mild snaggle tooth.
Tooth reshaping is one of the more affordable cosmetic dental procedures. The cost can vary but is typically in the range of $50 to $300 per tooth, depending on the complexity of the reshaping.
- Non-invasive and painless procedure.
- A quick and relatively simple solution for minor misalignment.
- Enhances the appearance of the tooth.
- Limited to cases where the tooth's structure allows reshaping.
- Not suitable for addressing significant misalignment.
- Potential sensitivity after reshaping.
Here’s a summary table that can help you know the average cost of snaggle tooth treatments and highlight if it is covered under dental insurance.
|Average Expected Cost Range
|Dental Insurance Coverage
|$75 - $600
|Often partially covered for medically necessary extractions.
|$3,000 - $7,000
|Partial coverage, especially for cases with functional concerns.
|Clear Aligners (Invisalign)
|$3,500 - $8,000
|Some coverage may apply, check with the insurance provider.
|$800 - $2,500 per tooth
|Usually considered a cosmetic procedure with limited to no coverage.
|Tooth Reshaping (Odontoplasty)
|$50 - $300 per tooth
|Generally not covered by insurance for cosmetic reasons.
Correcting a Snaggle Tooth: Navigating the Path to a Confident Smile
Correcting a snaggle tooth is a crucial decision that helps you alleviate your aesthetic and functionality concerns.
However, just like with any other dental transformation, there are also budgetary and preference considerations. With the above information, alongside the help of your dentist, you will be better placed to determine the right approach to follow when resolving a snaggle tooth.
The timeline for a snaggle tooth correction process depends on various factors, including the treatment being used and the severity of the case.
For instance, orthodontic treatment generally takes from a year to three years. Veneers can require a few dental visits, while odontoplasty is often completed within a single visit.
Age can influence the ease of snaggle tooth correction, but it's not a definitive factor. It is always important to discuss your options with your dentist to determine the treatment that conforms well within your manageable timeframe.
Dental insurance coverage for snaggle tooth correction varies depending on the insurance plan, the severity of the misalignment, and whether the treatment is medically necessary.
It is essential to review your dental insurance policy and discuss coverage options with your insurance provider and dental professional before proceeding with any treatment.