- Pain in the face or jaw.
- Neck and shoulder pain.
- Sensitive teeth.
- Locking or clicking jaw.
- Worn or cracked teeth.
- Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus).
Children are usually the best candidates for dentofacial orthopedics because their jaws are still growing. Dr. AlJanabi will screen your child around 8 or 9 years of age to determine if dentofacial orthopedics should be used to take advantage of their jaw growth in the coming years. Between the ages of 9 and 11, children undergo significant growth, so this period is an ideal time to begin highly effective dentofacial orthopedics therapy. Dr. AlJanabi recommends dentofacial orthopedics to remedy bite problems like:
- Overbites – when the lower jaw and teeth are too far behind the upper teeth when the child bites together.
- Crossbites – when the upper back teeth are to narrow compared to the lower teeth when the child bites together.
- Underbites – when the upper front teeth are behind lower front teeth when the child bites together.
What Does Dentofacial Orthopedics Therapy Entail?
If Dr. AlJanabi determines your child needs dentofacial orthopedics, the therapy will probably involve two phases of treatment. Phase I treatment begins while your child still has a mixture of primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth. The goal of Phase I dentofacial orthopedics is to ensure the upper and lower jaws are properly aligned. During Phase II of dentofacial orthopedics therapy, your child will wear braces to straighten his or her teeth.
Dentofacial orthopedics therapy involves the use of orthodontic appliances to correct the position of a child’s jaws and minimize imbalances in the face and jaw alignment. Both fixed and removable appliances are used in dentofacial orthopedics therapy. Some types of appliances include:
Palatal expanders “expand” or widen your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Dr. AlJanabi will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for 12 months to keep the jaw in place and prevent regression.
The Forsus appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw to move forward and the upper molars to move backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.
Twin Block and MARA Appliances
These appliances are designed correct overbites by encouraging the growth of the lower jaw. The appliances hold the lower jaw in a forward position while the muscles and bone grow to support the forward position.
Dentofacial Orthopedics for Adults
In some cases, dentofacial orthopedics can be used to effectively treat jaw misalignments in adult patients. However, surgery is usually required since adults’ jaws are no longer growing and adjusting the bite is more challengingly. Traditional orthodontic treatment is combined with jaw surgery to establish proper bite alignment and move the teeth into the proper position in adult patients. Even though the therapy is more involved, Dr. AlJanabi can use dentofacial orthopedics to help adult patients at Brooklyn Orthodontics achieve the beautiful smile they’ve dreamed about!
Special Training for Dentofacial Orthpedics
Dentofacial orthopedics is one of the nine specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. As such, Dr. AlJanabi received specialized education that allows him to provide dentofacial orthopedics therapy to Brooklyn Orthodontics patients. After dental school at SUNY Stonybrook, Dr. AlJanabi completed a three-year residency program to learn this specialized skill.
Trained in both orthodontics and dentofacial orthodontics, Dr. AlJanabi can diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw as well as the facial structure. Working side-by-side with you, he will devise a treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatments to ensure you have not only a dazzling smile, but a proper facial structure that won’t lead to painful problems in the future.
To find out if dentofacial orthopedics is right for you or your child, please contact our friendly office staff and schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. AlJanabi at Brooklyn Orthodontics.