Dr. Edward Angle, the Father of Orthodontics, formulated the first classification of malocclusions in 1890. His classification was based on the relative position of the upper first molar.
Any variation from the perfect occlusion was deemed by Angle as a malocclusion and is classified into three classes:
Class I Malocclusion – Neutrocclusion
This is the most common type, and most patients fall into this category where the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth, while the upper and lower molars are in normal position. It is characterized by cross bites, dental crowding, overlapping, or rotations. The cusp of the upper first molar rests perfectly in the groove of the lower first molar but there might be spacing, overcrowding, and over or under eruption of the teeth. Neutrocclusion has three subtypes:
- Class I Type 1 – The dentition is in linguoversion, which is the displacement of a tooth to the lingual side of its proper occlusion.
- Class I Type 2 – It is characterized by narrow arches, labioversion (malposition of an anterior tooth from the normal curve of the arch) of the maxillary anterior teeth and the mandibular anterior teeth is in linguoversion.
- Class I Type 3 – This is characterized with the relationship of the mandible to the maxillae, where the permanent maxillary front molar mesiobuccal cusp blocks the mesial to the buccal groove of the permanent mandibular first molar.
Class II Malocclusion – Distocclusion
This certain type of Malocclusion is often known as retrognathism, overjet, or overbite. The patient will be seen with a jaw growth discrepancy and there is a large overjet. This is when there is obvious overlapping with the upper teeth and jaw with the lower ones. The upper molars are also seen as very much anterior compared to the lower molars. A normal overjet ranges from 1 to 3 mm and any amount that is more than that is not in normal limits. For this type of Malocclusion, it’s either the front teeth are protruded or it’s the back teeth which overlaps the central teeth. Distocclusion has two subtypes:
- Class II Division 1 – The molar relationship is just the same as Class II, and this is characterized by a protruded anterior teeth.
- Class II Division 2 – The molar relationship is like that of Class II but the central part is retroclined and there is overlapping of the lateral teeth’s centrals.
Class III Malocclusion – Mesiocclusion
This third type of Malocclusion is also known as prognathism occurs when the lower front teeth are obviously more prominent compared to the upper front teeth. A patient who has the Class 3 of Malocclusion will either have a large lower jaw or a short upper one. This type causes the teeth to be misaligned and the lower incisors often touch the gingival tissue of the upper arch of the jaw. Messiocclusion has three subtypes:
- Class III Type 1 – It is characterized by a generally good alignment but the arch relationship is abnormal.
- Class III Type 2 – The maxillary anterior teeth is in good alignment but there is linguoversion of the mandibular anterior teeth.
- Class III Type 3 – This is characterized by an underdeveloped maxillary arch and there is linguoversion in the maxillary anterior teeth while there is good mandibular alignment.
The types mentioned above are the main types of Malocclusion. However, there are other kinds of Malocclusion that people also suffer from, open bite and deep bite. For the open bite, this is when the patient has a long face or has a tendency of thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting.
As for the deep bite, this is when a patient has a short face or when their molars are underdeveloped. Seeking the help of a professional dentist can rectify malocclusions, and there are different treatments for each type.