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Exploring the Three Classes of Orthodontic Treatment

Exploring the Three Classes of Orthodontic Treatment


Orthodontic treatment helps straighten teeth and jaws, improving oral health and aesthetics. But did you know there are three main classes of orthodontic treatment, each designed to address different problems?

Understanding these classes can help you make informed decisions about your orthodontic care.

Class I Malocclusion

This is the most common class of malocclusion, affecting about 60% of the population. It is characterised by:

  • Normal jaw relationship
    The upper and lower jaws are aligned properly.
  • Overjet
    The upper front teeth protrude slightly over the lower front teeth (1-2 mm).
  • Crowded teeth
    Teeth may be misaligned or overlapping due to lack of space.
  • Spacing
    Gaps may exist between teeth.

Treatment options for Class I malocclusion include

  • Traditional braces
    Metal or ceramic brackets bonded to teeth with archwires to gradually move them.
  • Clear aligners
    Removable trays worn for a set period each day to gradually shift teeth.
  • Lingual braces
    Braces attached to the back of the teeth, invisible from the front.

Class II Malocclusion

Also known as “overbite,” this class affects about 20% of the population and is characterised by:

  • Upper jaw protruding too far forward
    The upper front teeth significantly overlap the lower front teeth (more than 2 mm).
  • Lower jaw recessed
    The lower jaw is positioned further back than the upper jaw.
  • Deep bite
    The upper front teeth bite too deeply into the lower front teeth.

Treatment options for Class II malocclusion include

  • Functional appliances
    Removable appliances that guide jaw growth and development.
  • Headgear
    Worn at night to hold the upper jaw back and stimulate growth of the lower jaw.
  • Extractions
    Removal of specific teeth to create space for alignment.
  • Surgery
    In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the jaw relationship.

Class III Malocclusion

Also known as “underbite,” this class is the least common, affecting about 10% of the population. It is characterised by:

  • Lower jaw protruding too far forward
    The lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth.
  • Recessed upper jaw
    The upper jaw is positioned further back than the lower jaw.
  • Crossbite
    The lower teeth bite on the outside of the upper teeth in some areas.

Treatment options for Class III malocclusion include

  • Functional appliances
    Similar to Class II treatment, but designed to encourage growth of the upper jaw and hold back the lower jaw.
  • Facemask
    Worn at night to pull the upper jaw forward and restrain the growth of the lower jaw.
  • Extractions
    Removal of specific teeth to create space for alignment.
  • Surgery
    In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the jaw relationship.

Choosing the Right Class of Orthodontic Treatment

The best class of orthodontic treatment for you depends on your individual needs and the severity of your malocclusion. An orthodontist can assess your specific case and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.

Factors to consider include

  • Type and severity of malocclusion
  • Age and growth potential
  • Patient preferences
  • Cost and insurance coverage

Understanding the different classes of orthodontic treatment empowers you to make informed decisions about your oral health. By discussing your options with an experienced orthodontist, you can find the best treatment plan to achieve your desired smile.

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What People Are Saying

  • I completed the BOSS UK Diploma in 2021 and when it became available, signed up for the AU course as well. I completed the AU course at the end of last year and can honestly say BOSS (now Digital Orthodontic College) has completely changed my approach to clear aligner treatments and increased my confidence with treatment planning immensely. The fact that the course is 100% online was a huge drawcard for me initially since I have two young children, work clinically part-time and run my own business. It allowed me the flexibility to study when I had the chance and didn’t result in any loss of clinical time. Dr V is extremely passionate about orthodontics and more importantly sharing her wisdom and that comes through in her approach to teaching. The course is extremely comprehensive (NB: the AU course has quite a few complex assessments) and covers everything starting from the basics of tooth movement, which sets a good foundation and is therefore suitable even for beginners. The monthly/bimonthly webinars allow students to share cases and is a safe space, non-judgmental and therefore an incredible learning platform. I had been doing clear aligner treatments prior to starting this course, but BOSS helped me see patients with new eyes and has overhauled my treatment planning approach. I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone interested in learning, or to extend their knowledge about, clear aligner treatments.

    Thank you so much Dr V!

    Dr Lora Banicevic, Dentist NSW
  • The Australian accredited 10905NAT Graduate Diploma of Digital Orthodontic Treatment offers comprehensive training in the field, gives the candidate the opportunity to do things in a self-paced manner, while getting a personalised 1-on-1 learning experience with Dr Vandana Katyal. It was an excellent choice for me and gave me the flexibility to get the well-designed training done in my own time frame. I would strongly recommend the course to any practitioners who is looking to upskill themselves with a no-compromise high quality course, while also having to juggle between busy practices and family schedules.

    Dr Charles Sun, Dentist WA
  • I started this course unsure of how much I would benefit. The in-person lectures were fantastic (although the course is now 100% online) where I made good friends and learned a lot. The online resources are extensive and second to none, accessible at your convenience. The webinars were great – usually with the right mix of teaching, cases demonstrated and the attendees’ cases being discussed. I was also invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacturing (from a dentist’s point of view) – which I enjoyed.
    Most of all the course gave significantly more confidence what can be done with aligners, how plan the setup efficiently with the end in mind and how to make the processes to get there smoother. As a result, a MUCH larger chunk of my work is now aligner based. My conversion rate for aligner treatments has definitely increased along with my confidence. The course has easily paid for itself. Full disclosure: I was invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacture to my BOSS batch mates, which I also thoroughly enjoyed doing. I declined any remuneration for this, although it was offered.
    Dr Shammi Moopen, Dentist VIC
  • Since I have joined the postgraduate diploma in orthodontics I have noticed all the applied practical learning/knowledge on my patients and I am only half way through the year. Dr Vandana is a genuine educator. She goes way beyond to simplify every lecture and I really like her evidence based information and that is available for us 24/7. Her webinars helped a lot for busy dentists and loved the feedback we get in the one on one sessions with our cases. It make us think every step of the way. But the best thing I like is to see she is giving back to the community and her association with Smile Train in helping children with cleft palate is just beyond words. Thank you so much for being nice and approachable.

    Dr Claudia Braybon, Dentist NSW
  • Received my Diploma in Digital Orthodontics from BOSS and couldn’t be more stoked! Huge shout out to Dr Vandana Katyal and the BOSS team for a wonderful year. I would recommend BOSS to every dentist no matter their level of experience with Orthodontics and clear aligners. Starting off with barely any orthodontic experience, I have commenced about 9 cases in the matter of months and BOSS gave me the confidence to predictably deliver results for my patients through clear aligners which are the future of modern orthodontics.
    Dr Sarang Sathe, Dentist NSW
  • I chose Boss’s clear aligner diploma because I wanted to know the latest evidence based practice to enhance my treatment planning and case execution. I now have a much better understanding of how to diagnose, what movements can be done and what will get me into trouble. The flexible nature of the course delivery also fit perfectly into full time work and my otherwise packed schedule. The monthly case presentation webinars are also great to not only get feedback from Dr Katyal, but also to validate your own thoughts self-assess and see how you are tracking with your learning.

    Dr Gregory Nguyễn, Dentist NSW

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