When a child’s jaw and other bones surrounding their mouth become imbalanced or grow crookedly, it can lead to a variety of cosmetic and oral health issues. There were relatively few options outside of comprehensive surgery once the child had stopped growing, but many patients are now benefiting from dentists with a specialization in Dentofacial Orthopedics that can use cutting edge tools and methods to help with facial bone growth and development.
At M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Dr. Runnels can help with more than just orthodontic treatments. If you or your child is suffering from issues with their teeth or jaws, we can help. Contact Runnels Orthodontics today to schedule your appointment.
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
All dentists must first complete their schooling for general dentistry in order to receive their doctorate. At this point, many begin practicing dentistry while others continue on with their schooling and residency programs for a specialization. Currently, there are nine specializations within the field of dentistry that are recognized by the American Dental Association. Some of the most common specializations include pediatric dentistry for children, periodontics focusing on gum health, and oral surgery for more comprehensive procedures. Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics are another specialization that focuses on the healthy development of teeth and jaws.
Creating a Straight and Healthy Smile
Orthodontics involves the management of tooth placement and movement as the patient continues to grow. This often includes the use of appliances such as aligning trays, traditional braces, and retainers. Dentofacial Orthopedics, on the other hand, is the management of the jaws position in relation to the teeth, skull and spine. For those that have a misaligned jaw or issues with the development of their bones, a Dentofacial Orthopedics dentist will be able to offer a number of solutions.
For most patients, these specialists will want to begin their services as early as possible, generally around the age of 7 or 8. When these problems are caught early on, there is a much higher success rate and the dental services will often last a lifetime. In children, these services are referred to as phase-one treatment as the dentist will use a number of specialized tools and treatments to ensure that the child’s jaw is aligned and growing in a healthy manner. Adults can also benefit from a Dentofacial Orthopedics dentist, but this process will generally require surgery for patients that have stopped growing.
The Benefits of Dentofacial Orthopedics
While everyone wants to have a straight and balanced smile, these treatments and devices will also provide a patient with a variety of benefits for their overall health. When the teeth and jaw are misaligned, it will increase the risk of an overbite or under bite that can cause chipped teeth or the uneven grinding of teeth. A misaligned jaw could also result in chronic headaches and spinal issues as the body attempts to overcompensate for the lack of balance.
When these issues are treated early on, younger patients have a much great chance of remedying these oral health problems without the need for comprehensive oral surgery. Adults also have a number of options with an experienced Dentofacial Orthopedics dentist if they have been struggling with an uneven smile, crooked teeth, an overbite, under bite or chronic headaches.