Treatment Info

Common Orthodontic Problems in Children, Adolescents and Adults 

Classification of Teeth Overview

For a brief overview of the classification of teeth, please click on the image below. It will launch our flash educational module in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about the classifications of teeth.

Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry focused on the diagnosis and treatment of dental and associated facial irregularities. The results of orthodontic treatment can be dramatic: beautiful smiles, improved dental health and an enhanced quality of life for many people of all ages. Orthodontic problems, which can result from genetic and environmental factors, must be diagnosed before treatment begins. Proper diagnosis involves taking photographs, x-rays, and dental impressions, which enable our practice to make informative decisions about the form of treatment necessary.

Treatment typically lasts from 6 to 30 months, depending on age and the severity of the orthodontic problem. Outstanding results are also dependent on maximizing the coordination of care between you and our offices. We are committed to delivering the best possible service in order for you to achieve your orthodontic objectives.

Dr. Bobbi provides orthodontic treatment for adults, adolescents and children. We follow the guidelines established by the American Association of Orthodontists by recommending that an orthodontic evaluation take place at age 7 for all children. This early evaluation can help to determine the best time to begin any necessary treatment.

Many progressive treatments are now available for patients 7 to 11 years of age that provide significant benefits, especially when jaw irregularities are present. These treatments may also prevent certain conditions from worsening. Treating children with these types of problems during their growth stages allows our practice to achieve results that may not be possible when face and jaw bones have fully developed. This early treatment can simplify or eliminate additional treatment for the child.

The classification of bites are broken up into three main categories: Class I, II, and III.

CLASS I:
Class I is a normal relationship between the upper teeth, lower teeth and jaws or balanced bite.

class-1-normal

NORMAL

class-1-spacing

SPACING

class-1-crowding

CROWDING

CLASS II:
Class II is where the lower first molar is posterior (or more towards the back of the mouth) than the upper first molar. In this abnormal relationship, the upper front teeth and jaw project further forward than the lower teeth and jaw. There is a convex appearance in profile with a receding chin and lower lip. Class II problems can be due to insufficient growth of the lower jaw, an over growth of the upper jaw or a combination of the two. In many cases, Class II problems are genetically inherited and can be aggravated by environmental factors such as finger sucking. Class II problems are treated via growth redirection to bring the upper teeth, lower teeth and jaws into harmony.

Division-1

DIVISION 1

Division-2

DIVISION 2

CLASS III:
Class III is where the lower first molar is anterior (or more towards the front of the mouth) than the upper first molar. In this abnormal relationship, the lower teeth and jaw project further forward than the upper teeth and jaws. There is a concave appearance in profile with a prominent chin. Class III problems are usually due to an overgrowth in the lower jaw, undergrowth of the upper jaw or a combination of the two. Like Class II problems, they can be genetically inherited.

Skeleton

SKELETON

Dental

DENTAL

It is not sufficient to categorize orthodontic malocclusions on the basis of a classification of the teeth alone. The relationship with other craniofacial structures must also be taken into consideration.

CLASS I
Maxillary-Mandibular Dental Protrusion — teeth:
This is an example of a dental malocclusion that may require the removal of teeth for correction.

Maxillary-Mandibular Dental Retrusion — teeth:
This is an example of a dental malocclusion that may be treated with expansion rather than removing teeth.

CLASS II
Maxillary Dental Protrusion — teeth:
This malocclusion may require the removal of teeth.

Mandibular Retrognathism — jaws:
The lower jawbone has not grown as much as the upper jaw. This example of a Class II malocclusion demonstrates the need for early growth guidance.

Maxillary Dental Protrusion — teeth & Mandibular Retrognathism — jaws:
These Class malocclusions are more difficult to treat due to the skeletal disharmony and may require orthognathic surgery in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.

CLASS III:

Mandibular Dental Protrusion — teeth:
The lower teeth are too far in front of the upper teeth. This malocclusion is treated with orthodontic procedures which may require the extraction of teeth due to the dental protrusion.

Mandibular Prognathism — jaws:
The lower jaw bone has outgrown the upper jaw. This malocclusion is more difficult to treat due to the skeletal disharmony and may require orthognathic surgery in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.

Impactions can be caused by improper positioning of the developing tooth bud. This can cause the tooth to fail to erupt into the mouth. Impactions can also be caused by early loss of primary teeth or crowding of teeth. Wisdom teeth are the most commonly impacted teeth. Canines and premolars can also be impacted.

This problem should be corrected because it can:
– cause damage to the root structure of adjacent teeth
– interfere with the sinus cavity
– leave unwanted spaces
– lead to improper functioning of the teeth
– cause premature wear of the teeth
– case asymmetric alignment of the teeth 

How can impacted teeth be orthodontically corrected?
Usually the impacted tooth is exposed over the course of a few months and brought into the correct position of the mouth. Correction of impacted teeth may involve a minor surgical procedure performed by an oral surgeon working closely with our practice. This will allow us to then guide eruption of the impacted tooth into proper position.

Missing teeth is the absence of a tooth or teeth that should normally be present. This can be caused by trauma or lack of development.

This problem should be corrected because it can:
– cause improper functioning of teeth
– cause premature wear of teeth
– cause asymmetric alignment of the teeth
– make your smile less attractive

How can missing teeth be orthodontically corrected?
Depending upon the situation, the space can be closed with braces or opened for tooth replacement. A bridge or dental implant are the available restorative options if a space is created.

Crowding is the lack of space for all the teeth to fit normally within the jaws. The teeth may be twisted or displaced. Crowding occurs when there is disharmony in the tooth to jaw size relationship or when the teeth are larger than the available space. Crowding can be caused by improper eruption of teeth and early or late loss of primary teeth. To discuss crowding and the spacing of teeth, please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.

Crowding should be corrected because it can:
– prevent proper cleaning of all the surfaces of your teeth
– cause dental decay
– increase the chances of gum disease
– prevent proper functioning of teeth
– make your smile less attractive

How can crowding be orthodontically corrected?
Extra space can be created by expansion of the arches or extraction of teeth. Once space is created, braces will eliminate crowding and align the teeth. Correction of crowding can help prevent dental decay and periodontal disease by improving the ability to remove plaque from the teeth.

Spacing of the Teeth Spacing
(the opposite of crowding), is an excess of space for your teeth which results in gaps between your teeth. This generally occurs when the teeth are smaller than the available space. Spacing can also be caused by protrusive teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth or abnormal tissue attachments to the gums.

Spacing should be corrected because it can:
– result in gum problems due to the lack of protection by the teeth
– prevent proper functioning of the teeth
– make your smile less attractive 

How can spacing of the teeth be orthodontically corrected?
The spaces can be closed by moving the teeth together and properly aligning them within the arch.

Cross bites can occur in the front and/or the sides of the mouth: One or more upper teeth bite on the inside
of the lower teeth. This can occur with a single tooth or multiple teeth. Early correction of cross bites is recommended.

Crossbites should be corrected because it can:
– cause premature wear of the teeth
– cause gum disease including bone loss
– cause asymmetrical development of the jaws
– cause dysfunctional chewing patterns
– make your smile less attractive

How can crossbite be orthodontically corrected?
In case of a single tooth crossbite, the tooth can be moved with braces into the correct position. In some cases, a retainer can be utilized. With multiple teeth in crossbite, the arch needs to be expanded with braces or other intra-oral appliances.