2 Potential Problems With Class I Malocclusions – And How Your Dentist Can Help

In dentistry, malocclusion simply refers to a problem with the layout of the teeth that results in bite issues. Malocclusions are separated into three classes of ascending severity. Class I malocclusions are the least severe and feature molars that are in the proper position with most of the bite issues occurring in the front teeth. While Class I malocclusions aren't severe, the problems can still cause discomfort while chewing and a loss of self-esteem due to the cosmetic look of the smile.   

Class I malocclusions tend to come with a couple different problems and each has its own best solution through orthodontics. Here are some common problems and how a dentist or orthodontist, like Janzen Janzen & Chwa Orthodontics Ltd, can help.

Problem: Teeth Gap

Teeth gaps occur either when two neighboring teeth erupt further apart than typical or one of the teeth is undersized and thus creates the illusion of a gap. Gaps between side teeth are often easy to deal with and not a large problem when chewing. But gaps between the front teeth can pose a major cosmetic concern and possibly impact your ability to grab and tear food as well with those teeth.

The primary treatment for a tooth gap is standard orthodontics. If you are an adult, clear braces like Invisalign will likely be an option if you don't want to walk around with a mouth full of metal. Clear braces look like dental whitening trays and can in fact be simultaneously used for that purpose and will need to be refitted periodically to close your gap.

If the gap stems from one tooth being undersized, your cosmetic dentist might recommend a dental veneer instead of orthodontic treatment. A veneer is a thin resin or porcelain cap that is affixed to the front of the tooth to change its look or size, which can in turn close your gap.

Problems: Rotation and Overlapping

Rotation and overlapping are two different types of issues that tend to occur simultaneously. Rotation refers to a tooth that has rotated to the point that the tooth shifts out of its normal position. Due to the close quarters of neighboring teeth, a rotation often takes that tooth up over a neighboring tooth and causes an overlapping.

Rotation can prove difficult for chewing and cosmetically if the problem is severe enough to cause overlapping. And the overlapping itself can make both teeth more prone to cavities since you can't easily access the space between when brushing or flossing. If there's several teeth in a row that are causing the same problem, which would then classify as crowding, your dentist might recommend extracting at least one tooth. The extraction will make it easier for the other rotated teeth to move back into their correct positions during the orthodontic treatment.