Dental Malocclusion Tooth Classification

Posted on July 21st, 2013 by admin


A dental malocclusion is when the teeth are misaligned in relation of the two dental arches.  The upper arch or the maxilla and the lower arch (mandible) can be misaligned between the teeth and themselves, causing the malocclusion.  There are different classes of malocclusions and the popular Angle’s classification method to help identify the severity and treatment of the malocclusion.  Many people do not know that they even have malocclusions unless they are severe.  In most cases orthodontic braces are used to treat the problem, however in severe cases dental braces and surgery are used in conjunction with each other.

As far as dental insurance companies covering the treatment it is a very gray area.  In many cases a malocclusion does not affect a persons chewing, talking, etc. so any sort of treatment may be deemed unnecessary.  Orthodontist and dentist would disagree and claim that the person’s skeletal structure is causing all sorts of issues and needs to be fixed.  We suggest you shop around for dental insurance based on your needs.  The cost of braces varies from orthodontist.

Angle’s classification method

Edward Angle, who is considered the father of modern orthodontics, was the first to classify malocclusion. He based his classifications on the relative position of the maxillary first molar. According to Angle, the mesiobuccal cusp of the upper first molar should rest on the mesiobuccal groove of the mandibular first molar. Any variations from this resulted in malocclusion types. It is also possible to have different classes of maloclusion on left and right sides.

It is estimated that approximately 18% of the United States population suffers from an over sided malocclusion, while only 11% suffer from an under malocclusion.

  • Class I: Here the molar relationship of the occlusion is normal or as described before, but the other teeth have problems like spacing, crowding, over or under eruption, etc.
  • Class II: In this situation, the upper molars are placed not in the mesiobuccal groove but anteriorly to it. Usually in the mesio buccal cusp rests in between the first mandibular molars and second premolars. There are two subtypes:
  • Class II Division 1: The molar relationships are like that of Class II and the anterior teeth are protruded.
  • Class II Division 2: The molar relationships are class II but the central are retroclined and the lateral teeth are seen overlapping the centrals.
  • Class III: (prognathism or negative overjet) is when the lower front teeth are more prominent than the upper front teeth. In this case the patient has very often a large mandible or a short maxillary bone.

Other kind of malocclusions are due to vertical discrepancies. Long faces may lead to open bite, while short faces can be coupled to a deep bite. However, there are many other more common causes for open bites such as tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, etc, and likewise for deep bites.
Malocclusions can also be secondary to transversal skeletal discrepancy or to a skeletal asymmetry.
Many authors have tried to classify or modify Angle’s classification. This has resulted in many subtypes.

Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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