AAO Ragan Orthodontics in Dallas, TX

What is Dentofacial Orthopedics?

Dentofacial orthopedics is a process that is used to control the growth of a patient’s dental bone structure and to repair any noticeable imbalances that occur in the face and/or jaws. Mainly aimed at children, the treatment involves a two-part procedure that begins around the time a child is about seven years of age.

For the first part of the treatment, your orthodontist will examine the patient to determine if Dentofacial Orthopedics is required. After a growth spurt, the second part of the treatment is when braces are used to straighten out and position the teeth. For adults, surgery is most likely because the bones are hardened, so it is challenging to stimulate and manage bone growth.

What Issues can Dentofacial Orthopedics Treat?

Dentofacial orthopedics can treat a wide range of orthodontic issues. Several of these issues are associated with improper bite or malocclusion. Such a disorder can substantially affect speech clarity, facial harmony, and chewing ability. Furthermore, a serious malocclusion has also been known to contribute to many more severe dental and physical disorders such as breathing difficulties, tooth decay, periodontal disease, jaw joint disorders, and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders. It is very important to seek treatment as early as possible to avoid costly restorative procedures later on.

Common irregularities that require orthopedic treatment:

  • Overbite – An overbite is a protrusion of the upper jaw relative to the lower jaw. Someone with an overbite has a ‘toothy’ appearance and can make the chin also look somewhat receded.
  • Underbite – An underbite, also referred to as a negative under jet, denotes the protrusion of the lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw. Opposite from an overbite, the chin appears overly prominent in the case of an underbite. Genetic factors and developmental delays often cause both overbites and underbites.
  • Overcrowding – Someone with an overcrowded mouth does not have enough space within their jaw for all their adult teeth to fit. In many cases, overcrowding can lead to rotated, displaced, or very misaligned teeth.
  • Sleep Apnea Issues – Sleep apnea is caused when the soft tissues located in the posterior of the mouth are blocked or restrict air passage to the lungs during the night. As a result, sleep apnea reduces oxygen levels reaching the bloodstream. The effects can range from feeling drowsy throughout the day to congestive heart failure in more severe cases.

If these orthopedic issues are addressed early enough, younger people have a much higher chance of taking care of these oral health issues without getting comprehensive oral surgery. As for adults, they also have many options in terms of Dentofacial Orthopedics if they are struggling with an underbite, overbite, crooked teeth, or uneven smile as well.

At Ragan Orthodontics, we will work with you to determine the safest and most effective treatment plan for your needs. We can customize orthodontic treatments to fit your needs. Contact Ragan Orthodontics today to schedule your consultation.