Orthodontic Care: It Can Change More Than Teeth

  • March 15, 2016

When you think orthodontics you’re probably thinking about straightening teeth. Whether it’s traditional braces, retainers, Invisalign, or other options orthodontic care is all about the teeth, right? Not quite! At Donaldson 3D Orthodontics we’re able to treat a lot more than just crooked smiles.

Using a technique called dentofacial orthopedics we can work on moving not only the teeth, but also the bone of your jaw. Getting a perfect smile isn’t just about looking good – it’s about proper function, and sometimes bone changes are necessary to make that happen!

Dentofacial Orthopedics: What Is It?

It’s a pretty complicated phrase, so we understand if it comes off a bit confusing. Essentially, dentofacial orthopedics is a way to move not only the teeth but the bone as well, often as part of a multi-stage treatment that starts when the patient is very young. While we’re still able to treat adult patients using these methods it’s preferable to start as early as possible.

The American Academy Of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child makes their first visit to the dentist by their first birthday. This allows your dentist to keep an eye on your child’s tooth and bone development so that they can spot problems the second they arise.

The AAPD also recommends that you have your child see the orthodontist by about age seven, especially if there are potential orthodontic treatment needs. This is about the time we start dentofacial orthopedics for many patients – the earlier the better!

Why Choose Dentofacial Orthopedics?

While it is one of the most complex undertakings in orthodontics, dentofacial orthopedics is also the treatment that can create the most drastic and life-changing results. Not every patient will need it, especially if they just have simple bite issues, buy for young patients who are facing abnormal bone growth, severe overcrowding, or other issues it can be the perfect treatment.

You might have a good idea why your child could benefit from dentofacial orthopedics. If you or your spouse suffers from severe overcrowding, under or overbite, a small jaw or mouth, TMJ pain, or other bite issues then it might be the perfect treatment for your child.

A child’s first orthodontic appointment involves a lot of examination. Our 3D scanning technology can reveal a variety of growth problems and other trouble that may cause their adult teeth to erupt incorrectly, which is why starting dentofacial orthopedics early is such a great idea.

The Two Phases Of Dentofacial Orthopedics

The ideal candidate for dentofacial orthopedic treatment has yet to get a single permanent tooth. We’ll start by working to control their bone growth and baby tooth loss using a series of treatments and devices that maintain space, control the shape of the jaw, and guide it into place.

Phase one begins with this initial growth control, and may include appliances such as:

  • temporary anchorage devices
  • expanders
  • space maintainers
  • forsus
  • lingual arches
  • lip bumpers
  • quad helix

These are just some of the techniques we use. For a detailed explanation of what these devices do please see our orthodontic glossary.

Phase two starts with the eruption of the permanent teeth. With the growth of the jaw bone controlled, we can now start to make sure the teeth come in straight and beautifully. We’ll use braces and other traditional orthodontic treatments to ensure that your child grows into a healthy, beautiful smile that they’ll be able to benefit from for life!

A complete dentofacial orthopedic treatment can take several years, but in the end the results are worth it. Your child’s braces treatment will be simpler and require less hardware, and they’ll end up with a great smile earlier in life, saving them years of embarrassment and “metal mouth” as they age.

It’s Never Too Early!

If your child is showing early signs of crooked, crowded, or abnormal dental development there’s no better time than now to start thinking about dentofacial orthopedic treatment. By starting at the age of seven you can have your child in and out of braces earlier!

And don’t forget – you can benefit from dentofacial orthopedics too! If you’ve been told your teeth are too complicated for regular orthodontic work we very well may have the perfect treatment for you. The only way to find out for sure is to call our New Iberia or Broussard offices today!


You can reach us at 337-465-4139 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Orthodontics does more than straighten your teeth! From better sleep, relieving jaw pain and better overall health – orthodontics can help!




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