Typical Orthodontic Treatments
There is an opportunity to establish a proper foundation for future dental and facial development with the use of orthodontic treatment before the permanent teeth come in. By properly aligning the first teeth (or baby teeth) and creating the necessary space, the permanent teeth are more easily guided into their correct position. Narrow jaws and crossbites are typical situations where Phase I treatment is used. Phase II treatment takes place after the permanent teeth have erupted, and in many cases the treatment length is reduced considerably with Phase I treatment.
This treatment phase begins when all the permanent teeth have erupted. These are the teeth that will be sticking around for a while, so braces and any other necessary appliances are used to realign and position teeth to create a vibrant smile that lasts.
This classification is given based on the relationship between the upper and lower teeth – in this case, the upper teeth are located in front of the lower teeth. This can also be skeletal, meaning that it is the entire upper jaw that is located in front of the lower jaw. This means the upper teeth project forward further than the lower teeth, giving the face the appearance of a receding chin and a rounded profile. This abnormal relationship may be due to inherited characteristics, but may be antagonized by other elements such as thumb and finger sucking. This is also commonly known as "overbite" or "buckteeth."
Class III is the opposite of Class II. In this class, it is the lower teeth that project further forward than the upper teeth. Similarly, this condition can also be skeletal, meaning it is characteristic of the entire jaw, not just the teeth. This classification gives the impression of a much larger lower jaw, when in fact it is generally caused by a lack of development in the upper. Inherited characteristics are generally to blame in this case. This is also known as "underbite."
Pseudo Class III
This condition is caused by habit rather than a skeletal or dental issue, especially in younger patients. This excludes it from being a “true” Class III, and so it is called “pseudo” which means fake or pretend. So even though it has the appearance of a Class III, it is not actually so. To prevent abnormal growth of the upper and lower jaws, orthodontic treatment will be required.
Narrow upper jaws often cause crossbites, which means a misaligned bite. An anterior crossbite occurs when the narrow upper jaw forces the patient to thrust their lower jaw forward when biting, causing the lower teeth to bite in front of the upper teeth.
During development, this condition is especially damaging as it places additional stress to the TMJ (jaw joint) as it is still growing. We highly recommend correcting an anterior crossbite.
A posterior crossbite is similar to the anterior crossbite in that the narrow jaw affects the way the patient bites. With the posterior crossbite, the lower jaw will end up either in front of the lower jaw, or to the side. It may involve both sides of the jaw, known as bilateral crossbite, or only one side, which is known as a unilateral crossbite.
Again, for children who are still developing, this has serious potential to damage their future oral health. If the jaw joint (TMJ) is altered or damaged during growth, the chances for health problems increases with age. Any crossbite issues should be immediately addressed
Discrepancies between the size of the jaw and the size of teeth can lead to a few issues. The most common of these is crowding, where there is a lack of space for all the teeth to fit. The teeth end up twisted or displaced. Crowding can either be the result of or the cause of several other orthodontic problems, such as impacted teeth, teeth that do not fall out naturally, or crossbite of the front or rear teeth.
Removing a tooth or teeth is called an extraction, and should only be considered if absolutely necessary. There are many different factors involved when determining if an extraction is needed, as removal with affect the appearance and aesthetics of the facial features. For this reason, careful analyzation of the patients records is required to determine on a case-by-case basis if extraction is the best treatment option. However, this technique can be very useful in correcting certain orthodontic conditions.
This problem is characterized by excessive showing of the gums on the upper jaw when biting, commonly referred to as a “gummy smile.” Mild cases can be treated by sculpting the gums, also known as a gingivectomy. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to reposition the upper jaw vertically, which will reduce the amount of upper gum tissue exposed.
An open-bite is an insufficient vertical overlapping of the teeth, either at the front of the mouth or the back. A posterior open-bite is where the back teeth do not meet up properly, which causes jaw dysfunction. An anterior open-bite occurs when the back teeth are pressed together, but the top front teeth do not overlap the lower, creating a gap between the top and bottom teeth. Usually this condition is caused by habits such as thumb sucking or forcing the tongue against the front teeth, or mismatched growth of the upper and lower jaws.
Deep Incisor Overbite
An overbite is the opposite of an open-bite, meaning there is too much overlapping of the front teeth over the lower. The upper front teeth stick out over the lower front teeth, and often the lower incisors are not visible. Generally this is caused by a difference between the length of the upper and lower jaws. An overbite may result in your front teeth biting into the gum tissue, damaging wear on the lower front teeth, or even causing jaw and joint problems.
Another common problem related to the size of the jaw to the size of the teeth is spacing. Spacing occurs when there is too much room between teeth, causing gaps in either the front or back teeth, or both. Particularly small, abnormally shaped, or missing teeth can also contribute to spacing problems. Spacing may prevent your teeth from functioning properly, and may also result in gum problems due to the lack of protection provided by the teeth.