Did you know orthodontists straighten teeth and provide dentofacial orthopedics?
Specializing in dentofacial orthopedics is what sets an orthodontic specialist apart from other practitioners in the dental field. Upon completion of dental school, a dentist must complete another two or more years of formal education at an accredited orthodontic residency in order to have the credentials of a Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. An orthodontist's entire clinical practice is focused solely on orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedic therapies.
What is dentofacial orthopedics?
Dentofacial orthopedics is the process of normalizing the growth of a patient’s bone structure in order to correct skeletal imbalances of the face and jaws. When treating young children, this therapy often involves two phases of treatment and improves a patient’s facial soft tissue profile.
Dentofacial Orthopedics for Children
Children are often the best candidates for receiving dentofacial orthopedic therapy. When your child is at a young age, your orthodontist will typically examine and monitor his/her growth to determine when starting treatment will be most effective.
If your child begins orthodontic treatment before all adult teeth have erupted, it is known as Phase One treatment. During this phase, your orthodontist will use treatments designed to correct your child’s jaw growth and make sure that the jaw bone is properly aligned before beginning the second phase of treatment, which usually involves braces to straighten the teeth.
Two Phase Treatment:
Actual patient - jaw growth guided by orthodontic treatment.
Dentofacial Orthopedics for Adults
Dentofacial orthopedics is also used to treat adults and this therapy may involve surgery. In children, the jaw bones are still forming and have not completely hardened, allowing for orthodontists to control bone growth and tooth movement. Adults, however, are no longer growing and their jaw bones have hardened, making it more of a challenge to correct the bite and move teeth into proper alignment (especially if the facial bones are misaligned).
Surgery may be used to adjust the jaw bone and establish the proper bite alignment before beginning a braces treatment. With dentofacial orthopedics, adults can still achieve the beautiful smile they have always wanted. To learn more about dentofacial orthopedics, and to find out if this type of treatment is right for you, please contact our practice and schedule an orthodontic consultation.