Trinity House Orthodontics / About orthodontics / Problems and what to look for

Common orthodontic problems

To allow correct classification of problems malocclusions (bad bites) are described under the following groupings that have become accepted world-wide. This enables dental professionals to communicate using the same terms.

Class I malocclusionClass I malocclusion

Class l malocclusion occurs when the teeth meet in good positions and the overbite and overjet are correct, but the teeth are crowded. Depending on the degree of crowding, space may need to be made by removing some teeth before braces can be put on. In Britain, about 45% of the population have malocclusions of this type.

 

Class II division 1 malocclusion<Class II division 1 malocclusion

Class II division 1 malocclusion occurs when the upper teeth are projecting forward of the lower teeth (the overjet is increased) and the upper incisors are proclined. Crowding may also be present. This arrangement is seen in about 34% of the population. Depending on the degree of discrepancy headgear, extractions, or surgery may be needed to create a good correction.

 

Class II division 2 malocclusionClass II division 2 malocclusion

Class II division 2 malocclusion occurs when the upper teeth are again protrusive, but the upper incisors are retroclined (tipped backwards). The overjet may not be greatly changed but the overbite is often greatly increased giving a "deep bite". Treatment is similar. About 18% of malocclusions are like this.

 

Class III malocclusionClass III malocclusion

Class III malocclusion occurs when the lower teeth are positioned ahead of the uppers (a reverse overjet). About two per cent of malocclusions belong to this class. There is often an associated jaw misalignment, either upper or lower. These patients often need a combination of braces and a jaw operation. Because the lower jaw is one of the last bones to stop growing, treatment is often delayed until the patients are adults, so that a correct treatment plan is made. 

 

Orthodontic problems to watch for

Malocclusions, like those illustrated below, may benefit from early diagnosis. Referral to an orthodontic specialist for a full evaluation is the best solution.

Problems to watch for in children

Anterior crossbite
(Scissor bite arrangement)

Anterior crossbite

Posterior crossbite
(Upper arch too narrow)

Posterior crossbite

Crowding
(Overlapping teeth)

Crowding

Open bite
(Teeth don't meet at the front)

Open bite

Protrusion
(Goofy - upper jaw too far forward)

Protrusion

Complete class III
(Lower jaw protrudes forward of upper jaw)

Complete class III

Diastema
(Spacing)

Diastema

 

Problems to watch for in adults

Crowding
(Overlapping teeth)

Crowding

Diastema
(Spacing)

Posterior crossbite

Anterior crossbite
(Forward displacement)

Anterior crossbite

Bruxism
(Tooth wear)

Bruxism

Periodontal problems
(Gum disease)

Periodontal problems

Protrusion
(Upper jaw far forward)

Protrusion

Open bite
(Teeth don't meet at the front)

Open bite

Deep bite
(Top teeth overlap lower teeth)

Deep bite

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