Dr. Barillas and Dr. Sanchez are both highly skilled in the field of dentofacial orthopedics, and we often use it - in conjunction with orthodontics - to shape the smiles of our young patients.
What is dentofacial orthopedics?
While orthodontics focuses specifically on the alignment of your teeth, dentofacial orthopedics focuses on facial development and growth. It helps normalize the bone structure of a patient’s face and jaw.
Who can benefit from dentofacial orthopedics?
Since dentofacial orthopedics specializes in the guidance of facial growth development, kids are the best candidates. We recommend that children come for their first visit with us around the age of 7 or 8, but jaw growth doesn’t stop until around age 16 in girls and age 18 in boys.
Surgery for adults
Once your jaws have stopped growing, we can no longer use dentofacial orthopedic appliances to alter their shape. If you are an adult and need to adjust your jaw bones in order to establish better bite alignment, you will most likely need dental surgery.
Types of dentofacial orthopedic treatment
There are many treatments to aid your child’s jaw growth and ensure proper jaw alignment. Some of the more common appliances use in dentofacial orthopedics are:
- Palate expanders - Used to create more space in the upper jaw.
- Lower jaw expanders - Used to create more room between the lower teeth.
- Activators - Used to gradually move the upper or lower jaws forward.
- Headgear - Used for bite issues that can't be corrected from inside the mouth.
We will often use these appliances before, or in conjunction with, orthodontic treatments such as braces or aligners.
Are you or your child suffering from asymmetric jaws?
Book a consultation at one of our locations in New York City for a free consultation with our specialists.