While orthodontic treatment primarily focuses on aligning teeth to improve the way they bite together, the role of dentofacial orthopedics encompasses a much larger concept. Particularly the skeletal structure of your jaws and face, as they affect how your teeth meet and function for everyday biting and chewing.
At Jaeger Orthodontics in Coeur d’Alene, ID, the integration of dentofacial orthopedics has become a hallmark of our comprehensive approach to patient care. Not just for enhanced facial harmony and functional balance but for the long-term health of your TMJ, tooth wear, and nutrient absorption.
Understanding Dentofacial Orthopedics
Dentofacial orthopedics is a specialized branch of orthodontic therapy that emphasizes the growth and development of the facial bones and the alignment of the jaws. Unlike traditional orthodontic treatments, which primarily focus on tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics addresses the larger structural issues of the face and jaws. By guiding the growth of bones in young patients, dentofacial orthopedics aims to achieve optimal facial proportions and proper jaw relationships. This approach is minimally invasive and holistic, reducing the need for future surgeries and even eliminating the risk of major malocclusions (bite discrepancies.)
Early Intervention for Lifelong Benefits
One of the key advantages of incorporating dentofacial orthopedics into orthodontic treatment is the opportunity for early intervention. Children’s growing bones are more malleable and responsive to orthopedic forces. Think of it like “growth modification” to encourage better bone anatomy. By identifying and addressing skeletal imbalances at an early age, the team at Jaeger Orthodontics can guide the growth of the jaws and facial bones, reducing the risk of:
- Open bites
- Underbites and underjets
- Overbites and overjets
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD/TMD)
In turn, we can potentially eliminate or reduce the need for more invasive procedures in the future, such as jaw surgery, by addressing issues during the developmental stages. Trickle-down effects also lower your chances of dental emergencies and speech issues.
Creating Facial Harmony
Facial harmony is the delicate balance between different facial features, including the jawline, chin, and cheekbones. Dentofacial orthopedics plays a pivotal role in achieving this harmony by correcting growth discrepancies in jaw size and position. A misaligned jaw can lead to not only aesthetic concerns but also functional problems. By employing techniques such as orthopedic appliances and growth modification, our Coeur d’Alene orthodontists can optimize jaw growth, resulting in a well-proportioned and improved facial profile.
Improving Functional Balance
Beyond aesthetics, the functional balance of the oral and facial structures is crucial for overall oral health. Early growth modification ensures that the upper and lower jaws fit together correctly by guiding the jaws toward the most harmonious relationship. Malocclusions, or improper bites, can lead to excessive wear on teeth, gum problems, and even difficulties in breathing and sleeping. Through carefully planned orthopedic interventions, Jaeger Orthodontics can guide the jaws into their ideal positions, promoting a better airway and reducing irregular wear patterns in teeth.
A Personalized Approach
Each patient’s orthodontic journey is unique, and the incorporation of dentofacial orthopedics allows Jaeger Orthodontics to provide a truly personalized approach. Through thorough assessments, including advanced imaging and 3D modeling, orthodontists can identify the specific skeletal issues that may be present. Based on these findings, a customized treatment plan is formulated, utilizing a combination of orthodontic appliances and orthopedic technology. These resources can be a simple as a space maintainer or palatal expander. Using this tailored approach ensures that not only the teeth but also the adjacent skeletal structures are aligned like they should be.
Collaboration for Comprehensive Care
The successful integration of dentofacial orthopedics requires expert orthodontic knowledge and training. At Jaeger Orthodontics, a multidisciplinary approach is embraced, and we are happy to partner with your existing general dentist, pediatric dentist, oral surgeon, or other specialists. This collaborative effort ensures that your overall health is considered, allowing for holistic care that goes beyond just “straightening teeth.”
Schedule Your Appointment Today
At Jaeger Orthodontics in Coeur d’Alene, ID, we carry a commitment to delivering not only beautiful smiles but also holistic health, including facial harmony and functional balance. Call our office to schedule your consultation today!