Since children’s bodies are constantly growing and changing, they are at a point in their lives when it is particularly easy to catch and treat possible problems with the mouth and face. Using functional orthopedic orthodontics, also called dentofacial orthopedics, our dentist, Dr. Marla Wilson, and her team can gently guide the teeth and jaws into their proper shape and alignment as your child grows. If you are interested in dentofacial orthopedics in Indianapolis, Indiana, please give Premier Dental Care a call today at 317-787-6625 for more information.

Dentofacial orthopedics is a type of orthodontic treatment focused on the control and modification of facial growth. Dentofacial orthopedic treatment works to normalize the growth of bone structure and repair the related imbalances of the face and jaws.

Children are the best candidates for dentofacial orthopedics, as their bones and jaws are still growing and can be more easily guided into their proper positions. Dentofacial orthopedics for children often involves two phases of treatment, the first of which begins at about age 7. During this stage, our dentist will use treatments designed to correct jaw growth and ensure proper jaw alignment. In the second stage of treatment, braces or other treatments are used to straighten misaligned teeth. Dentofacial orthopedics can also benefit adults in many cases.

Occlusal Irregularities That We Treat

There are a handful of different types of occlusion irregularities, including:

  • Overbite – the top teeth protrude further forward than the lower teeth, in some circumstances covering them.
  • Underbite – the lower teeth protrude farther forward than the upper teeth, making the chin appear more prominent.
  • Crossbite – Some of the upper teeth are closed inside the bottom teeth, instead of the top teeth enclosing the lower teeth.
  • Overcrowding – Not enough room in an arch of teeth for all the teeth to erupt at the correct angle, pushing against each other and becoming rotated.
  • Uneven Bite – Due to unevenness in the way the upper and lower teeth mesh together, the jaws do not press against each other with even force throughout, which can lead to problems like headaches, dizziness, symptoms involving the ears, discomfort in the neck and TMJ disorders.

Phases of Functional Orthopedic Orthodontics

Phase 1

The first phase of orthopedic orthodontics involves molding and guiding the growth of the jaw, establishing a skeletal base that allows the teeth to develop correctly in the first place. This helps correct teeth that are developing incorrectly early on and can discourage harmful habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. At this point, a detailed and customized plan is laid out and our team will suggest the right appliances and treatments for your case. Phase 1 usually takes between six and 12 months.

Resting Phase

After Phase 1, our team will monitor your teeth and jaws during a resting period. In some cases, the teeth will not yet be in their final positions. A retainer may be used at this point.

Phase 2

During this phase, we set to work aligning your teeth. Phase 2 works to correct problems with your bite, positioning of the teeth, closing gaps, and making a multitude of other fine-tuned adjustments to ensure that the teeth and all other parts of the mouth are in harmony, aligned and positioned correctly, allowing the teeth and jaws to function correctly as well as improving their overall aesthetic. Phase 2 can last between six months and two years, depending upon your specific needs.

Retention Phase

The Retention Phase ensures that your new smile and healthy teeth stay in alignment and do not revert back to their original positions. At this point, you will wear a retainer for a specified amount of time each day for certain amount of time determined by our team. Be sure to comply with your retainer schedule to maintain and maximize your results.