Orthopaedics and Jaw Realignment
The Role of Orthopaedics In Orthodontics
When it comes to treatment of misaligned teeth or overbites in children, everyone thinks of orthodontics, such as kids’ braces, as the sole solution. However, there are those cases of jaw discrepancies, such as an overbite, which lie primarily on misaligned jaws and tend to cause an improperly aligned bite.
Our dentists at Dental 266 use early intervention in children’s development to improve jaw discrepancies and guide their jaws to create adequate space for adult teeth to emerge. This pre-treatment, known as Orthopaedics, can reduce the need for the extraction of otherwise ideal, healthy adult teeth and also decreases the possibility of surgical intervention.
Benefits of Early Treatment
At the age of 8, the child’s bones are still developing, hence, will respond well to early treatment . The Australian Association of Orthodontics recommends that a child should be brought in for their first orthodontic consultation around 7-8 years old. The sooner the child gets his/her first consultation, the earlier we can diagnose and address a potential dental problem.
With many years of experience, we can confirm the following benefits of early orthopaedic and orthodontic treatment in children:
Other secondary benefits gained from early orthopaedic/orthodontic treatment are:
Watch Doctor Daphne Kao Share information about Orthodontics and Orthopaedics
Mixed Dentition is the stage by which you child’s adult teeth are “erupting” or coming out to replace his/her baby teeth. This occurs as early as 6 or 7 years of age and lasts until he/she is around 12 or 13 years old.
During this stage of development, our dentist at Dental 266 can help assess your child’s occlusion, or how the upper and lower jaws align now and how they will align with future growth. We will also pay attention to future available space for all the adult teeth such as the eye teeth (canine teeth).
If we determine that some treatment is required, some of the common procedures that take place in this stage are:
As indicated in the previous section, a child’s teeth are still forming at this stage, hence treatments and rectifications should be implemented at this period.
Devices We Use for Orthopaedic Treatments
Your child’s jaw may be too narrow to fit in all the adult teeth. To prevent this and avoid overcrowding, we recommend Maxillary Expansion using our Rapid Maxillary Expander (RME or RPE).
The Rapid Maxillary Expander (RME or RPE) is an appliance that generally widens the patient’s upper jaw to accommodate all your child’s adult teeth. Ideally, maxillary expansion should commence at an early age because at a young age the upper jaw is still made of two halves left and right. A maxillary expander widens the upper jaw by moving the two halves apart using the back teeth as an anchor.
A maxillary expander has other benefits. These are –
- Correcting your child’s narrow jaw and cross-bites
- Widening your child’s airway which improves breathing function
- Fixing an “underbite” problem by aligning the upper jaw with the lower one.
With Functional Appliances, we utilise your growth in conjunction with the power movement of your jaw and muscles to solve specific misalignments. These dental appliances will require you to attend routine appointments every 4-8 weeks to have your appliance checked and adjusted accordingly.
Some functional appliances include:
Twin Block Appliances
These appliances consist of two removable plates that are specially moulded to fit your upper and lower jaws. Moving your teeth over the plates corrects the occlusion (misalignment) of the jaws and the teeth.
As long as these block appliances are worn always except brushing and eating, then your countenance will improve and become noticeable and long-lasting in a few months. We do recommend you practicing with them soon and always to reap the benefits fast.
It will take some time to get used to working with the plates. Your speech may be unintelligible in the first few days. But with ample practise, you should be talking normally in no time.
Cervical Pull and High Pull Headgear
We use two types of functional appliances to correct a pronounced overbite in children by inhibiting the growth of the upper jaw. These two appliances help in maintaining correct bite and also helps in tooth spacing after tooth extraction.
Both appliances utilise a U-shaped wire that is attached to the bands of the back teeth. The only difference is the Cervical Pull Headgear has a strap that goes behind the neck as an anchor for the contraption, while the High Pull Headgear has a strap that goes behind and over the head.
Both headgears must be worn from 12-14 hours a day or as directed by your Dental 266 dentist.
Reverse-Pull or “Face Mask”
A facemask helps correct Class III malocclusion, typically referred to as an “underbite”, by “pulling” the upper jaw forward to match the lower jaw. Aligning the two jaws is recommended early for a young child. A consultation with your dentist at Dental 266 will help assess the need for jaw alignment treatment.
Some orthodontic cases may call for a simple treatment with the aid of a Removable Appliance – a dental plate that can be taken out for cleaning and convenience purposes. This type of dental appliance features fine wires and springs, which help move the teeth using gentle pressure.
Unlike fixed appliances, removable appliances have limited flexibility for multiple tooth movements. They are confined mostly to tilting movements.
Unlike traditional orthodontics focused on moving the teeth, Myofunctional orthodontics alters the oral environment of the patient by removing the offending habits that are causing the malocclusion.
Myofunctional therapy usually starts at a very early age, ideally around 5 years old, as recommended by our Dental 266 dentists. The rationale here is the child’s jaws are still developing, therefore, teeth and jaw alignments are much easier to implement.
These softer teeth trainers are strategically created to adapt to a variety of malocclusions (improper teeth position with closed jaws).
After 5-8 months of Phase 1 treatment, we will introduce a harder yet comfortable myofunctional trainer for better tooth alignment.
To have your questions on malocclusions answered, do visit us at Dental 266. Or please visit http://myoresearch.com/appliances/appliances/t4k_phase1 to review successful case studies of our Myofunctional Trainers.
The Process of Consultation
Step 1: Initial Consultation
The best dental options for you are going to be discussed with your dentist. The process of examination, preparation, fitting and maintenance of these dental appliances will also be explained here. Moulds, x-rays and other exams needed to make an accurate and thorough recommendation will also be conducted at this stage
Step 2 – Second Consultation
All details about your child’s treatment pertinent to the specific orthodontic appliance recommended, including the costs and time frame will be answered in this stage.
Now that we have explained the process and benefits of having your teeth back in good working order with Orthopaedic and Orthodontic treatments, we enjoin you to visit us at Dental 266 in Burwood soon. We look forward seeing you here!