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Can you get braces for top teeth only?

braces only on top

Kenilworth, IL – Many people are happy, or at least content, with their bottom teeth. After all, these teeth aren’t seen that often. So, when it comes to orthodontic treatment, why spend time and money on teeth that aren’t very visible? It’s not uncommon for patients to ask about getting braces only on top teeth, and especially only the top four teeth since they are the most visible.


That may seem like a solid plan, but it’s not that simple, says Dr. Michael Stosich.


“Unfortunately, it’s just not as easy as making the teeth look straighter,” says Dr. Stosich. “While orthodontic treatment perfects the positions of your teeth, it also works to create a properly aligned and harmonious bite. Treating only one portion of your mouth with braces may actually create an even bigger problem.”


So, are single-arch braces possible?

single-arch braces

For most people, this is not the most ideal treatment plan. Single arch orthodontic treatment is more for cosmetic purposes than it is for correcting orthodontic issues. You cannot correct issues such as crossbites, overbites, or underbites by only correcting the top teeth. This type of treatment should only be reserved for patients who have very minor issues, such as crowding or spacing, and not bite problems.


But, patients should be cautioned that correcting only their top teeth can lead to worsening bite problems, which can lead to even more issues in the future.


“Your bite is a very complex relationship between your upper and lower arches and your jaws,” says Dr. Stosich. “If you work to correct only one issue facing your smile, you may be worsening bite problems, and this can lead to chipping, cracking, breaking, and worse.”


Before undergoing any orthodontic treatment, it is important to understand the pros and cons of it. Be sure you are seeing a board-certified orthodontist who has a proven track record of treating patients with a variety of issues. This will ensure you receive the best care and advice possible.


How much is braces for top teeth only?

Some patients may want braces on only their top teeth due to budgetary concerns. While the thought process behind this is understandable, when taking into account possible future damage caused by an improperly aligned bite, this way of thinking is flawed.

If you are concerned about the cost of orthodontic treatment, be sure to discuss this with your orthodontist. Paying for braces doesn’t have to be scary – orthodontic treatment is for everyone, and your orthodontic team will work with you to ensure the cost won’t be a barrier to treatment.

While in a very small percentage of the population, braces on only the top may work, it is best to have the mouth treated as a whole when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Creating a cosmetic improvement that only serves to create a poor bite may be setting you up for even bigger issues down the road. Every smile is unique and deserves a treatment plan that will take that into account. Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Stosich today at 847-548-4200 (Round Lake & Grayslake) or 224-408-2200 (Wilmette & Kenilworth).


  • Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS

    Dr. Michael Stosich is a board-certified orthodontist and the director of orthodontics at the University of Chicago Medicine. He is known for his extensive experience in leading clinical enterprises, publishing, and lecturing both in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Stosich has expertise in starting, growing, and maintaining successful orthodontic practices, including those in pediatric dentistry, general dentistry, and multi-specialty clinics. He serves on the editorial board of several publications and has been involved in innovating patient care and education, focusing on the future of dental and orthodontic healthcare.

Stosich Consulting