Dr. Sameet Sheth and our experienced team here at Restorative & Implant Dentistry of Bayside offer an array of advanced treatments for bite irregularities caused by malocclusion. This common condition, often resulting in issues such as overbite, underbite, and crowding of the teeth, can lead to serious oral health concerns and have an effect on both dental function and facial aesthetics. Our board-certified prosthodontist can evaluate your oral structures and develop a customized treatment plan designed to successfully address malocclusion.
What is Malocclusion?
Malocclusion is the term used to describe irregular alignment of the jaws and/or teeth. This condition can result in an improper bite, which can affect your ability to properly chew food, brush and floss your teeth, and maintain good periodontal (gum) health. Malocclusion can also affect one’s facial appearance. While most individuals have some degree of malocclusion, some people have severe forms of the condition and require treatment to correct it.
Some of the most common malocclusion conditions include:
- Open bite
- Teeth crowding
Moderate to severe cases of malocclusion that go untreated can significantly increase the risk of tooth decay, fractured or chipped teeth, and gum disease. In addition, malocclusion can lead to chronic jaw pain, headaches, an imbalanced facial appearance, tooth sensitivity, and even loose teeth.
With treatment from an experienced dentist and prosthodontist such as Dr. Sheth, individuals can improve teeth and jaw alignment, reduce the potential for developing other dental concerns, and enhance both aesthetics and function.
What Are the Different Types of Malocclusion?
Malocclusion is classified in three distinct categories:
Class I Malocclusion
The most common type of malocclusion, Class I Malocclusion is ascribed to conditions where the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth to a slight degree; however, the bite is essentially normal.
Class II Malocclusion
Class II Malocclusion is characterized by a severe upper teeth overlap of the lower teeth. This type of malocclusion is usually present in those who have prominent overbites, overjets, or “deep” bites.
Class III Malocclusion
A Class III Malocclusion indicates an underbite condition. This form of malocclusion occurs in patients who have a lower jaw that projects forward, resulting in the bottom row of teeth overlapping the upper row.
What Malocclusion Treatment Options Are Available?
Dr. Sheth offers a range of treatments to address occlusion and parafunction conditions, including:
Orthodontic Therapy with Invisalign®
In many cases, orthodontic therapy can offer successful improvement of malocclusion. Our practice offers an innovative orthodontic treatment called Invisalign®. This option is often utilized for general teeth misalignment, but can also help patients with mild to moderate overbite and open bite concerns, as well as some types of underbite and crossbite conditions. Invisalign® is a treatment system that involves a series of custom-designed aligners made of a clear, plastic material. The removable aligners do not involve braces, wires, or mechanical parts whatsoever, so they are very discreet and virtually invisible on the teeth. Invisalign® works by gradually moving the teeth and jaws into a more desirable position. The aligners are to be worn at least 20 to 22 hours per day during the treatment period, but can be taken out for eating, drinking, and performing daily oral hygiene routines. Depending on each patient’s unique orthodontic concerns, many individuals are able to achieve good results in about 12 to 18 months. Invisalign® can be effective for all three classes of malocclusion.
Limited Restorative Therapy
Some types of malocclusion can be effectively improved with limited restorative therapy, depending on the condition’s severity. This treatment option utilizes custom-designed dental crowns or other restorations to help patients achieve an improved bite. The restorations are precisely crafted and placed on the teeth in a way that should result in the most natural fit and appearance possible.
Occlusal Guards for Nighttime Bruxism
Occlusal guards are not designed to correct the actual malocclusion condition; however, they can be very useful for the prevention of teeth damage caused by bruxism (grinding or clenching the teeth) during sleep, which some research has shown to be a possible contributor to malocclusion. Commonly known as nightguards or mouthguards, these oral appliances are custom-made for a comfortable fit. Occlusal guards protect the top and bottom rows of teeth from grating against each other while sleeping, preventing wear-and-tear among the teeth and reducing the risk of structural weakening.
Would you like to learn more about treatments for malocclusion? Please contact Restorative & Implant Dentistry of Bayside today with any questions you may have, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheth.