Malocclusion – Types, Symptoms and Diagnosis

by | Published on Sep 11, 2023 | Podcasts, Dental Billing & Coding (P) | 0 comments

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Coding for dental conditions requires a thorough understanding of dental codes for accurately documenting and billing for dental treatments, payer rules, and more. With extensive experience in the dental medical billing and coding field, OSI can ensure accurate and compliant coding for dental conditions, leading to proper reimbursement, reduced claim denials, and effective patient care.

In today’s podcast, Amber Darst, Solutions Manager at OSI, discusses what a malocclusion is, including types, symptoms and diagnosis.

Podcast Highlights

00:35 Malocclusion Symptoms and Diagnosis

01:27 Malocclusion Types

Read Transcript

Hi, this is Amber Darst, Solutions Manager here at MOS, and today I’ll be discussing what a malocclusion is in the dental world.

Malocclusion is the misalignment of the upper and lower teeth and can occur for various reasons such as differences in the jaw and tooth size, childhood habits like thumb sucking, early tooth loss, teeth grinding, cleft lip and palate, and even genetic factors. The complexity of this condition means that it can manifest differently in each individual.

00:35 Malocclusion Symptoms and Diagnosis

So how can you tell if you might have malocclusion?

Here’s a short list of the common symptoms to watch out for.

First, we have an improper alignment of your teeth, then changes in your facial appearance, discomfort when chewing or biting, frequent biting of the inner cheeks or tongue, difficulty or discomfort when biting or chewing, speech problems, or breathing through the mouth instead of the nose.

 If you suspect you have malocclusion, it’s crucial to get a proper diagnosis. Dentists typically diagnose malocclusion during routine dental exams and may refer you to an orthodontist for treatment. Diagnosis often involves dental exams and x-rays to identify the bite and teeth misalignment issues.

01:27 Malocclusion Types
 Malocclusion is classified into three types based on the type and severity of the condition.

  • Class I malocclusion is the most common type. In this case, there’s a slight overlap of upper teeth over the lower teeth. It’s further divided into 3 subtypes.

Type 1 is where the teeth lean toward the tongue, type 2 where the lower teeth angle toward the tongue and upper teeth stick out in narrow arches, and type 3 characterized by overcrowding of the upper front teeth that angle toward the tongue. Class 1 malocclusion usually requires minor treatment.

  • Then we have Class II malocclusion, which is more severe over bite. In type 2 malocclusion, the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth, affecting the overall bite alignment. Class II malocclusions are further divided into division 1, where the upper teeth lean toward the lips and division 2, where the upper central incisors lean toward the tongue. Class II malocclusions often require orthodontic intervention and may take time to correct, but with the right approach, orthodontists can restore a more natural bite.
  • And then last we have class III malocclusion. This is considered a complicated maxillofacial disorder. It’s diagnosed when the lower teeth overlap with the upper teeth, resulting in a severe under bite. This condition can also include a cross bite where the top and bottom teeth don’t align correctly. Patients with class 3 malocclusion typically have a prominent chin and a concave facial profile. This condition is often the result of excessive lower jaw growth, insufficient upper jaw growth, or a combination of both. Treatment for Class III malocclusion may involve orthodontics combined with surgery.

Treating malocclusion typically involves braces or aligners, but it can also require tooth removal retainers or oral splints, depending on the severity and the type of misalignment. It’s essential to consult with a qualified orthodontist to determine the best treatment plan for your specific condition.

 Before we wrap up, here’s a tip for those dealing with malocclusion and the healthcare providers who treat it. When it comes to billing for orthodontic treatment, using the right ICD 10 and CDT codes is crucial. To simplify the process, consider utilizing dental billing services that specialize in navigating the complexities of insurance claims and billing procedures.

 For a full list of the ICD 10 codes associated with this podcast, please refer to the attached article.

 And that’s all on this.

 Thanks for listening in.

Amber Darst

Amber Darst is our Solutions Manager in the Healthcare Division, Practice and RCM. With a rich background in dental services, her expertise ranges from insurance coordination to office management.

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