May 25, 2019
Orthodontic treatment is often essential for helping individuals to achieve the healthy, attractive smiles they deserve. Treatments like traditional braces and Invisalign apply gentle pressure to the teeth, thus moving them into their proper positions. However, such treatments aren’t always enough to provide the best possible results. Oftentimes, using functional orthodontics alongside traditional treatments is the best way to help patients enjoy well-aligned teeth and optimal bite function.
What Is Functional Orthodontics?
Traditional orthodontic treatments move the teeth and address bite problems. However, they always work within the existing bone structure. Functional orthodontics, on the other hand, actually reshapes the bones. It does so via special, custom-made appliances that an orthodontist or specially trained holistic dentist fits within the mouth. The appliances apply consistent, gentle pressure to the jaw bones to help them achieve a more functional structure.
Here are some examples of how functional orthodontics may be used:
- Address a retruded chin. A retruded chin occurs when the lower mandible sits too far back. Orthodontics help to move the chin forward.
- Widen the dental arches. Widening the dental arches allows more room for the teeth to shift into their proper positions.
Benefits of Functional Orthodontics
Some of the most outstanding benefits of functional orthodontics include:
- Eliminate or reduce the need for extractions. If traditional orthodontics are being used by themselves, a dentist may need to extract teeth to make room for the braces to reposition the teeth. However, since functional orthodontics create more space in the jaw, it can eliminate the need for extractions.
- Gain a more attractive profile. Functional orthodontics can subtly reshape your face, creating a more attractive, balanced profile.
- Eliminate complications from bite misalignment. Structural problems with the jaws often lead to a misaligned bite. A misaligned bite, in turn, may lead to TMJ disorder and its associated problems, such as headaches, jaw pain, and even hearing loss. Functional orthodontics can help you to achieve a comfortable, well-aligned bite.
- Avoid surgery. In many cases, functional orthodontics is a viable alternative to surgery.
- Correct breathing issues. Functional orthodontics on the upper jaw can expand the palate, which will also expand the nasal passages. Thus, patients are able to breathe more easily through their nose and avoid the issues that arise as a result of habitual mouth breathing.
Getting Started with Functional Orthodontics
During a functional orthodontics consultation, your holistic dentist will examine both your dental misalignment and the positioning of your jaws. From there, they will design a custom treatment plan. They’ll also discuss your treatment with you in detail so you know what to expect every step of the way throughout your orthodontics process.
Are you ready to achieve a healthier, more attractive smile? Find a local practitioner who can help you experience the benefits of functional orthodontics.
About the Author
Dr. William Langston is a holistic dentist in Sunnyvale who offers both Invisalign and functional orthodontics. He cares deeply about the overall well-being of his patients and takes pride in designing treatment plans that are conservative and effective. To learn more about Dr. Langston and his services, contact our office at 972-270-6533.
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