Classification of Teeth & Face

Teeth

There are three main “bite” categories:

  • Class I-The relationship between the upper teeth, lower teeth and jaws is normal; a balanced bite.
  • Class II-The upper front teeth and jaw extend beyond the lower teeth and jaw. This bite develops due to inadequate growth of the lower jaw, an overgrowth of the upper jaw or a combination of the two. While these bite problems are hereditary, finger sucking can make them worse. The goal of treatment is to bring the upper and lower teeth and jaw into harmony through growth redirection.
  • Class III-The lower teeth and jaw extend beyond the upper teeth and jaw due to insufficient growth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower, or a combination of the two. These bite problems are also hereditary.

Face

Orthodontic malocclusions are also classified in relation to other craniofacial structures. These categories include:

Class I

  • Maxillary-Mandibular Dental Protrusion-Extraction may be needed to correct this malocclusion.
  • Maxillary-Mandibular Dental Retrusion-This malocclusion may be corrected utilizing expansion instead of removing teeth.

Class II

  • Maxillary Dental Protrusion - Extraction may be needed to correct this malocclusion.
  • Mandibular Retrognathism - There is insufficient growth of the lower jawbone. Early growth guidance is used to correct this condition.

Class II malocclusions are not easy to treat because of skeletal disharmony. Orthodontic treatment in conjunction with orthognathic surgery may be needed to treat these malocclusions.

Class III

  • Mandibular Dental Protrusion - The lower teeth protrude too far in front of the upper teeth.Orthodontic procedures and extraction may be necessary to correct this malocclusion.
  • Mandibular Prognathism – There is insufficient growth of the upper jawbone. Orthodontic
    treatment in conjunction with orthognathic surgery may be needed to treat these
    malocclusions.