Dentofacial Orthopedics is a dental specialty that deals with repairing imbalances of the face and jaw structure and normalizing the bone growth of the dental arches (maxilla and mandible) for correct development.
This requires an orthodontist to have received their orthodontic specialization in dental school and to have completed a two to three-year orthodontic residency program because it is such a specialty treatment.
Dentofacial Orthopedics prevents the extraction of teeth and surgery to fix orthodontic conditions, especially in younger patients, by rather structuring the bone development of the dental arches.
The best candidates for Dentofacial Orthopedics are children because an orthodontist can monitor the growth of their facial bone structure from a young age and be able to prescribe the most suitable treatment. If the treatment is prescribed before your child’s permanent teeth have fully erupted, it is then considered an early interceptive or Phase I treatment, which ensures that their bone development accommodates their permanent teeth.
Children have softer bones as they are still growing, which makes them easier to manipulate. This is why it is recommended to undergo this treatment at a young age.
In adults, since their bones have already stopped growing and have hardened, the procedure falls under Phase II or comprehensive treatments and will require surgery. Correct bite alignment can be achieved through the adjustment of the jaw bone in surgery and the adjustment of the teeth with braces.
There are many types of Dentofacial Orthopedics appliances to manipulate the bone structure at different ages and conditions. The basic example of an appliance is dental headgear. After this phase, patients are required to have braces or Invisalign for another year to correct the alignment of teeth.
The results of this specialty treatment are a fuller, more beautiful smile, a pleasing facial profile, and healthy temporomandibular joints (jaw joints).
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