Malocclusion Causes, Classes, and Treatment Options

Malocclusion Causes, Classes, and Treatment Options

Malocclusion is a dental term that refers to the misalignment of the upper and lower arches, causing the teeth to meet in an uneven fashion. While there are many different types of malocclusions, many orthodontic treatment options are available. Orthodontics of Long Beach in Long Beach, CA understands that crooked teeth impact health and self-esteem levels. We work to understand what the issue is, then craft a personalized solution to help our California patients achieve beautifully restored smiles. Here, we will discuss common causes of malocclusions, classes of malocclusions, and various treatment options.

What Are Some Common Causes of Malocclusions?

There are multiple causes behind malocclusions. For example, malocclusions can be a hereditary issue that has affected a patient’s jaw structure. Smaller jaws may also have an issue holding all of a patient’s teeth and cause a crowding problem. A patient may also have lost one or more teeth, causing surrounding teeth to shift and exacerbating misalignment. Sometimes childhood behaviors can also play a role in malocclusions, such as excessive thumb sucking.

What Are the Different Classes of Malocclusions?

There are several different types of malocclusions, and dental professionals use exams and x-rays to help diagnose them. Depending on the patient’s results, malocclusions are often put into one of three classifications based on the type and severity:

Class 1

A Class 1 malocclusion is the most common malocclusion type. In this case, the patient’s bite is not abnormal, but there are still minor teeth misalignments.

Class 2

A Class 2 malocclusion signifies that the patient has a severe overbite, meaning that the upper teeth and jaw overtake the lower teeth and jaw.

Class 3

A Class 3 malocclusion notes a severe underbite in the patient, which is when the lower teeth and jaw jut forward and overtake the upper teeth and jaw.

The good news is that malocclusions do not have to be permanent. Orthodontics of Long Beach in California has seasoned dental professionals who can help you transform your smile!

How Does Orthodontics of Long Beach Treat Malocclusions?

Many malocclusions can be treated through orthodontics. Orthodontics of Long Beach in California provides metal braces, porcelain ceramic braces, Invisalign®, and retainers to realign jaws and teeth. Retainers are commonly used for slight misalignments or to maintain the progress made after orthodontic treatment. In some cases, such as overcrowding, teeth may need to be extracted before treatment. In addition, other ordinary orthodontic wear includes space maintainers, palatal expanders, and orthodontic headgear. Orthodontics of Long Beach can create a personalized treatment plan to help you know what to expect throughout orthodontic treatment!

What Are the Overall Differences Between Braces and Invisalign®?

Many patients are unsure whether braces or Invisalign® are right for them. Each has its advantages, and we will do our best to explain the general differences between metal braces, porcelain ceramic braces, and Invisalign®:

Metal Braces

Metal braces are a traditional method of treating misaligned teeth. Although they are the most visible, they also exert more force on the teeth to pull them into place quickly. They are also a cost-effective orthodontic treatment option for many patients.

Porcelain Ceramic Braces

Porcelain ceramic braces present an alternative to metal braces. They are not as visible as metal braces, but they are not as invisible as Invisalign® aligners. However, they are slightly more fragile than metal braces and move the teeth more slowly.


Invisalign® aligners are nearly invisible, making them popular with teenagers and young adults. Patients can remove them to eat and chew normally. However, they must be cleaned frequently and correctly, as well as worn a minimum of 22 hours a day for the desired effect.

If you are still unsure which orthodontic treatment is best for you, Orthodontics of Long Beach will be happy to explain each option in more detail at your consultation appointment!

Is the Decision to Treat Malocclusions Purely Cosmetic?

The decision to treat malocclusions is not just a cosmetic decision. In fact, not treating malocclusions can have devastating consequences on oral and physical health. For example, misaligned teeth are much more challenging to keep clean, and trapped food particles contribute to dental decay, cavities, and gum disease. Severe infections may also lead to teeth extractions. In addition, malocclusion may cause difficulty eating and chewing, thereby impacting digestion. Furthermore, malocclusions may affect an individual’s ability to speak naturally or cause debilitating TMJ.

Am I Too Old to Undergo Orthodontic Treatment?

While it is true that children’s mouths are much more pliable and that children around the age of seven can see an orthodontist, many adults also undergo orthodontic treatment as well. Perhaps they have had orthodontic treatment before, but the teeth became crooked again without the proper use of a retainer, or they may never have had an orthodontic consultation in the first place. Either way, patients are never too old to undergo orthodontic treatment, and they may significantly benefit from more invisible orthodontic options like Invisalign®.

How Much Does Orthodontic Treatment Cost in Long Beach?

The cost of orthodontic treatment at Orthodontics of Long Beach varies according to the treatment type, how long it is needed, and if the patient has dental insurance that helps with orthodontic costs. We have easy financing and payment plans designed to lower your payment to an affordable monthly rate, and our friendly front office staff will be happy to assist you! Each patient is unique, and our office is committed to offering cost-effective orthodontic treatment.

Are You Ready to Straighten Your Smile and Boost Your Self-Esteem?

Malocclusions can impact oral health, physical health, and self-esteem levels. There are different causes of malocclusions, including hereditary issues, crowded or shifting teeth, and childhood behaviors such as thumb sucking. Malocclusions are diagnosed through dental exams and x-rays and put into one of three classifications. Many malocclusions can be treated through orthodontic options like metal braces, porcelain ceramic braces, Invisalign®, and retainers. It is important to remember that most malocclusions can easily be treated and are not final!

Orthodontic treatments can fix many types of malocclusions. To schedule a consultation appointment with Orthodontics of Long Beach, simply contact us or call (562) 667-2973!


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