Dento-facial Orthopaedics

What is Dento-facial Orthopaedics?

Sometimes orthodontic problems arise because of irregularities in the way the jaws and facial bones are aligned. Dento-facial orthopaedics can use functional appliances to guide the growth of the jaws and facial bones in children. Treatment improves the relationship between the upper and lower jaws and can create a nicer facial profile. It is sometimes known as growth modification or functional orthodontics.

How Can I Tell If My Child Will Need Dento-facial Orthopaedics?

When children see a dentist regularly, the growth and development of their facial bones and jaws are monitored closely. If needed, they can be referred to see an orthodontist like Dr Grove. Sometimes it is clear there are jaw or facial growth irregularities as soon as age two or three when a child’s primary teeth have erupted, and an early orthodontic evaluation can be extremely helpful. Other times, oral habits like thumb and finger sucking, mouth breathing, and tongue thrusting can affect jaw growth. Early orthodontic treatment can help to correct the issues created by these habits.

What age can a child have Treatment?

When your child sees Dr Grove, he can assess their facial structure and jaws and if necessary, will take dental impressions and dental scans to plan their treatment. Your child might not need treatment immediately, but an early assessment ensures we can provide a suitable treatment plan designed to provide an optimal outcome. Planning ahead allows us to take advantage of growth spurts to guide the growth of your child’s jaws and facial bones optimally.

What Type of Appliances are Used in Dento-facial Orthopaedics?

There are various appliances available, which can change the amount, rate and direction of jaw growth. Some appliances are fixed onto teeth while others are removable. One of the most frequently used appliances is a palatal expander, a device designed to gradually widen the upper jaw, creating more room for teeth to erupt normally. It can help correct issues caused by thumb sucking, where the upper jaw becomes elongated and narrower. When bite problems cannot be corrected inside the mouth, a child may need to wear orthodontic headgear, an appliance that is fitted around the face.

Can Adults Have Dento-facial Orthopaedics?

Dento-facial orthopaedics is a good treatment for children as their facial bones and jaw are still growing. There are some options available for adults which may involve jaw surgery and conventional orthodontic treatment with braces.


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