What is full face orthodontics, why is it important, and who can it benefit? We’ll answer these questions and more in this guide to full-face orthodontics.
What is Full-Face Orthodontics?
Full-face orthodontics is a method of straightening teeth while also guiding growth of the jaw. In adults this involves gently stimulating a remodeling process that forms new bone and thus allows room for creating straight teeth. Guiding jaw growth is important because the jaw dictates the amount of space available for teeth to occupy. This holistic way of looking at orthodontics allows for both straight teeth and a more attractive and healthy jaw.
How Can This Benefit Patients?
Treatment using full-face orthodontics tactics can benefit patients it’s fitting for in several ways including:
- Reduced risk of TMJ disorder
- Improvement of sleep apnea
- Correction of underdeveloped jaws
- Expansion of jaw so that all teeth fit comfortably
- Better profile and appearance due to fully developed jaw
- Improved posture (due to connection to cervical spine)
Reduced Risk of TMJ Disorder
Patients with underdeveloped jaws often experience malocclusion as a result of their smaller jaw size. With nowhere to go, teeth become crowded. This increased crowding can increase pressure and tension between teeth and back into the temporomandibular joint. Strain on the jaw joint causes TMJ disorder symptoms. Through full-face orthodontic treatment, and its function to guide the growth of the jaw joint, patients face a lower risk of TMJ disorder.
Improvement of Sleep Apnea
One of the prominent causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea comes from the tongue falling back into the airway during sleep, creating an obstruction and impairing air’s ability to reliably travel into the lungs when someone lies down. Because full-face orthodontics helps to fully develop the jaw, there is more space created for teeth to grow in straight and more room for the tongue to rest easily. This additional space for the tongue keeps it from falling into the airway.
Better Profile and Appearance
Full-face orthodontics also improves fitting patients’ profiles and appearances. Not only does guiding the growth of the jaw increase function and diminish disorders such as TMD and sleep apnea but it also can serve a cosmetic function. A more developed jaw can be seen as being more aesthetically pleasing due to its development of a person’s profile.
Why Is it Important?
Accounting for the entire face when developing treatment plans for patients ensures that revitalized smiles and jaws work together in tandem. Full-face orthodontics prevent issues from coming back and go above and beyond dental care alone. By considering and planning for how treatments can affect the jawline, cheekbones, appearance, symmetry, and function, we can create better outcomes for patients.
Scheduling a Consultation
If you or your child has crooked, crowded, gapped, or otherwise misaligned teeth, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Buck today by calling 206-316-8286.