Orthodontic Procedures


Crossbite Crossbite


The most common type of a crossbite occurs when the upper teeth bite inside of the lower teeth (toward the tongue) in the back of the mouth. Crossbites can affect one or many teeth.

How can a crossbite be corrected?

If there is a single tooth crossbite, the tooth can be moved with braces into the correct position. With multiple teeth in the crossbite, a palatal expander is most commonly used when patients are between the ages of seven and eleven years old.


Crowding Crowding


Crowding occurs when there is a lack of space for all the teeth to fit normally within the jaws. The teeth may be twisted or displaced. Crowding occurs when there is disharmony in the tooth to jaw size—when the teeth are larger than the available space. Crowding can be caused by early or late loss of primary teeth, or improper eruption of teeth.

How can crowding be corrected?

Extra space can be created by expansion of the jaws or extraction of teeth. Once space is created, braces are used to align the teeth. Correction of crowding can help prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease by improving your ability to remove plaque from the teeth.


Open bite Openbite


Openbite is an insufficient vertical overlap of the teeth. It is caused by uneven growth of the jaws, or by oral habits such as tongue thrust or finger sucking.

How can an openbite be corrected?

Openbite can be corrected through growth modification of the jaws using braces and specially designed appliances. In some cases surgical correction of the jaws may be necessary. Also, discontinuing damaging oral habits will help in the correct of an openbite. Timing of treatment is critical to the overall success of the therapy.


Spacing Spacing


Spacing generally occurs when the teeth are smaller than the available space. Spacing can also be caused by protrusive teeth, missing teeth or impacted teeth.

How can spacing of the teeth be corrected?

The spaces can be closed by moving the teeth together and properly aligning the teeth with braces.


Underbite Underbite


Underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth. An underbite is usually caused by overgrowth of the lower jaw. Underbite can also be caused by flared lower incisors. Early treatment of underbite is recommended.

How can an underbite be corrected?

Underbite can be improved with growth guidance appliances, extraction of teeth, and, in some cases, surgical correction of the jaws.

Overbite and Overjet

Overbite Overbite


Overbite occurs when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth excessively. Often you cannot see the lower incisors which may be biting into the roof of the mouth. 

Overjet is a term used to describe flared or protruding upper teeth, a situation where the upper teeth bite ahead of the lower teeth.

How can an overbite or overjet be corrected?

These conditions can be corrected through jaw growth modification and tooth movement using braces, headgear, and/or bite appliances. In some cases, jaw surgery is required to fully correct the bite.



Dr. Sara Bergsma is an orthodontist providing orthodontic treatment for Children and Adults in Traverse City.

Dr. Sara Bergsma is a fully licensed dentist and certified orthodontic specialist in the State of Michigan.

American Association of Orthodontics

American Dental Association