Common Orthodontic Problems

Class II Overbite

The upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. Generally, the upper and lower front teeth do not meet.

Overbite can impair the proper functioning of the front teeth and cause joint or jaw problems, as well as unusual wear of the lower front teeth.

How can overbite be corrected?

This condition can be corrected by moving the front teeth up and or bringing the back teeth together. This will open the bite, thus ensuring proper alignment of the teeth and eliminating deep bite.

 

Crossbite

The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth. This condition can occur in the front and or the sides of the mouth.

Crossbite should be treated because it can cause premature wear of the teeth, gum disease, dysfunctional chewing patterns and hinder proper development of the jaw.

How is a crossbite corrected?

Braces can be used to correct a single tooth crossbite. In some cases, a retainer can be used. When multiple teeth are involved, braces or other appliances can be utilized to expand the arch.

 

Openbite

Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Openbite may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting.

How can openbite be corrected?

Dr. Erickson and Dr. Hong can correct an openbite by applying braces to modify the growth of the jaws. Surgical correction is also an option. Breaking oral habits such as digit sucking can also help correct an openbite.

 

Class II Overjet

Also known as protrusion, this condition is characterized by the lower teeth being too far behind the upper front teeth. This is caused by a skeletal imbalance of the upper and lower jaw or missing lower teeth. In addition, if the molars are not aligned properly, a class II overjet can occur.

Class II Overjet can cause the teeth to wear prematurely, make front teeth more susceptible to trauma and prevent the front teeth from functioning properly.

How can Class II overjet be corrected?

This condition can be treated through extraction or growth modification utilizing headgear and or elastics to decrease skeletal imbalance.

 

Class III Underbite

This condition is characterized by lower teeth that extend past the front teeth, and occurs due to the overgrowth of the lower jaw, undergrowth of the upper jaw, a combination of both or other conditions.

Underbite can cause chewing or eating problems and prohibit the proper functioning of the front teeth or molars which in turn can lead to premature wear.

How can an underbite be corrected?

This condition can be treated by extraction of teeth or growth modification of the jaws. In addition, Dr. Erickson and Dr. Hong may need to work closely with oral surgeons, who can perform jaw surgery.

 

Missing Teeth

Missing teeth impact proper functioning of the teeth, causes premature wear and irregular alignment.

How can missing teeth be replaced?

Treatment depends on the patient's situation. Braces can be used to close the space. A bridge or implant can be used to replace the missing tooth.

 

Crowding

Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times, tooth removal can be avoided.

 

Spacing

Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue.