Orthodontics is About More than just Straight Teeth

New advances in orthodontic science mean that the whole facial appearance is treated and improved, not just the teeth. Ideal aesthetic jaw and facial development can be triggered and controlled by stimulation in the correct areas.

Jaw and facial ortho, overbites and underbites

New research has revealed that under-development upper jaw/midface is more common in our modern population compared to humans in the past. Modern processed diets and exposure to modern pollutants have increased the prevalence of childhood allergies/asthma. When allergies block the nasal airway during development/adolescence, the tongue is forced to stay in the floor of the mouth so breathing can occur. What should be happening is breathing through the nose and the tongue resting on the ceiling of the mouth, or the palate. The light but constant force of the tongue on the palate during healthy development causes proper expansion of the midface out and forward. This also helps widen the airway to proper size. But this does not occur in most people today, meaning that orthodontics is often necessary to correct these structures.

When the upper jaw / midface is underdeveloped, the lower jaw reacts to match, and becomes underdeveloped as well. To initiate positive developmental changes outward and forward, we use a comfortable appliance that stimulates an area on the palate where nerves cause the entire midface to remodel, even in adults. This same appliance stimulates actual forward growth in children and teens. The lower jaw then is allowed to follows the changes happening in the upper jaw.

After obtaining adequate forward and outward dimensions, we then move forward to straightening the teeth into all the newly developed space provided. The result is straight teeth and more correctly sized and positioned jaws, which makes the entire face more attractive. This approach also allows more room in the mouth for the tongue, which widens the airway.

Jaw Surgery for Overbites/Underbites May Not be Necessary

Jaw surgery may be an excellent treatment method in complex cases to achieve a very positive outcome. In more mild situations jaw surgery is offered as an option along with orthodontics and patients can choose if they want to have just orthodontics and not proceed to surgery. Some cases can be treated well non-surgically with remodeling strategies Dr. Buck uses. We are happy to provide a consultation to review options for non-surgical jaw development orthodontics.

Extraction of Teeth is Not Necessary for Successful Orthodontics

Often, traditional orthodontists will recommend extracting two to four bicuspids (premolars) to create space for orthodontic straightening purposes. The reason why traditional orthodontists recommend extractions in certain cases is because they see that there is currently not enough room in the dental “arch” to move the teeth into straight alignment without overlapping. At Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo, we use specialized techniques and appliances to create space for teeth alignment without extractions, by actually growing the arches instead of just working with what is there to begin with. Extraction of teeth and then moving the other teeth into their place does not solve the problems that can occur as a result of small dental “arches,” including airway issues and future TMJ joint problems. By utilizing orthodontics as a tool, we can accomplish a wider facial appearance, a broader smile, a fuller appearance of the entire smile line, better lip posture, better chin definition, and a more well-defined neck and jawline.

To learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services, contact our office and request a consultation.

Advanced Dentistry of Amarillo is proud to serve patients in Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle.