Malocclusion is a fancy word for a bad bite, something that many Americans experience in their youth or in adulthood. In many cases, malocclusion is not properly treated or teeth shift over time, resulting in new bite issues. This can leave many adults attempting to find a treatment method that works for them, bringing up the question of whether malocclusion can be fixed without braces. The answer for some is, yes, malocclusion can be treated without braces in some cases, while for others, it’s not possible.
What is malocclusion?
There are many forms of bite issues that all fall under the malocclusion umbrella, meaning the teeth do not properly align when biting down. This can happen because of crooked teeth, overcrowding, or more complex jaw issues resulting in misalignment.
What causes malocclusion?
Unfortunately, some of the most minute things a person does, especially when young, can lead to malocclusion later in life. Repeated motions like excessive thumb sucking and grinding teeth can all lead to misalignment. It’s also possible that simple genetics have led to a jaw issue that results in misaligned teeth without any outside forces contributing to the problem.
Symptoms of malocclusion
Malocclusion may manifest in a number of ways. While it may take an orthodontist to define the full scope of the problem, chances are you’ve already noticed the bite issues. Symptoms of malocclusion can include:
- Speech problems
- A gap between upper and lower teeth
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Chipped or worn teeth
- Increased plaque
Malocclusion treatment methods
Treatment for malocclusion will depend on the unique case of each patient. While many cases can be solved by braces, some are more complex, requiring surgery. Others are mild enough to warrant another treatment option, such as clear aligners. Below are a few options to consider:
Braces, especially when paired with tools like rubber bands, can be enough to correct over or underbites as the teeth and jaw are guided into correct positions. However, for many who have already had braces or simply don’t want to wear them to correct bite issues, aligners can be a great alternative.
Because many instances of malocclusion are due to crowded or crooked teeth, aligners can help to relieve those issues. Ultimately, this should help to resolve the bite issue as well. Aligners can be a great alternative for removable or relatively undetectable treatment options.
Only an orthodontist or other medical professional will be able to decide whether surgery is the right choice for you. Generally, surgery is reserved for the worst cases and is not something that many doctors will jump to unless completely necessary. If your bite issues cannot be corrected with less-invasive teeth straightening options, surgery may be the only treatment choice.
Benefits of Clear Aligners
There are a number of benefits to using clear aligners, including:
- Faster treatment times
- Less visible
- Easier to maintain
- Less painful (no metal pieces)
How to get clear aligners for malocclusion
To treat your bite issues with aligners, it’s important to first consult a qualified dental or health professional. From there, you can expect:
- Examinations and X-rays
Beyond examining your teeth at face value, you will also need to have an x-ray in order to understand the extent of the malocclusion and design a proper treatment plan.
- Determining the Class
Upon the examination process, the orthodontist will assign a class to your unique malocclusion case. Class One is the least severe and most common diagnosis in which there is a slight overbite of the top teeth. From there, Class Two is a more severe overbite, and Class Three is a severe underbite.
- Designing a Treatment Plan
This is when aligners will be considered a valid treatment plan for you. Clear aligners can do the same job as braces in which they gently shift the teeth into proper alignment, fixing the malocclusion in the process.
Name: Michael Bertini
Job Title: Consultant
IPS, Reportedtimes, Google News, ReleaseLive, PR-Wirein, CE, Go Media, Extended Distribution, iCN Internal Distribution, English