Class III Malocclusion

Normally, the upper teeth and jaws are slightly ahead of the lower teeth. A reverse condition can arise whereby, the lower teeth/ jaw or both are ahead of their upper counterparts. That refers to a Class III malocclusion.

It is mostly an inheritable condition, meaning that someone in the family maybe having it too.

Apart from this, it could be due to abnormal mouth habits, enlarged tonsils or premature loss of milk teeth. This is most seen in younger children.

Yes, it is. The complexity of treatment may increase with age, so it’s best if it is diagnosed and managed early.

A simple clinical exam may show that the child is closing his/ her mouth abnormally. The patient history may indicate towards oral habits, and supplemental x-rays can be taken to observe the position of the jaws.

The best results are achieved when this is treated during the early years. In fact, treatment can start during the stage of milk teeth also.

If the causes are not hereditary, the condition has a possibility of being fully reversed.

If it has been inherited, then treatment and continuous observation become critical.

The most obvious sign is closure of the lower jaw ahead of the upper one. Periodic dental check-ups will help to confirm whether the child has Class III Malocclusion or not.

The prognosis reduces with age. But if it’s a mild case, it can be managed well. Your orthodontist will give you a better estimate of the prognosis after evaluating your case.

It can be managed with braces alone, provided the discrepancy is limited to teeth. If a jaw discrepancy is involved, then a more complex treatment is involved. Surgical correction maybe the option to go for.

If only orthodontics is involved, treatment takes the same time as a standard orthodontic case. If surgery is involved, the time increases. This is because the teeth have to be prepared for surgery, the surgical procedure has to be conducted, and post- surgical healing and orthodontics needs to be carried out.

Avoid abnormal mouth habits, get your dental status evaluated regularly. If genetics is not the cause, it can be prevented.

Last updated on 29 November, 2018.

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