Article: Volume 14 Number 1 Page 27 - January 2021

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  Orth Update 2021; 14: 27-31

Orthodontics:  Orthodontic Conundrums Part 2: Finishing Cases to a Class III Molar Relationship

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Abstract: This is the second article in a series on conundrums in orthodontics. A Class I molar relationship is a frequent aim of orthodontic treatment. There are, however, examples where intentionally finishing to a Class III molar relationship is the more pragmatic and preferable option. Pursuing this approach in the appropriate circumstances may, for example, prevent deleterious consequences to the facial profile or avoid the need for further dental extractions. This article explores the indications for finishing cases to a Class III molar relationship with illustrated clinical cases.

Clinical relevance: Dogmatic attempts to deliver Class I molar relationships, in all cases, without consideration of the consequences, have the potential to cause the patient harm. The orthodontist must then consider all possible options available, including those resulting in a Class III molar relationship.

Author notes: Naeem I Adam, BDS(Hons), MJDF RCS(Eng), Specialty Registrar in Orthodontics, Leeds Dental Institute/St Luke’s Hospital, Bradford, Adam Jowett, BDS(Hons), MFDS RCS(Ed), Specialty Registrar, Leeds Dental Institute and Trevor Hodge, BDS, MFDS RCS(Ed), MPhil, MOrth RCS (Ed), FDSOrth RCS (Ed), FDS RCS(Eng), FHEA, FDTF RCS(Ed), Consultant Orthodontist, Leeds Dental Institute, Clarendon Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9LU, UK. email:

Objective: To provide an overview of indications for finishing cases to a Class III molar relationship and to illustrate cases where this approach was taken.