What is Dentofacial Orthopedics, and Why Do I Need It?

Dentofacial-orthopedics is an orthodontic concept my profession is desperately trying to embrace, with some limited success. In essence the term relates to creating an effective balance between the jaws, teeth, and the soft tissue drape. It is not just a matter of creating nice little models of the teeth that appear to interdigitate properly. The term requires that we establish the best possible relationship between the upper and lower jaw. We must determine if there is sufficient space available for the tongue. From here we evaluate how the jaw inter-relationship reflects upon the functioning airway. Once all of this has been established it is imperative we provide the best possible aesthetic relationship of the teeth to the soft tissue. What is the appearance of the smile, what is the lip support being provided, and how do the teeth function relative to one another for a comfortable/ functional bite.

 

Dr. Roland Nentwich D.D.S., M.S.

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