What Is Dentofacial Orthopedics Used for

What Is Dentofacial Orthopedics Used for?

December 1, 2022

What Is Dentofacial Orthopedics?

It is a specialty that addresses the guidance of facial growth and development, typically during childhood. The literal meaning of dentofacial orthopedics is, the straightening or correction of a child’s teeth and face.

The treatment focuses on the position and dimensions of the bones that hold teeth in place. Therefore, orthodontics and dentofacial treatments in Houston work hand-in-hand. Orthodontics targets tooth movement while dentofacial orthopedics manages bone growth and development.

How Does Dentofacial Orthopedics Work?

The treatment is majorly for children, usually right before their permanent teeth erupt. A pediatric dentist in Houston closely monitors your child’s growth and development to know when they need to begin treatment.

The first phase of the treatment commences before permanent teeth erupt. The goal of the treatment is to correct the jaw growth to disallow misalignment. Therefore, when permanent teeth erupt, there will be ample space in the jawbone to house all teeth without crowding.

The next phase of the treatment begins after permanent teeth have erupted. This part entails getting braces from an orthodontist near you. The braces cater to teeth straightening. Combining orthodontics and dentofacial treatments in Houston for pediatric dental care is incredibly successful. The reason is that children’s mouths are still developing.

Still, adults can benefit from dentofacial orthopedics. However, it would entail surgery, different from pediatric treatments. The reason is that adults’ jaws are no longer growing and have instead hardened. Therefore, surgery is the best shot at adjusting the jawbone before straightening the teeth.

When Is a Dentofacial Treatment Needed?

Not all patients in orthodontic dentistry at Greenway Pediatric Dentistry need dentofacial treatments. Only patients with jaw misalignment need dentofacial treatments. The orthodontic problems that only affect teeth’ position are treatable with braces in orthodontics. Some dental problems that dentists treat in dentofacial orthopedics are:

  1. Overcrowding – you have more teeth in your mouth than the space in your jawbone.
  2. Underbite – the upper front teeth fit inside or behind the lower front teeth when you bite.
  3. Overbite – the upper front teeth significantly overlap the lower front teeth when you bite.
  4. Open bite – when your upper and lower front teeth do not touch or close properly when you bite.
  5. Crossbite – can involve either the front or back teeth, or both. Some patients have the upper back teeth sitting inside the bottom back teeth, while the front ones protrude outward.
  6. Misplaced midline – when there is a mismatch of the line between the two upper front teeth and the line between the two lower front teeth

Still, you may not always understand the terminologies of your dental problem. Therefore, some of the indicators that you need dentofacial treatment are:

  1. Jaw pain when you chew
  2. Frequent accidental bites
  3. Severe drooling when you sleep
  4. Chronic mouth breathing
  5. Teeth that protrude, flare, or stick out
  6. Breathing difficulties when you sleep at night – can be closely associated with sleep apnea.

How Long Does the Treatment Take?

Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics are dental protocols that take a long while to complete. Depending on the age you begin your treatment, it can take between 24 and 36 months or longer to realize any results. Further, even after these treatments, you may still need to wear oral devices for many years.

Retainers hold your teeth in position after the orthodontic processes. It prevents them from shifting to their original state after removing the braces. Usually, adults need to wear retainers for the rest of their lives to keep their teeth intact. Children can eventually remove their retainers after a few months or a year during the day and indefinitely overnight.

Are Dentofacial Orthopedics and Orthodontic Treatment Worth It?

It can be overburdening to think about beginning your teeth straightening and jaw aligning treatment if you consider the timeline of your treatment. However, there are benefits to the treatments, including:

  1. Improved oral hygiene – no more nooks for plaque and food residue to hide.
  2. Alleviating dental pain and discomfort
  3. Optimizing teeth and jaw functionality
  4. Boosting aesthetics by adjusting the facial bones, jaw, and teeth.
  5. Improving gum health.
  6. Heightening self-confidence
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