What Research Says About Common Dental Malocclusions

Clinical research from the last few years has reviewed how dental misalignment can impact the social psychology of adolescents and adults. The same research has appeared to provide a more in-depth look at how malocclusions or the misalignment of teeth can affect and contribute to the self-concept and overall social acceptance of oneself in a greater social environment. Although straighter teeth have become more prevalent among adolescents and adults entering the workforce, a great deal of stress is placed on the long term impact dental malocclusion does not only have on self-esteem and social appearance, but also on  oral health and hygiene of those who are affected. 

The growing need for more advanced oral and orthodontic procedures has seen a wide array of new treatments and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands come to life in recent years. While many adolescents and adults are struggling with dental malocclusion, treatment thereof has been seen to improve not only their self-concept but revealed to have a greater impact on their quality of life and in some instances help improve dental growth patterns.

We explored what current research has to say about common dental malocclusions and how modern orthodontics have simplified treatment. 

How are dental malocclusions defined?

There is a wide selection of academic research that can help us understand and define what dental malocclusion is and can be. The most common of these explanations is the misalignment of teeth, either impacted by skeletal or dental changes. 

Common examples of malocclusion include: 

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Overcrowding 
  • Midline Misalignment
  • Open Bite
  • Spacing 

Each of these examples is subject to different influences, but a recent study has revealed how genetic components which are involved in postnatal growth can impact the craniofacial and occlusal relationship in child and adolescent dental development. This suggests that further considerations and treatments might be necessary once an adolescent growth has ceased and the adult phase has commenced. 

Can dental malocclusions or misalignment be treated? 

In most cases, dental malocclusions or misalignment of teeth can be treated by various types of procedures. A clinical study published in the International Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics claimed that although adolescents and young adults will seek orthodontic treatment for various reasons, nearly 21.6% of observed young adults will require little to no treatment at all. Even more, 50.5% of the total sample may require borderline treatment, with only 27.9% requiring advanced orthodontic treatment. There are several reasons a person might want to obtain treatment, varying from physical discomfort, the severity of each condition, and also the psychological and social impact it can have on one’s self-esteem. Make use of this free guide to read more about the various types of treatments available for each malocclusion condition. 

What treatment works better for malocclusion?

Based on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) measurements, it’s quite noticeable that young adults are more prevalent to obtain orthodontic treatment for a malocclusion. Today, an array of treatments can be done, both in-office or remote treatments. An overcompensation of availability can now be accessed by people from various social and economical backgrounds. 

In-office treatment 

This would be the most desired road to take first, as you will need to consult with your orthodontist or dentist first to understand the condition and severity thereof. In-office treatments are still a preferred treatment for many but can become expensive and time-consuming over time. Treatments such as braces and Invisalign can be obtained via in-office consultations.

Home-aligner treatment

Home-aligner treatment or direct-to-consumer (DTC) treatment has grown in popularity in recent years. It’s become more affordable, convenient, and accessible for many people. Treatment can be conducted at home using orthodontically approved aligner straightening kits. Leading brands for home-aligner treatment include Byte, Candid, and AlignerCo. 

Final considerations

Malocclusion or dental misalignment has proven to affect both adolescents’ and young adults’ self-esteem and social appearance. It has become more prevalent in society for both these groups to seek orthodontic treatment, in the hopes to not only improve their dental and facial appearance, as a result can enhance their quality of life. Moreover, various treatments are now available on the market, both in-office and home-aligner treatments. Final deliberation on the type of treatment selected should undergo orthodontic and dentist consideration to ensure safe, and effective treatment can be conducted.