A member asked:

How is malocclusion diagnosed by a dentist?

10 doctors weighed in across 5 answers
Dr. Jennifer Holtzman answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Looking at the bite: A dentist will look at the bite- how the back teeth come together and the positions of the front teeth- and then will look at an xray of the jaws' relationships to the skull and each other to diagnose a malocclusion.Teeth, jaws and muscles are designed to interact in certain ways: to take the normal, heavy, intermittent forces of chewing and direct them through the center of teeth.

Answered 10/31/2018

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Dr. Gary Lederman answered

Specializes in Dentistry

Exam and testing: Imperfect alignment, crowding, a deep curve, flaring, spacing, rotated teeth, that's malocclusion. If teeth do not meet as they should, that's malocclusion. If teeth are loose, a bad bite may be the cause. So, most of us have this to some degree. Computer jaw tracking to see if path of closure can be done. Treatment is needed if teeth are moving, being damaged or for appearance.

Answered 1/7/2019

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Dr. David Schleimer answered

Specializes in

Eval and experience: A general dentist if taught well, will be able to recognize the relationships of teeth in operation: not just up and down but side to side etc. An orthodontist spends to 2 to 3 extra years learning these skills and the many ways it can be treated.

Answered 10/31/2018

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Dr. Arnold Malerman answered

Specializes in Orthodontics

Training, experience: Part of health care training is to learn what's normal. For example normal temperature is 98.6. Variation from this norm will alert the health care practitioner. Similarly all dentists are taught to recognize normal tooth and jaw relationships in all 3 planes of space. Variation from normal standards is called "malocclusion" (bad bite). Orthodontists then have 2+ years more training.

Answered 5/8/2013

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Dr. Hilary Baskin answered

Specializes in Orthodontics

Orthodontist: A dentist will look to see if the teeth are in proper alignment, but if you are concerned, see an expert on the subject-- an orthodontist.

Answered 10/31/2018

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