Classification of the Teeth − Louisville KY

The classification of bites is broken up into three main categories: Class I, II, and III.

Class I:

Class I is a normal relationship between the upper teeth, lower teeth and jaws or balanced bite.

An illustration of a jaw showing the teeth in a class 1 normal relationship

Normal

A visual of a jaw showing the teeth in a crowded class 1 relationship

Crowding

A visual of a jaw with overly spaced teeth in a class 1 relationship

Spacing

Class II:

Class II is where the lower first molar is posterior (or more towards the back of the mouth) than the upper first molar. In this abnormal relationship, the upper front teeth and jaw project further forward than the lower teeth and jaw. There is a convex appearance in profile with a receding chin and lower lip. Class II problems can be due to insufficient growth of the lower jaw, an over growth of the upper jaw or a combination of the two. In many cases, Class II problems are genetically inherited and can be aggravated by environmental factors such as finger sucking. Class II problems are treated via growth redirection to bring the upper teeth, lower teeth and jaws into harmony.

An illustration showing the upper front teeth jutting forward in a class 2 relationship

Division 1

A visual of class 2 teeth with the upper front teeth overlapping the bottom teeth

Division 2

Class III:

Class III is where the lower first molar is anterior (or more towards the front of the mouth) than the upper first molar. In this abnormal relationship, the lower teeth and jaw project further forward than the upper teeth and jaws. There is a concave appearance in profile with a prominent chin. Class III problems are usually due to an overgrowth in the lower jaw, undergrowth of the upper jaw or a combination of the two. Like Class II problems, they can be genetically inherited.

A depiction of a protruding lower jaw cause by an undergrown upper jaw

Skeleton

A visual of upper front teeth resting behind the lower due to misaligned teeth

Dental

Classification of Teeth Overview

For a brief overview of the classification of teeth, please click on the image below. It will launch our flash educational module in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about the classifications of teeth.

Classification of Teeth Overview
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Classification of Face

It is not sufficient to categorize orthodontic malocclusions on the basis of a classification of the teeth alone. The relationship with other craniofacial structures must also be taken into consideration.

Class 1:

Maxillary-Mandibular Dental Protrusion — teeth

Maxillary-Mandibular Dental Protrusion — teeth: This is an example of a dental malocclusion that may require the removal of teeth for correction.

Maxillary-Mandibular Dental Retrusion — teeth

Maxillary-Mandibular Dental Retrusion — teeth: This is an example of a dental malocclusion that may be treated with expansion rather than removing teeth.

Class 2:

Maxillary Dental Protrusion — teeth

Maxillary Dental Protrusion — teeth: This malocclusion may require the removal of teeth.

Mandibular Retrognathism — jaws

Mandibular Retrognathism — jaws: The lower jawbone has not grown as much as the upper jaw. This example of a Class II malocclusion demonstrates the need for early growth guidance.

Maxillary Dental Protrusion — teeth & Mandibular Retrognathism — jaws

Maxillary Dental Protrusion — teeth & Mandibular Retrognathism — jaws: These Class malocclusions are more difficult to treat due to the skeletal disharmony and may require orthognathic surgery in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.

Class 3:

Mandibular Dental Protrusion — teeth

Mandibular Dental Protrusion — teeth: The lower teeth are too far in front of the upper teeth. This malocclusion is treated with orthodontic procedures which may require the extraction of teeth due to the dental protrusion.

Mandibular Prognathism — jaws: The lower jaw bone has outgrown the upper jaw. This malocclusion is more difficult to treat due to the skeletal disharmony and may require orthognathic surgery in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.

Call Louisville Office Phone Number 502-231-1418 with any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ray.