Diagnosis of Malocclusion

What is malocclusion?

Malocclusion (an improper bite) can refer to both incorrect static position (with the mouth shut) and wrong chewing. This anomaly occurs due to incongruous jaws or to dental malposition.

Types of anomalies

In orthodontics, the harmony of face is seen as a tridimensional effect of the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes:

  • The sagittal (median) plane – in the anterior-posterior paradigm, these anomalies include the prognathism of the mandible / maxilla (arch excessively developed), the retrognathia of the mandible / maxilla (arch withdrawn), the endognathism of the maxilla (narrow arch), etc.;
  • The frontal (vertical) plane – in the superior-inferior paradigm, these anomalies include open bite;
  • The transverse (horizontal) plane – in the left-right paradigm, these anomalies include asymmetries in relation to the mediosagittal plane, and other particular cases.

Which are the most common problems related to occlusion?

The most common problems related to occlusion that require your physician’s advice include the situations when:

  • The lower teeth may be more prominent than the upper teeth (overjet);
  • Lips may not be able to cover protruding teeth, as they are protruded;
  • An empty space may occur between the two arches even if the mouth is shut (open or incomplete bite);
  • The upper teeth may completely cover the lower teeth, when the mouth is shut (deep bite);
  • There may be uneven, asymmetrical, improperly inclined teeth, and, basically, any kind of disproportion between the jaws and the rest of the face, or between the jaws themselves. In any case, your upper teeth may not meet your lower teeth in a proper, perfectly adjusted position;

How They Reach a Diagnosis?

Before recommending the best treatment for you, your orthodontist establishes an exact diagnosis, obtained by various specific types of radiographs and patterns.

The diagnosis entices the inclusion of the anomaly in standardized cases, such as:

  • Class I – when malocclusion is the result of the malposition of teeth (crowded teeth, misaligned teeth, etc.); crossbite (when teeth on both arches don’t fit in a vertical plane);
  • Class II – overjet (the upper teeth and the front teeth protrude, thus creating a large gap between the upper teeth and the lower teeth, even when the mouth is fully closed); or inverse overjet (when the upper teeth obtrude to the interior of the mouth);
  • Class III – when the position of the posterior teeth is dissimilar from one arch to another, and the incisors on the two arches meet instead of partially overlapping.

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