What Is Dental Malocclusion?
A misalignment between the top and bottom teeth or jaws is referred to as dental malocclusion. Though common among patients of all ages, dental malocclusion may lead to a range of conditions that can interfere with normal oral function and affect a patient's physical appearance. Such concerns can include an overbite, overcrowding, crooked teeth, and a number of other occlusion issues. Without professional care, dental malocclusion might increase the risk of other dental problems, from cavities and gum disease to sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. The experienced general dentists routinely diagnose dental malocclusion for New Braunfels, TX patients and can recommend effective orthodontic options to improve tooth alignment. If you or your child have misaligned teeth or similar oral concerns, contact ACE Dental of New Braunfels today to schedule a treatment consultation.
The manner in which your upper and lower teeth fit together when biting down is called occlusion. We typically classify dental occlusion according to three distinct categories:
- Class I is observed when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth in a balanced relationship. Orthodontic treatments are typically geared toward moving the teeth into Class I occlusion.
- Class II occurs when the top teeth and jaw significantly overlap the lower teeth, allowing the chin and lower jaw to recede.
- Class III results when the lower jaw and chin protrude forward, resulting in an overlap of the upper teeth and jaw.
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Signs and Symptoms of Dental Malocclusion
Kids, teenagers, and adults may all be diagnosed with dental malocclusion, which can be identified by the presence of an open bite, crossbite, underbite, overbite, or narrow dental arches. Teeth that are rotated, poorly aligned, crooked, or crowded are also said to be in dental malocclusion. While these issues are often genetic in nature, they may be worsened by several other factors, including teeth grinding, physical trauma, or finger-sucking. Bite issues resulting from misaligned teeth or jaws can also cause teeth to become broken, chipped, or worn, and even lead to speaking and eating difficulties. Along with placing stress on the jaw joints, the condition may further lead to an increased risk of oral disease (due to challenges with maintaining oral hygiene) and sleep apnea.
How Is Dental Malocclusion Treated?
During your consultation, we will take advanced 3D images of your teeth and jaw to gain a better understanding of your condition and help you determine the ideal treatment option. In most cases, treatment involves some form of orthodontics and may include traditional braces, clear teeth aligners, retainers, or other appliances. We proudly offer Invisalign to New Braunfels, TX patients and may collaborate with other specialists to meet your family's treatment needs. Patients with extremely crowded teeth might require tooth extractions before beginning orthodontic treatment. When severe misalignment issues are present, our dentists might suggest a surgical form of care to bring the jaws into alignment and improve overall oral function.
Following Treatment for Malocclusion
Treatment for dental malocclusion may be completed over several months or years, particularly when orthodontic care is needed. After the jaws and teeth have reached their desired positions, our dentists may recommend wearing a retainer to help maintain your treatment outcome. It is important to your overall dental health to keep up with good daily home care habits, including brushing and flossing. We also encourage you to attend routine dental checkups at our New Braunfels, TX practice so our dentists can track your progress and monitor your oral health.
Insurance Coverage for Your Care
Insurance coverage for dental malocclusion treatments differs according to individual providers and plans. Before getting started with your care, a member of our financial team will contact your carrier to learn about your benefits. To help make any out-of-pocket costs more affordable for your family, ACE Dental of New Braunfels accepts several convenient payment methods, including flexible medical financing options.
Improve Dental Occlusion With Expert Care
Without professional care, misaligned teeth and other forms of dental malocclusion may impact your comfort, oral function, and the appearance of your smile. Our seasoned dentists routinely diagnose and recommend effective solutions for treating dental malocclusion to help New Braunfels, TX patients enjoy straighter, healthier teeth. Contact ACE Dental of New Braunfels today to explore these options, and learn how improving your occlusion might bring balance and harmony to your smile!