What's wrong with my teeth?
Malocclusions and problems to watch for in Adults and Children
Malocclusions (bad bites) are described under standardised groupings which have become accepted world-wide. These groupings allow universal classification of problems and enable dental professionals to communicate using the same terms.
Class I malocclusion
Here the teeth meet in good positions and the overbite and overjet are correct, but the teeth are crowded. Depending on the degree of crowding, space may need to be made by removing some teeth before braces can be put on. In Britain about 45% of the population have malocclusions of this type.
Class II division 1 malocclusion
The upper teeth are projecting forwards of the lowers (the overjet is increased) and the upper incisors are proclined. Crowding may also be present. This arrangement is seen in about 34% of the population. Depending on the degree of discrepancy, headgear, extractions or surgery may be needed to create a good correction.
Class III malocclusion
Here the lower teeth are positioned ahead of the uppers (a reverse overjet). About 2% of malocclusions belong to this class. There is often an associated jaw misalignment, either upper or lower. These patients often need a combination of braces and a jaw operation to treat well. Because the lower jaw is one of the last bones to stop growing, treatment is often delayed until the patients are adults, so that a correct treatment plan is made.
Problems to watch for in children
Some problems can occur of which can only be seen on x-ray.