Dental Tips Blog


What Are Dentofacial Orthopedics?

Posted in Orthodontics

There’s more to how your smile looks than just straight teeth. In reality, it has a lot to do with the eruption patterns, size of the jaws, and anatomical features of the face. One of the ways that dentists or orthodontists provide comprehensive therapy to their patients is by providing interceptive orthodontics, or dentofacial orthopedics. What do all of these fancy terms mean? Modifying the growth patterns of the mouth, enhancing the positioning of the jaws and how the teeth bite against one another.

Some examples of dentofacial orthopedics include:

  • Herbst appliances
  • Space maintainers
  • Palatal expanders
  • Lower lingual arches

These orthopedics work together to guide the width and growth patterns of the jaws. Most of the time they are worn for several months, until desired changes have been made. Dentofacial orthopedics is non-invasive therapies that your dental provider can use to create healthier, straighter smiles before more complications arise later on. This minimizes the need for surgical procedures or orthodontic treatments for many dental patients!

How do you know if you or your child needs dentofacial orthopedics or interceptive treatment? Your dentist can conduct an occlusion assessment and bite analysis during your routine dental exam. Well-aligned teeth are generally healthier, having less tooth decay and periodontal disease around them than teeth that are crooked or crowded. Professionals recommend that children have an orthodontic screening or bite assessment no later than age 7.

By seeing your dentist regularly, you can monitor oral health concerns and growth pattern complications before they become more severe. If more complex care is needed, you may be referred to an orthodontic professional. Your general family dentist is a great place to start when you have questions about you or your child’s dental misalignment needs.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel 


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