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Malocclusion: Diagnosing and Treating It

By May 6, 2022May 25th, 2022No Comments

Malocclusion is the technical term for the serious misalignment of the bite. It could be due to genetics, excessive thumb-sucking or pacifier use as a child, or poor dental hygiene. Some of these can be readily corrected by something as simple as wearing Invisalign trays, while others would require the surgical skills of an orthodontist like Dr. Song.

Cases of simple overcrowding can be treated by Invisalign or other orthodontic approaches, with the time to complete the process ranging from six months to three years (this can be speeded up with our Accelerdent technology). Sometimes a tooth may have to be extracted to alleviate the crowding. In other cases, the patient may have gaps and spacing issues that could be easily corrected with dental veneers, thin slices of biocompatible material attached to the front of teeth.

Malocclusion Treatment


Some of the other complications:

Overbite: This is when the upper arch extends over the lower one, impacting the ability to chew and the appearance of the individual. Because this is a skeletal problem, an overbite is easier to correct in childhood, when the patient is still developing. In severe cases for kids and in adults, traditional braces (instead of lingual braces or Invisalign) would be required for deep overbites.

Underbite: This is the description when the lower teeth extend over the upper ones, popularly called the bulldog look. Often the upper jaw is underdeveloped and the lower overdeveloped, but this can be just due to misalignment. Regardless, it can result in eating difficulties, problems speaking clearly, and cracked or worn-down teeth. Conventional braces are usually effective as a solution, but for some children extra technology can pull back the upper jaw or gradually expand it until the lower teeth no longer close outside the uppers. Surgery may be required for adults.

Open bite: This is when there is a gap between the upper and lower teeth even when the mouth is closed. Minor cases in childhood can be fixed with a variety of orthodontic appliances. Once the individual has stopped growing, corrective jaw surgery is likely to be needed.

Crossbite: Anterior crossbites occur when the front bottom teeth stick out further than the front top teeth. Posterior crossbites occur when the back bottom teeth (premolars and molars) jut out further than the top ones. Symptoms can include speed impediments, tooth or jaw aches, pain when chewing or biting, and trouble closing the mouth properly. Braces may work to correct a crossbite and Invisalign can be effective for mild cases, but surgery may be required for severe ones.

If you or your child need some form of help from an orthodontist near Berkeley or El Cerrito, call us today to set an appointment for a full examination.

More Valuable Resources to Read About the Invisalign and Orthodontics Experience: