You already know that orthodontists straighten teeth, but do you know that they also align the jaws to achieve the best facial esthetics? The alignment of the jaws is called dentofacial orthopedics. Orthodontists are dental specialists who first achieved their doctorate in dental surgery in dental school and then received their specialization in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics in a three year orthodontic residency program.
Dentofacial Orthopedics for Children
Children are often the best candidates to receive dentofacial orthopedic therapy. Your orthodontist will examine and monitor your child’s growth to determine the most effective time to begin treatment. If your child begins orthodontic treatment before all of the adult teeth erupt, it is known as phase-one treatment. During phase-one treatment, your orthodontist will use methods designed to correct your child’s jaw growth and make sure that the jaw bones are properly aligned before beginning the second phase of treatment, which usually involves braces to straighten the teeth.
Dentofacial Orthopedics for Adults
Dentofacial orthopedics is also used to treat adults; however, this process may involve surgery. In children, the jaw bones are still growing. Adults, however, have fully matured jaws. It is thus more difficult to adjust the bite and move teeth into the proper alignment. Jaw surgery is only necessary for adults with severe jaw imbalances. Dr. Geran will recommend the treatment option that will result in the smile that you've always wanted.
To learn more about dentofacial orthopedics, and to find out if this type of treatment is right for you, please contact our practice and schedule an orthodontic consultation.