Facial and Jaw Growth Orthopedics

Orthopedics for Jaw Growth

What is Facial and Jaw Growth Orthopedics?

Facial and jaw growth orthopedics, also called dentofacial orthopedics, works to guide facial development during childhood by reestablishing nasal breathing with growth guidance appliances. Children are seen as the best candidates for dentofacial orthopedic therapy because facial growth and development occur most during childhood. When combined with orthodontic treatment, it’s commonly referred to as Phase-One treatment. Dentofacial orthopedics can also treat adults, but the process will involve surgical procedures to adjust the bite alignment and jaw bone before applying the appliances.

With our specialty orthodontists at Burns Orthodontics, we’ll outline our initial steps towards a proper jaw alignment, so you can become more educated about our services and what we can do for you and your family.

Step 1: Evaluating Nasal Breathing

Oral positions, such as the lips, tongue, and palate, are responsible for the growth and development of the jaw and face. When the tongue and jaw don’t rest in the right position, the mid-face will not grow properly and will cause symptoms such as:

  • mouth breathing
  • open mouth posture
  • sloping forehead
  • retracted lower jaw
  • thin limps
  • a large-appearing nose
  • sunken cheeks
  • elongated, flat, or narrow face

These oral symptoms can lead to long-term health issues, such as TMJ issues, obstructive sleep apnea, and poor head posture.

Woman putting in jaw growth orthopedics

Step 2: Our Jaw Growth Appliances

To reestablish proper oral proper, our orthodontists will focus on steps that working with growth guidance appliances, an orthopedic appliance that stimulates bone growth and corrects facial anomalies. Our growth appliances focus on scaffolding the effects of the tongue resting on the palette and stimulates the palate to produce more bone in wider dimensions. Some of the appliances we offer for such purposes include:

Headgears – As the most common appliance used, headgear works by applying pressure to the upper teeth and jawbones to guide, form, and correct upper jaw growth. It also aligns upper teeth and is worn between eight and 12 hours. We also offer removable headgear, with devices affixed to the molars to hold the lower jaw forward.

Bionators – A bionator holds the jaw forward and guides the teeth to perfect alignment. It’s removable and enables the upper and lower jaws to grow proportionally.

Palate expanders – These devices push the cartilage in the upper jaw to widen the maxilla, allowing the upper jaw to hold the teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to get a referral from a dentist first before seeing an orthodontist?

No, but your dentist will be able to determine how healthy your gums, teeth, and jawbones are for orthodontic treatment. If you have a child, you should have your child see an orthodontist by age 7.

How long do dentofacial orthopedic treatments take?

For children, it lasts between six to 12 months. For adults, it may last longer, depending on the severity of the jaw positions and growth directions.

How much does treatment cost?

At Burns Orthodontics, we focus on giving our patients comprehensive treatment plans for dentofacial orthopedic appliances. Call us today at any of our multiple locations to learn about our services.