Traditional Orthodontics vs. Face Focused Orthotropics®
The traditional approach to orthodontics assumes that malocclusions are genetically determined and has a goal of making the teeth straight. In traditional treatment, permanent teeth are frequently removed and teeth are retracted in the face in the process. The Face Focused® approach recognizes that most malocclusions are functional in nature – largely rooted in a change of oral posture. In other words, the jaw position, tongue position, and lip positions are altered at rest. The resulting imbalance of muscles forces changes to tooth and jaw positions. Excellent research supports this philosophy. One of the major goals of Face Focused® treatment is to establish proper oral posture with the jaw, tongue, and lips properly postured at rest. Facial esthetics is the goal of Face Focused® treatment. Teeth are rarely removed and an effort is usually made to develop the teeth and jaws forward.
Comprehensive Early Treatment:
The Window of Opportunity for Facial Balance
The ideal time for the first orthodontic exam is prior to the eruption of the first permanent tooth – by age 5, in most instances. Since we are focused on facial esthetics and seek to correct problems of oral posture that produce malocclusions and prevent the best facial esthetics, the earlier we can examine and identify problems, the better the results will be. If ideal facial esthetics is the goal, the most ideal time to treat is the 6-10 year age group. By examining the patient at this age, we can plan treatment to occur at the best time for any given patient. Eruption of permanent teeth is not needed for us to recognize problems that will need treatment.
Early treatment can be much more than just correcting cross bites. Comprehensive Early Treatment focuses on eliminating crowding, correcting the bite relationship, and establishing proper oral posture at rest. Removal of permanent teeth is never done and headgears are never used since rarely do upper teeth stick out relative to the nose, cheeks, and forehead. Comprehensive Early Treatment can achieve facial esthetic results which, if left untreated, would require surgery at a later date.
Please visit www.orthotropics-na.org for more information.
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