Class I malocclusion
In orthodontics, the term malocclusion indicates the fact that the teeth do not close properly. There are different types of malocclusions depending on the bite, with different severity characteristics. Specifically, in the class I malocclusion, the maxilla and mandible are correctly positioned, but the teeth are far apart and there are large spaces, or they appear to be crooked. In order to verify the characteristics, an orthodontic consultation is necessary.
At Mercuri Orthodontie, we take care of the treatment of all types of malocclusions. So let's deepen the subject to understand what it consists of, what are the causes and how to treat it with orthodontics.
What is class I malocclusion
Studies of malocclusions date back to the beginning of the last century by Dr. Edward Angle, who studied the relationships between bones seen in profile. Based on the observation of the position of the upper and lower first permanent molars, Angle identified 3 main patterns of occlusion (first, second and third class malocclusion). Each of them has very specific characteristics, to which the respective therapies correspond. But we want to speak specifically of the one relating to the first.
In first-class malocclusion, the upper first molar is about half a tooth behind the lower and therefore the other teeth (such as the bicuspids or canines) mesh like a cogwheel. Generally speaking, these anomalies are easier to resolve than those of the second and third class. They are also quite common in patients of all ages.
The causes can be of different types: genetic and hereditary; childhood illnesses; Endocrine disorders; early loss of baby teeth due to caries; bad habits such as pacifier use and thumb sucking over 3 years old; atypical swallowing; habit of biting lip, etc.
Investigating the causes provides a more complete picture, before proceeding with specific treatments.
How to treat class I malocclusion in pediatric patients
This type of abnormality can be present in children and adults. In the case of pediatric patients as well as adults, an evaluation of the space is very important, which makes it possible to understand which solution is the most suitable to correct this malocclusion.
We therefore first collect the patient's anamnestic data. Then we perform a clinical examination and radiographic examinations (orthopantomography of the dental arches and teleradiography of the skull); specific radiographic analyzes; extra-oral and intra-oral photographs; execution of impressions. Thanks to these tools, we will be able to have a clearer and deeper picture.
In the presence of a Class I skeleton with transverse deficit in growing patients, we can use a rapid expander of the palatal suture to achieve greater expansion. This problem can be solved with therapy that lasts a few months.
In case of dentoalveolar discordance of the lower arch, a very useful device is the lingual arch, because it allows better management of spaces in an optimal way.
The cases are different and from time to time we can notice the problem present in the oral cavity of the small patient thanks to an orthodontic visit. From there we will establish the path to follow.
Failure to treat a first-class malocclusion can also in some cases lead to temporomandibular joint disorders and in some cases psychological repercussions. Having a smile problem can indeed weigh on the child over time, especially in relation to his peers.
On the other hand, the earlier the action is taken, the greater the chances of obtaining an excellent result.
The goal is to make the smile look beautiful and healthy. The first orthodontic visit is essential to know the initial situation. When certain problems must be encountered, it will be possible to decide with the parents and the child on the therapeutic plan to be undertaken.
Prevention and early intervention also prevent much more invasive solutions at an older age.