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For TMJ/TMD Treatment please call our Little Rock office at (501) 225-1577.
Central Dental is proud to offer Orthotropics® to promote facial growth guidance in younger patients. This treatment is used to correct poor postural habits such as teeth and lips that are apart and a tongue that doesn’t rest on the roof of the mouth. The North American Association of Facial Orthotropics states, “With normal oral posture, the face and teeth will grow optimally. Without this normal posture, the face will not grow properly, and any orthodontics will be less stable.”
Dr. Dalton, a certified orthotropist, uses facial growth guidance as a non-invasive, conservative treatment for children to achieve results that are comparable to successful orthognathic surgery in adolescents and adults. The Biobloc System® is used to improve oral posture, upper and lower jaw position, attractiveness and airway with particular effort to avoid unnecessary extractions or removal of teeth and jaw surgery that would otherwise be needed later in life.
Traditional orthodontics focuses on straightening the teeth and often hinges on a philosophy of extracting several healthy teeth to alleviate crowding and retracting (pulling) the teeth and jaw towards the ears. This often leads to the appearance of a sunken in or dished out face. It also reduces room for the tongue causing airway restriction and stress on the jaw joints often resulting in TMD symptoms. In contrast, Orthotropics® focuses on a full body approach that circumvents the need to alleviate crowding with extractions by using expansion appliances. These appliances result in a fuller smile, more pleasing profile, open airway and anatomically correct jaw position.
Orthotropics is best suited for children under the ages of 8 to 10 and treats the face rather than just the teeth. Studies show that 90% of the face is developed by age 2, so it is important to address orthodontic and craniofacial development concerns earlier than one might expect. The doctors at Central Dental recommend that children have their first craniofacial development evaluation between the 3 and 4 years old. There are typically two phases to the treatment before the patient is ready to progress to orthodontics, or braces, if they are still necessary. Often times the teeth will align themselves naturally after orthotropics eliminating the need for orthodontics.
The first phase in the Biobloc System® involves moving the upper front teeth to their ideal position with a removable appliance that widens the upper palate and creates more room for the tongue to properly position itself against the roof of the mouth. This appliance must be worn 24 hours a day for approximately 4 to 6 months. It is expected that the upper teeth will be flared at the completion of this portion of the treatment in preparation for the next phase. This is often referred to as the “ugly duckling phase”.
The second phase of treatment involves the use of the Biobloc® appliance. It is used to posture the jaw in a forward, ideal position on the face. This appliance is also worn 24 hours a day with certain exceptions. Appliance adjustments are made periodically as treatment progresses. The average treatment length is approximately 6 to 8 months depending upon complexity and compliance. Once proper oral posture has been achieved the child will be permitted to wean off of the appliance as directed. At treatment completion the tongue will naturally rest on the roof of the mouth, the upper and lower teeth are in contact or slightly apart and the lips rest in a comfortable, closed position. With the tongue properly positioned on the roof of the mouth it serves as a counterbalance to the strong musculature of the cheeks allowing the teeth to erupt relatively straight promoting a more balanced and permanent outcome in the event that orthodontic treatment is necessary.
If orthodontics is recommended after the completion of Orthotropics® the treatment length will likely be significantly less than that of traditional orthodontics as the teeth will already be in a relatively ideal position. Treatment may only require minor rotation of teeth and simple closure of gaps between teeth.
If you’re looking for an Orthotropist in Little Rock, Conway or Central Arkansas, Central Dental can provide you with treatment options that will promote an attractive and healthy future for your child. Currently, Dr. Dalton is the only dentist in Arkansas certified in Orthotropics®; he uses his advanced education and skill to treat many Arkansans as well as residents from other states. Dr. Dalton and his knowledgeable team of support staff at Central Dental will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that will give your little one the beautiful, or handsome, results you desire.
Contact Central Dental
Please give us a call today at (501) 225-1577 to schedule your child’s initial consultation for Orthotropics® at Central Dental!