What Is Dental Malocclusion?
Dental malocclusion is a general condition characterized by a misalignment between the upper and lower jaws and in how the teeth fit together. This can create a number of orthodontic and functional problems, including overcrowding, crooked teeth, an overbite, and other occlusion concerns. If left untreated, dental malocclusion may increase the risk of sleep disorders, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, tooth decay, and gum disease. At ACE Dental of Texas, our well-trained team is skilled at diagnosing dental malocclusion in children and adults and can offer orthodontic treatment solutions to bring the teeth and jaws into better alignment. Learn more by contacting one of our practice locations today!
Occlusion is assessed according to how certain teeth in the upper and lower arches fit together when biting down. Dental occlusion is divided into three separate classes:
- Class I is typically regarded as "normal" and occurs when the upper teeth overlap the lower row in a balanced fashion. Orthodontic treatments are often designed to move teeth toward this relationship.
- In Class II, the upper jaw and teeth overlap the bottom teeth, causing the lower jaw and chin to recede.
- For Class III, the bottom jaw and chin extend out, making them overlap the upper jaw and teeth.
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Do You Have Malocclusion?
Malocclusion may affect children, teens, and adults and is commonly identified by having an overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, or narrow arches. Crowded, crooked, rotated, and misaligned teeth are also forms of dental malocclusion. Though often genetic, misaligned teeth or jaws might also be exacerbated by thumb-sucking, teeth grinding, or trauma. Bite conditions caused by poorly aligned teeth or jaws may lead to chipped, worn, or broken teeth, trouble biting or chewing, and speaking difficulties. This may also place strain on the TMJ, lead to sleep apnea, and increase the risk of cavities and periodontal disease due to difficulties in maintaining good oral hygiene.
How Is Dental Malocclusion Treated?
The recommended treatment for most malocclusion conditions is normally in the form of orthodontics. This may include options, like retainers, clear teeth aligners, or traditional braces. Individuals with severe overcrowding of their teeth may need to have teeth removed before undergoing further therapy. Our trained practitioners will take advanced cone beam scans to better understand your condition and talk with you about your treatment choices. We are pleased to offer Invisalign orthodontic solutions and may partner with other specialists to fully meet your needs. If the jaw is badly misaligned, the ACE Dental team may recommend a surgical approach to align the jaws and improve oral function.
Following Treatment for Malocclusion
Treatment for malocclusion, especially that involves orthodontics, may take place over the course of a few years. When the teeth and jaws have reached their ideal positions, a removable or permanent retainer could be required to help maintain your results. Throughout your treatment and following any type of care, we encourage you to maintain good oral hygiene habits at home each day. Our dedicated team will continually monitor your oral health and treatment progress during each of your routine preventive dentistry visits at ACE Dental.
Insurance Coverage for Your Care
Dental coverage for orthodontics and other services for treating malocclusion may vary among insurance policies. Prior to treatment, our billing team will speak with your dental insurance provider and help you get the most from your benefits before calculating out-of-pocket costs. ACE Dental offers several forms of affordable payment options and can assist you in applying for flexible financing plans.
Treat Malocclusion With Personalized Care
Bite issues and other types of malocclusion can affect your oral function and appearance without proper care. At ACE Dental of Texas, we work to diagnose and address occlusion concerns to provide your family with more comfortable, straighter smiles. Call one of our friendly practice locations today to set up a treatment consultation, and learn how we can help bring harmony to your oral health!