Fixing overlapped teeth can be a life-changer and many patients choose to undergo the procedures despite the expense.

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Happiness is something everyone wants to feel, and a smile is an instinctual expression of that most desired of emotions. When you think of it that way, you realize that anything that keeps you from sharing a broad smile is damaging your quality of life. Overlapping teeth are one such example.

Overlapping teeth can simply be something you inherited or they can be caused by bad habits you had as a toddler, like sucking on your thumb or relying on that "binky" a little too long. You may have lost a tooth at some point, which caused your other teeth to shift or your facial structure may have changed as you've gotten older [source: Total Healthcare]. Whatever the case may be, fixing those overlapped teeth can have numerous benefits.

It may be considered a cosmetic change, but having straight teeth can be quite important. Improved self-esteem is one of the advantages of a healthy smile. You can boldly enter an interview, laugh on a date or chuckle at a friend's joke without being concerned about how your smile looks. In addition, your dental hygiene may be better because bacteria can't hide in those overlapping spots. Speech problems caused by overlapping teeth can also be eliminated [source: Hommer].

Fortunately, there are a lot of options available for remaking that smile of yours. They range from a variety of braces to dental sculpting techniques and veneers. The long-term effectiveness and expense also runs the gamut. Some procedures involve next to no discomfort while others can be painful and annoying. You'll also want to check with your insurance provider before having the dental work done because the amount they cover -- if anything -- can vary greatly.