Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
Updated on September 14, 2022

Snaggle Tooth - Causes & Treatment Options

NewMouth is reader supported. We may earn a commission if you purchase something using one of our links. Advertising Disclosure.

What is a Snaggle Tooth? 

A snaggle tooth is an irregular or out-of-alignment tooth that stands out from the rest of your teeth. 

Depending on the shape and angle of a snaggle tooth, brushing and flossing in the area may be difficult. However, even if these teeth aren’t posing any oral health concerns, you may consider them a cosmetic flaw.

If most of your teeth are well-aligned and a few are out of place, you have some options for aligning them, including braces, clear aligners, and other treatments.

teenage girl with braces visiting her dentist for a checkup

Common Causes of a Snaggle Tooth

Several issues can cause a snaggle tooth, such as:

  • Overcrowded teeth, which may or may not result from impacted wisdom teeth
  • Thumb sucking during childhood
  • Early loss of a baby tooth, which alters the eruption of the underlying permanent tooth 
  • Poor or changing tongue posture, which can change the alignment of teeth
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding), which can push teeth out of place over time

Depending on the cause, the snaggle tooth itself may not be the only abnormality that needs to be corrected. In other cases, it is a mild deviation that can be treated on its own.

5 Ways to Fix a Snaggle Tooth

1. Braces

Braces have been used for centuries to bring out-of-place teeth into proper alignment. They work by putting pressure on your teeth with brackets (one on each tooth) and wires (connecting the brackets together).

Braces may need to be worn for only a few months or over two years, depending on a person’s needs. After the braces are removed, you’ll need to wear a retainer indefinitely to help stabilize your teeth.

Pros

  • Reduced space between teeth and correction of rotated teeth
  • Does not require redo every few years
  • Lasting improvements in tooth alignment and oral-health-related quality of life

Cons

  • Can be expensive, especially if there is only one misaligned tooth
  • Need to be worn for months
  • Oral hygiene with braces can be more difficult
  • Post-treatment upkeep, such as wearing a retainer

Cost

Braces can cost anywhere from $4,000 to over $10,000, depending on the type of braces, your needs, and where you live. Lingual braces, which run along the back of your teeth, are likely to cost more than traditional braces.

Dental insurance may partially or fully cover braces if they’re considered medically necessary.

2. Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are transparent plastic trays fitted to your teeth. They’re a common alternative to braces when the misalignment isn’t as severe. There are several brands of clear aligners, and they vary in quality.

Pros

  • Effective at improving tooth spacing
  • Less expensive than braces
  • Don’t have to be worn for as long as braces
  • More cosmetic than conventional braces 

Cons

  • Not as effective as braces for more complex tooth alignment problems
  • Not as effective at moving severely rotated teeth
  • Less accurate results if there are serious occlusion (bite) issues

Cost

Depending on the brand and your location, clear aligners can cost between $1,000 to $8,000. It’s possible that this cost may be paid in part or in full by your insurance.

3. Veneers

A dental veneer is a layer of porcelain or composite resin placed over a tooth. It can help protect a tooth and give it a more esthetic color and shape.

Pros

  • Natural-looking color and shape
  • May be less expensive than braces

Cons

  • Generally considered cosmetic, and thus not covered by insurance
  • Need to be replaced every few years
  • Fragile, can pop up off or break easily, especially in people who clench or grind their teeth 

Cost

One veneer can cost as little as $500 or up to several thousand dollars. Insurance isn’t likely to cover veneers.

4. Tooth Contouring

Tooth contouring involves shaving a small amount of enamel off the tooth. If your snaggle tooth only protrudes a little bit, tooth contouring may be an option.

Pros

  • Significantly less expensive than braces or veneers
  • Once the procedure is done, there’s no need to get anything replaced or adjusted
  • More cost-effective than braces or veneers for just one tooth

Cons

  • Usually cosmetic, and thus not covered by insurance
  • Won’t be effective for all snaggle teeth

Cost

Tooth contouring could cost anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars. Insurance may cover it in cases of injury where it’s considered a necessary procedure.

5. Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction may be recommended if your snaggle tooth is causing problems for your other teeth. This may require replacing the extracted tooth with a single-tooth denture or dental implant

Only very severe cases of single misaligned teeth will require extraction and replacement.

Pros

  • Provides a permanent solution
  • Replacements can offer natural-looking shape and color that will blend in with your other teeth

Cons

  • Can be very expensive and may not be fully covered by insurance
  • Requires a long recovery period
  • Complications are possible, such as post-op infection

Cost

Tooth extraction on its own may cost between $100 to $500 dollars. A single-tooth denture may be an additional several hundred dollars. An implant to replace one tooth can cost between $3,000 to $4,000.

Insurance may cover a single-tooth denture, but isn’t likely to cover the full cost of an implant.

What Issues Can Snaggle Teeth Cause?

A snaggle tooth may be nothing more than a cosmetic issue. But depending on the shape, angle, and location of the tooth, it could cause more serious problems if left untreated.

When a snaggle tooth overlaps with another tooth, it can be difficult to keep it clean and healthy with brushing and flossing. Bacteria builds up in the area, forming plaque and contributing to tooth decay or gum disease.

If your snaggle tooth results from overcrowding or a gap from a missing tooth, the tooth could continue to drift over time. Your other teeth could begin to move out of place as well.

If you have trouble cleaning the area around a misaligned tooth or have any concerns, you should see your dentist for an evaluation.

Summary

A snaggle tooth is a single misaligned tooth that stands out of place when compared to your other teeth. It may pose an obstacle to effective brushing and flossing or may be a troublesome cosmetic issue.

If you have one or a couple of snaggle teeth, you have several options for aligning them, including braces, clear aligners, and other treatments. Talk to your dentist if you’re concerned about a misaligned tooth.

7 Sources Cited
Last updated on September 14, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Misaligned teeth and jaws: Overview.” InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), Jan 16 2020.
  2. Zhou, Y. et al. “The impact of orthodontic treatment on the quality of life a systematic review.” BMC Oral Health vol 14,66 .
  3. Galan-Lopez, Lidia et al. “A systematic review of the accuracy and efficiency of dental movements with Invisalign®.” Korean journal of orthodontics vol. 49,3 : 140-149.
  4. Ke, Y. et al. “A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies.” BMC Oral Health vol. 19,24 .
  5. Soonshin Hwang et al. “A 15-year follow up of an orthodontic treatment including a lower incisor extraction and keeping the maxillary canine–premolar transposition.” The Angle Orthodontist vol. 89,5 : 812–826.
  6. How Much Do Braces Cost?” CostHelper Health.
  7. How Much Does Tooth Extraction Cost?” CostHelper Health.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram