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Types of Orthodontic Problems

What is a crossbite?

There are several different types of crossbites.  A lingual crossbite is when there are one or more upper teeth that fit inside or behind the lower teeth instead of out over top of them they way they are supposed to.  A buccal crossbite is where an upper premolar or molar (back tooth) is completely outside of the lower teeth so that is does not contact the opposing lower tooth. An anterior crossbite is when the upper front teeth are behind the lower front teeth.  This is also called "an underbite." Crossbites can also be posterior (involving the back teeth), unilateral (involving the teeth on one side of the mouth), or bilateral (involving teeth on both sides of the mouth. All crossbites have the potential to interfere with the growth of the face and, except in special circumstances, should be treated as soon as they are diagnosed.

What is an "overbite"?

An "overbite" is a lay term that refers to the situation where the upper front teeth stick out too far compared to the lower teeth.  The technical dental term for "an overbite" is excessive overjet.  The word "overbite" is also a technical dental term that refers to how far the upper front teeth come down over the lower front teeth (vertically).


What is an "underbite"?

An "underbite" which is also called an "anterior crossbite," is when the lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth. This can happen when the upper jaw is too far back or when the lower jaw is too far forward and outgrowing the upper jaw. Most commonly it is a combination of both.  Underbites usually require treatment in two phases, an early phase where we do everything we can to enhance the growth of the upper haw as soon as the patient is old enough to cooperate, and a second phase when the patient has all their permanent teeth and has already experienced most of their growth.

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