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Orthopaedic Dental Treatments

Early Treatment :


Early treatment involves interceptive orthodontic or othopaedic correction as soon as the problem is first diagnosed. This may involve habit correction appliances to prevent the development of bite/facial related problems; orthopaedic functional appliances to improve bite/facial form; or the use of specialist fields such as ENT (ear, nose and throat specialists) speech pathology, and cranial chiropractic specialist.

Rather than treating the problem, early treatment allows us to assist you in co-diagnosis and preventing the problems from either developing or worsening. Early treatment is based on arriving at the cause of the problem and addressing this, rather than simply treating the problem after it has developed.

Early treatment is one of our greatest forms of preventive treatment for children.

Orthopaedics refers to the branch of dentistry concerned with conditions involving the realignment and development of the jaws and musculo/skeletal system. Osteopathy, on the other hand, is an approach to healthcare that works with the functional balance of the musculo/skeletal system.

Teeth grow and erupt into the space available for them. They occupy a position that is in the neutral zone between the tongue, lips and cheeks. The final position is the one of least resistance between the forces of the soft tissues on either side of the arch. The teeth are innocent in their positioning and the final arrangement is a result of the balance of forces in the mouth.

If the teeth are overcrowded or the biting position is out of alignment, the fault is not with the teeth but with the underlying tissues. It is, therefore, important to align the jaws correctly and ensure that their development is optimum, in order to give the permanent teeth the best chance to erupt into their correct positions. For this reason, early treatment and early recognition of misalignment are necessary. Frequently, when seeing young children, the likely positions of the permanent teeth and the permanent bite relationship can be anticipated. In severe cases, treatment should be initiated early and this can involve getting the jaw relationship correct before the permanent teeth erupt.

Research carried out on more than 7,000 children has shown that more than 70% of children requiring orthodontic treatment have an underlying misalignment of their jaws, and a derangement in the jaw joint relationship.

It is possible to go through life without any symptoms from a misaligned jaw, but unfortunately, some adults suffer chronic pain as a result and can end up having extensive orthopaedic treatment and/or jaw joint surgery. In order to avoid more complicated treatment in later life, it is, therefore, advisable to diagnose and treat jaw misalignment early.

When the jaws are misaligned, this can also have an effect on the head/neck posture and consequently, the posture of the rest of the body. When the jaw position is corrected, the body posture also can change. Conversely, when the body is misaligned problems can be created in the jaw relationship. It is for this reason that the disciplines of osteopathy and dentistry can interrelate and cooperate to the benefit of the patient.


Orthopaedic treatment is necessary in many cases when the child’s teeth, lips or jaws are not developing normally for their age.

Orthopaedic treatment can:

  • Minimise severe malocclusions (bad bites)

  • Improve facial appearance and self esteem

  • Minimise the effects of abnormal growth patterns and guide growth more favourably

  • Reduce protrusion (buck teeth) to decrease chance of injury

  • Reduce the need for or minimise the number of permanent teeth extracted

  • Improve the alignment of the upper to the lower jaw

  • Decrease or eliminate adverse habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting during swallowing as the dental arches are developing, making more room for the tongue

  • Make the orthodontic (braces) treatment easier and shorter

  • Improve nasal breathing and improve health

  • Prevent headache and ear ache

Orthopaedic treatment may involve:

  • Growth Guidance appliances to develop the jaw bones while widening the smile

  • Jaw positioning appliances which can help correct your profile and improve the bite

  • Myofunctional appliances (habit correction) which assist in prevention of potential causes of a bad bite

Most of these appliances are removable, making them easy to clean and allowing you to keep your teeth clean, though fixed alternatives may be required to improve compliance and enhance treatment. The needs of the individual and the type of correction needed will determine whether a fixed or removable alternative is recommended.

It is important to talk to Dental Excellence about your child’s orthopaedic needs to plan for a great smile for the future.

The exact type of treatment for your child depends on a thorough examination and diagnosis of the problem and quite often the problem is more complex than just ‘crooked teeth’. Treatment during this Orthopaedic phase may range from simple supervision and guidance to the use of fixed and removable appliances.

Orthopaedics is normally the first ‘ortho’ procedure undertaken to prepare the teeth for orthodontic work though if left until the completion of growth into adulthood, corrections such as orthognathic surgery to move the jaws rather than guide growth may be the only way to correct the problem.


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