Dentofacial Orthopedics in Simpsonville, SC

River Falls Orthodontics prides itself on providing five-star, specialized service to each patient we see. One way Dr. Norman accomplishes this level of care is through her training in dentofacial orthopedics. 

When most people hear “orthopedics,” they think about joints, bones, and knee surgery, not necessarily teeth, but dentofacial orthopedics is one of the dentistry specialties recognized by the American Association of Orthodontics. Dr. Norman attended dental school an extra three years to become specialized in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. She is expertly trained in not just the movement and alignments of teeth, but also the development and growth of the overall facial structure.

What is Dentofacial Orthopedics?

Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics combined is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Association of Orthodontics. Orthodontists that specialize in dentofacial orthopedics are equipped with the skills to help guide facial growth and development early in life or before orthodontic treatment. Dentofacial orthopedic treatment can resolve jaw-related issues while the facial structure is still forming.

During a consultation, an orthodontist will evaluate the growth issues at hand and create an action plan for dentofacial orthopedic treatment. Age plays a big part in determining how to go about treatment, as facial bones are typically set after ages 14 to 16 in girls and 17 to 21 in boys.

Types of Dentofacial Orthopedic Treatments

Many young patients who have two phases of orthodontic treatment experience dentofacial orthopedic therapy during phase one. Certain orthodontic appliances aid in the success of dentofacial orthopedic treatment by guiding the growth of the jaw and structure of the facial bones as they develop.

  • Orthodontic Expanders: Orthodontic expanders, also known as palatal expanders, guide and open up the upper palate as it develops, creating more room for teeth to come in properly.
  • Orthodontic Headgear: Some patients might be concerned about the aesthetics of headgear, but it is a highly effective form of dentofacial orthopedic treatment. The gentle force of the headgear externally aids facial growth and aligns the jawbones. 
  • Bite Blocks: Bite blocks are a custom orthodontic appliance that prevents the teeth from meeting during treatment. This encourages your bite to realign and prevents further damage to your teeth from a misaligned jaw. 
  • Activators: An activator is a removable appliance that helps resolve jaw misalignment and abnormalities. This appliance activates the jaw muscles to encourage your facial bones to settle into their optimal structure.

Call Today for a Complimentary Consultation

If you have questions about dentofacial orthopedics or want to learn more about it, contact our Simpsonville office today! Schedule a complimentary consultation with us and we’ll help you achieve healthy, straight smiles for life.

Request an Appointment

How Can We Help?