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01 Oct

Malocclusions types, what do they all mean?

Today’s blog will focus on the different types of misaligned bites, or malocclusions, and the treatment options we offer to make sure  your smile looks and functions well. In dentistry, your occlusion basically refers to how your teeth come together. Occlusion is defined as the contact between the maxillary and mandibular teeth in any functional position. 

The classification of the bite can be divided into three main categories. These are known as Class I, Class II and Class III. This classification helps us understand the position of our  first molars and the way our upper jaw fits into our lower one. Analysing our jaw position helps orthodontists diagnose any skeletal discrepancies, which need to be fixed in order for our smile to function well 

.If left untreated, malocclusions can cause a range of issues including tooth wear, speech problems and jaw joint pain (TMJ).  

What are the different types of malocclusion? 

Class 1 Malocclusions 

Class 1 malocclusion is what dentists refer to as an overlap of upper teeth over the lower teeth. This is often due to prolonged periods of bottle use or thumb sucking during early childhood years. The good news is that in most cases, the consequences aren’t that serious and if treated on time, Class 1 malocclusions do not leave a permanent damage. We tend to fix them by making use of special appliances, which gradually expand the upper jaw and make space for the teeth to erupt properly. Later stages of the straightening process might involve different kinds of appliances or even braces, based on individual patient cases. 

Class 2 Malocclusions 

Class II malocclusion also represents a jaw position, where the upper teeth stick out over lower teeth. However in this case, the shift is severe enough to cause significant damage to the aesthetics and functionality of a smile. This type of malocclusion needs early orthodontic intervention and alignment usually takes longer to achieve.  

There are two main divisions of a Class II malocclusion. In the first one, we notice the teeth position shifting towards the lips, whilst in the second one – your upper central incisors move towards the tongue.  

Class 3 Malocclusions 

Class 3 malocclusion is a type of underbite where the lower teeth stick out further ahead than your upper jaw. Crossbones are also considered a type of class III malocclusion, where some upper teeth and some lower teeth overlap each other. Class 3 malocclusion is divided into 3 types based on the alignment of the teeth. In type 1, teeth form an abnormally shaped arch. In type 2 malocclusion of teeth, the lower front teeth are angled towards the tongue. And in type 3, the upper arch is abnormal and upper teeth are angled towards the tongue. 

How do dentists fix occlusions?  

Different appliances can help us achieve this, and we determine it on an individual case basis. Because each case is different, we thoroughly evaluate each patient to determine the best way to accomplish our desired results. Some treatment options include an orthodontic intervention through braces or Invisalign. At Maida Smiles Clinic, we offer a range of different treatment options.  

If you’re worried about the alignment of yours or your child’s jaw, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our dentists. We will create a personalised treatment plan, explaining the process step by step.  


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