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Common Orthodontic Problems

Class I Orthodontic Treatment

One of our goals of treatment is to achieve a “Class I” occlusion. This means that all of the teeth fit together like keys in a well-aligned zipper. Ideally the upper and lower front teeth should touch. Sometimes the back teeth may fit together properly, but the teeth are crooked or the front teeth don’t fit together well. This is called a “Class I malocclusion”.

Image: Class 1 Picture 1 Image: Class 1 Picture 2

Class II Orthodontic Treatment

This occurs when the upper teeth are more forward when compared with the lower teeth creating over jet. Over jet, often mistakenly referred to as overbite, is the distance from the lower front teeth to the upper front teeth. This may be due to mismatch of teeth only, discrepancy in position of the upper and lower jaw or a combination of both.

Image: Over Jet or Mismatch of Teeth

Class III Orthodontic Treatment

A Class III occlusion occurs when the lower teeth or more forward when compared with the upper teeth. An underbite often results from this occlusion. Profile characteristics include a “strong lower jaw.” This may be due to a mismatch of teeth only, discrepancy in position of the upper and lower jaw or a combination of both.

Image: A Class III Occlusion or Underbite

Crossbite Orthodontic Treatment

The upper posterior or “back” teeth should be positioned so that they overlap the lower posterior teeth on the side closest to the cheek. If the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth on the cheek side, this is referred to a crossbite. This may be due to a simple misalignment of the teeth or constriction of the upper arch.

Image: Crossbite Orthodontic Treatment Image: Crossbite Orthodontic Treatment

Overbite/Openbite Orthodontic Treatment

Overbite refers to the overlap of the anterior teeth. Ideally the upper front teeth should overlap the lower front teeth between 1-2mm. A deepbite occurs when the upper front teeth “hide” the bottom front teeth. This relationship can result in gingival irritation, lower anterior crowding, and other issues. An openbite occurs when the upper front teeth do not overlap the lower teeth and there is an opening between the teeth. This may result from thumb sucking or other habitual activity that prevents the teeth from erupting into place. Although somewhat uncommon, openbite may be a result of a skeletal discrepancy or TMJ issue.

Image: Deepbite Image: Openbite

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