In orthodontics, we classify patients’ bites into three main categories, based on the relationship of the six-year molars. The categories are Class I, Class II, and Class III.
Class I: The upper and lower six-year molars are well related to each other, where the lower molar is slightly forward relative to the upper molar. Typically, patients with a Class I relationship have upper and lower canines that are well related to each other as well.
Class II: The upper and lower six-year molars are not in an ideal relationship, because the upper molar is too far forward. Typically, patients with a Class II relationship have upper canines that are too far forward relative to lower canines. Also, an “overbite” is characteristic in this type of mouth, where the upper front teeth are protruded and too far in front of the lower front teeth.
Class III: The upper and lower six-year molars are not in an ideal relationship: specifically, the lower molar is too far forward. Typically, patients with a Class III relationship have lower canines that are too far forward relative to upper canines. Also, an “underbite” is characteristic in this type of bite relationship, and the lower front teeth are in front of the upper front teeth or the lower front teeth are edge-to-edge with the upper front teeth.
In our orthodontic practice located in Norwalk and Westport, we have experienced amazing success using Carriere Correctors for growing patients that fall into the Class II category. Class II relationships are extremely common in our patient population, so we are well versed in Class II orthodontic correction.
The goal is transform the patient’s bite relationship from Class II to Class I, where the molars and canines are in ideal positions. Remember, in a Class II relationship, the upper canines are too far forward and need to be retracted (or moved back).
Also in Class II, the lower molars are too far back relative to the upper molars, and the lower molars need to be moved forward. In brief, the upper canines need to be moved back and the lower molars need to be moved forward. Carriere Correctors achieve both of these movements simultaneously.
A Carriere Corrector is an orthodontic appliance that consists of a small, thin metal bar that is bonded from the upper canine back to the upper first molar. A key component of the Carriere Corrector is a small hook in the area of the upper canine that allows the elastics (“rubber bands”) to be placed by the patient.
The elastics are worn from the hook on the upper canine to a hook on the lower six-year molar. The rubber bands apply the appropriate amount of force to accomplish the necessary tooth movement efficiently.
Essentially, the rubber band accomplishes the two movements that are necessary in Class II patients: (1) retraction of the upper canines and (2) forward movement of the lower molars. Combining these two movements achieves an ideal bite relationship in which the upper canine is well related with the lower canine and a proper (Class I) relationship of the upper and lower six-year molars.
Carriere Correctors are often our treatment of choice for growing children with a Class II bite relationship, but every patient is different. We develop an individualized plan of treatment for each patient to address that person’s specific orthodontic needs.
We always present this detailed plan of treatment at a consultation appointment with the orthodontist. If a Carriere Corrector is recommended for your child, we will explain the basis behind this decision and discuss the orthodontic appliance in further detail.
Carriere® Distalizer™ Appliance Placement Performance Video
Posted by Henry Schein Orthodontics on Monday, July 9, 2012