Phase I treatment is often necessary in younger patients to establish the proper "foundation" for future dental and facial development in adolescence as the permanent dentition erupts. Narrow upper and lower jaws or crossbites in the back teeth are typical situations in which early-intervention or Phase I treatment may be necessary. By creating the necessary space and properly aligning the jaws, we can help guide permanent teeth into their proper position. The second phase of treatment takes place after the permanent teeth have erupted. In many cases, Phase I treatment can reduce the length of time required for the second phase.
A Class II occlusion represents an abnormal bite relationship where the lower jaw is smaller in size and positioned posterior relative to the upper jaw. This skeletal relationship results in the appearance of having a recessed chin, a protruding upper jaw and teeth, or both.
A Class III occlusion is the opposite of Class II occlusion. In this instance, the lower jaw is larger in size and is positioned forward relative to the upper jaw and teeth. The lower jaw appears to protrude and an underbite is often present. Several treatment options are available to correct a Class III problem.
Both Class II and Class III occlusions represent skeletal disharmonies and are most often the result of inherited characteristics. Correction of Class II and Class III occlusions before the major growth periods (Interceptive treatment) can often eliminate the need for extractions and/or jaw surgery.
Crowding of the teeth is probably the most common orthodontic problem. Although many factors contribute to dental crowding, this problem typically stems from a discrepancy between the space in each jaw and the size of the teeth. Crowding may also be the cause or result of other problems, such as impacted teeth and premature loss of baby teeth. Crossbite of the front or rear teeth can also cause the teeth to become crowded.
Spaces between teeth is another common reason to seek orthodontic care. Like crowding, spacing may be related to a tooth-to-jaw size disharmony. Tooth size discrepancies, such as small teeth or abnormally shaped teeth, can also result in excess spacing.
Deep Incisor Overbite
Also known as an overbite, a deep bite is excessive vertical overlapping of the front teeth and is generally found in association with a discrepancy between the length of the upper and lower jaws. It results in excessive eruption of the upper or lower incisors, or both.
An openbite can occur with the front teeth, known as an anterior openbite or with the back teeth, referred to as a posterior openbite. An anterior openbite is the lack of vertical overlap of the front teeth and can usually be traced to jaw disharmony or habits such as thumb sucking or the thrusting of the tongue against the front teeth. A posterior openbite is a problem in which the back teeth do not meet vertically, which keeps the jaw from functioning properly.
A posterior crossbite usually results from a narrow upper jaw or abnormally wide lower jaw. A narrow upper jaw will often force a patient to move the lower jaw forward or to the side when closing into a stable bite. When closed into this accommodating position, the lower teeth are located outside the upper teeth.
A posterior crossbite can involve one side of the jaw, known as a unilateral crossbite, or both sides of the jaw, known as a bilateral crossbite.