Malocclusion is the term used to describe misaligned teeth and a misaligned bite. Malocclusion is a common dental problem and can be identified by a dentist. Braces are the most common path of treatment for misaligned teeth, although other forms of orthodontic treatment may be used depending on the type and severity. Let’s look at the different types of malocclusion and how they may be treated.
A Class I malocclusion is when the bite of the teeth appears normal, but the upper line of teeth slightly overlaps the lower line of teeth. This type of misalignment isn’t always treated by orthodontics like other types of malocclusion. Some patients outgrow it, or it is remedied by tooth extractions.
A Class II malocclusion is also known as an overbite or retrognathism. This is when the upper line of teeth overlap the bottom line of teeth severely, so much so that the overlap is noticeable to anyone looking at the teeth, not just a medical professional. It needs to be diagnosed by a dentist and treated by an orthodontist. The most common treatment is braces, but other dental devices may be used like retainers and spacers.
A Class III malocclusion is an underbite, also known as prognathism. This is when the lower jaw protrudes severely forward which causes the lower line of teeth to overlap the top line of teeth. This also can be diagnosed by a dentist and treated by an orthodontist with braces or other dental devices.
Misaligned teeth are very common and can be corrected over time when treated with orthodontics. If you suspect you or your child may have a type of malocclusion, make an appointment with Dr. Zola Makrauer or Dr. Julie Miller at Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts right away. They will be able to properly identify which type you have and refer you to an orthodontist for treatment.