The Essential Guide to Types of Occlusion: What You Need to Know

Occlusion refers to the alignment and contact of the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed. Different types of occlusion can occur depending on the relationship between the upper and lower teeth. Here are some common types of occlusion:

1. Class I Occlusion (Neutrocclusion)

Class I occlusion is considered the ideal occlusion where the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth, and the molars align properly. The upper and lower jaws fit together harmoniously, resulting in a stable bite.

2. Class II Malocclusion (Distocclusion)

Class II malocclusion refers to an overbite or retrognathism, where the upper teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth. It is characterized by a protruded upper jaw or a receded lower jaw. Class II malocclusion is further classified into Class II Division 1 (upper incisors excessively protrude) and Class II Division 2 (upper central incisors are more upright).

3. Class III Malocclusion (Mesiocclusion)

Class III malocclusion is also known as an underbite or prognathism. It occurs when the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth. Class III malocclusion is characterized by a prominent lower jaw or a retruded upper jaw.

4. Crossbite

Crossbite is a condition where one or more upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth when the jaws are closed. It can occur on one side (unilateral crossbite) or both sides (bilateral crossbite). Crossbite may affect the front teeth (anterior crossbite) or the back teeth (posterior crossbite).

5. Open Bite

Open bite refers to a gap between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed. It can occur in the front teeth (anterior open bite) or the back teeth (posterior open bite). Open bite can be caused by habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or structural abnormalities.

6. Overjet

Overjet, also known as protrusion, is a condition where the upper front teeth significantly protrude horizontally over the lower front teeth. It is commonly referred to as “buck teeth.”

These are some common types of occlusion and malocclusion. Proper diagnosis and assessment of occlusion are essential for orthodontic treatment planning and addressing any associated functional or aesthetic concerns. If you have concerns about your occlusion, it is recommended to consult with an orthodontist or a dental professional who can evaluate your specific situation and provide appropriate treatment options.