Teeth & Face Classification

The classification of bites is broken up into three main categories: Class I, II, and III. This classification refers to the position of the first molars and how they bite together.

Class I

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

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 digit sucking. Class II problems are treated via growth redirection to bring the upper and lower teeth and jaws into harmony.

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 jaw. There is a concave appearance in profile with a prominent chin. Class III problems are usually due to an overgrowth in the lower jaw, an undergrowth of the upper jaw, or a combination of the two. Like Class II problems, they can be genetically inherited.

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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