Most people are familiar with the condition of misalignment of the teeth. Fewer have heard of the term malocclusion, which means the upper and lower arches of the teeth do not align properly. The technical terms for these arches are maxilla and mandible. Common reasons for this dental condition include hereditary and poor oral hygiene habits during childhood. Correction of moderate malocclusion is most successful when patients see an orthodontist as early as possible.
Oak Brook dentist, Dr. Haque, treats malocclusions and provide reliable orthodontic treatments.
Dr. Haque on The Importance of the Bite
There are three classifications of malocclusion. These are:
- Class I: Occlusion of most teeth is normal, but there are problems with overcrowding or improper spacing with other teeth.
- Class II: The malocclusion presents as an overbite. This means upper teeth protrude forward further than lower teeth.
- Class III: The malocclusion is an underbite, also called prognathism. This is opposite of Class II with the lower teeth protruding forward the most. A large jawbone or short maxillary bone is often the cause.
Why Treating Malocclusion is Important
Dr. Haque at Oak Brook Smiles believes orthodontic treatment for malocclusion is essential to reduce the risk of tooth decay, to improve oral hygiene and to reduce the risk of developing temporomandibular jaw syndrome (TMJ). TMJ causes facial pain, headaches and many other symptoms due to pressure from misaligned teeth.
Malocclusion Treatment Options
Dental braces are the typical treatment for malocclusion. Before selecting a specific course of treatment, Dr. Haque visually examines the teeth, takes bite impressions and takes several panoramic x-rays. When overcrowding is present, he may opt to extract one or more teeth before installing the braces. Next, he discusses the following treatment options with the patient:
- Fixed Multibracket Braces: This involves cementing brackets to each tooth and connecting them with archwire. The patient sees Dr. Haque monthly for adjustments.
- Invisalign: This serve the same purpose as traditional braces, but uses removable plastic trays to move teeth into position instead.
- Removable Devices: These are non-braces alternatives, such as headgear, palate expanders and retainers.