Conditions Treated with Dentofacial Orthopedics
A professional who practices dentofacial orthopedics provides specialized services in matters of the growth and development of the bones in the face as they relate to dental issues. This often includes correcting malocclusions, or misaligned bites. Here are three conditions treated with dentofacial orthopedics.
Conditions Treated with Dentofacial Orthopedics | Overbites
Patients with an overbite – a malocclusion – stand to benefit greatly from dentofacial orthopedics. An overbite is when the upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw. An overbite often tends to result in the overcrowding of teeth. Dentofacial orthopedic appliances are used to correct overbites. Treatment generally lasts between 6-12 months, provided it commences while the patient is between 8-10 years of age. Overbites usually do not cause much of a problem. However, there are some cases where the overbite is more severe. The most common accompanying issue with a severe overbite is a speech impediment. Unfortunately, children often become victims of bullying and teasing at school because of severe malocclusions.
Conditions Treated with Dentofacial Orthopedics | Underbites
Another malocclusion is an underbite. This occurs when the lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw. Left untreated, it can develop into TMJ disorders. The misalignment causes increased friction. Therefore, your child’s tooth enamel wears down faster. As with overbites, treatment lasts between 6-12 months provided the patient is 8-10 years old.
Conditions Treated with Dentofacial Orthopedics | Crossbites
A crossbite occurs when one jaw is narrower than the other. A crossbite can either be unilateral or bilateral. Furthermore, depending on which jaw is the narrower, your child could have an anterior or a posterior crossbite. Left untreated, a crossbite can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Moreover, because a crossbite creates an uneven bite, your child’s face could develop asymmetrically. Despite the serious consequences associated with untreated crossbites, the matter can interestingly take as little as 30 days to treat.
If you or your child has any questions regarding dentofacial orthopedics, please contact any of our five locations today for a free screening.