Maxillofacial Orthopaedics

The correct starting point should be to address the underlying abnormal skeletal (postural) relationship first, before the dental malocclusion is addressed. A majority of cases can now be treated on a non-extraction basis following this principal, and the subsequent orthodontic therapy is then often limited to 12 months or less. Understanding maxillofacial orthopaedics has become the foundation for modern orthodontics. A large percentage of the population have some type of maxillary (upper jaw) deficiency, be it i) a narrow arch viewed frontally (transversely), or ii) a maxilla which is short relative to the anterior cranial base and visible in the sagittal (anterior-posterior) plane, or iii) in combination. When the maxilla is underdeveloped, there is a negative effect on the patient’s dentition and facial growth. A narrow arch, for example, not only creates anterior crowding but entraps the mandible, preventing normal forward and downward growth (“chinless wonders”).

Best assessment age for a child?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that EVERY child should get an Orthodontic Check-Up no later than age 7 because by then, your child’s teeth have developed enough so that subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth can be spotted for early correction.

It is quite common for orthodontic treatment to start at age 9-14. However if your child has a problem at say, age 7, a problem like a short lower jaw, a blocked out canine, an upper jaw situated too far backwards, etc. could be corrected very successfully. This gives your child the opportunity to benefit greatly by reducing later orthodontic treatment by 60% or more. Wouldn’t that be great for him and for you as a parent, saving you a lot on Future expensive dental treatment. Early treatment could be:

  • Guidance in the growth of the jaws. If not done early your child may lose the opportunity to do vital corrections and avoid future treatment time and costs.
  • Correction of early oral habits which could adversely influence the dentition later in life e.g. thumb sucking
  • Early treatment of lip incompetence which could lead to extensive orthodontic problems later.
  • Early treatment of nasal obstructions and improvement of nasal breathing.
  • Guiding teeth into correct position. Canines could erupt exactly where they should if guided onto their correct position starting treatment at the correct age.
  • Improving your child’s self esteem of when he/she needs it the most
Signs to look for in your child

Remember its not always easy to tell whether your child has a problem. Teeth may look straight in front but may be hiding a problem bite or jaw relationship. Pay attention to:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth • Difficulty in chewing or biting • Breathing through the mouth • Thumb-sucking.
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth (typically canines at age 9-10. Protruding teeth .
  • Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet, or meet in an abnormal way.
  • Jaws that are too far forward or back . Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth.
  • Unbalanced facial appearance.
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth
Contact Details

63 St. Mary Street, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 3JF
+44 1249 445111 or
+44 1249 655066

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