Orthodontic treatment is not only about straightening teeth for a beautiful smile, but it also helps people to chew their food properly and maintain good dental health. Poorly aligned teeth often trap more bacteria, are difficult to clean, and may not grind up some foods efficiently. Therefore crooked teeth are more prone to cavities, periodontal disease, and temporomandibular joint disorder. In addition, teeth that don’t fit together well will eventually have accelerated wear, fractured off parts of the teeth, or chipped out areas over time.
Alignment of the upper and lower sets of teeth may also be a problem. If this type of problem occurs, it is best to correct it early in age. The severity of the problem will determine whether a Phase I Orthodontic Treatment will be needed (between 8-10 years old) or a Phase II Orthodontic Treatment (between 12-14 years old) will be needed. As your child comes to see Dr. Tang for regular check-ups, he will advise you of when the best time to get started with orthodontic treatment.
Below are the alignment classifications
Note that CI is considered the ideal alignment. CII and CIII require at least a phase II orthodontic treatment before the puberty growth spurt to change the growth pattern and finish with a CI bite. CII and CIII individuals who delay orthodontic treatment will likely require orthognathic surgery, extended orthodontic treatment, and extensive restorative treatment to correct the abnormal wear pattern from the improperly aligned bite.
Mesial buccal cusp of the upper 1st molar fits into the buccal groove of the lower first molar. Lower teeth are one cusp more forward so the teeth fit together like a jigsaw puzzle
Mesial buccal cusp of the upper 1st molar is forward of the buccal groove of the lower first molar. The photo to the left shows a half step Class II where the cusp tips of the upper and lower teeth are on top of each other.
Mesial buccal cusp of the upper 1st molar is behind the buccal groove of the lower first molar. The photo to the left shows an anterior crossbite