What most people want out of a course of orthodontic treatment is straight teeth. Orthodontics often achieves teeth straightening by altering bone structures with the use of functional appliances. These appliances work by expanding the dental jaws where the teeth are held thus creating space for crowded teeth to straighten out.
Growth modification in orthodontics makes use of the natural adolescent growth spurt and uses it to its advantage in using and enhancing the effects of growth on the jaws and facial bones to achieve more ideal facial profiles without surgery. This is carried out around the time of puberty where there is the most growth in the jaw bones.
Our growth modification orthodontic treatment involves a two phase treatment.
Aligns the upper and lower arches by the use of functional appliance therapy
Aligning the individual teeth via the use of fixed braces usually without routine extractions of permanent teeth.
The long term results of this combined mode of treatment tend to be more aesthetically pleasing, stable, and have shorter treatment times. Crowded teeth with seemingly little space should certainly be properly evaluated to prevent routine permanent tooth extractions.
The benefits of two phase treatment in suitable candidates are numerous and some are listed below:
- Potentially more beneficial for periodontal tissues (less apical root resorption, bone loss and recession) due to decreased susceptibility of children to periodontal problems and to root resorption during phase 1, and also due to decreased treatment time in phase 2
- Eliminates functional problems earlier (habits)
- Decreases need for extractions
- Potential for better aesthetics, earlier (fuller smile, improved lip incompetence)
- Ability to effect greater reduction of skeletal deformity (if treatment is not completely satisfactory there is an additional chance in the second phase)
- Lower risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Reduces likelihood of permanent teeth becoming impacted
- Potentially better compliance in children than in adolescents
This a very important approach that will help achieve goals of an improved profile and facial appearance, as well as the establishment of a proper joint position that ensures optimum temporomandibular joint (TMJ) health, appearance and comfort. The combination of the two phases of treatment ensures beautiful faces, full lips, straight teeth and outstanding profiles, principal components that all leading clinicians are teaching.