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Introduction to Functional Orthodontics

Introduction to Functional Orthodontics

This is a very interesting branch of orthodontics that most people have not heard about. Functional orthodontics consists of not only straightening a persons teeth, but repositioning the upper and lower jaws to create a better profile.

If there is a weak chin or misalignment of either jaw the bite will be thrown off. This could lead to producing migraines, neck and shoulder pain, dizziness, sleep apnea, hearing problems, TMJ, upper airway obstruction and poor facial profiles.

Functional orthodontics approaches straightening teeth in a different way. Instead of pulling crowded teeth the jaw is expanded to make room for them. When appliances are worn to widen the jaw, both upper and lower, it makes for a more balanced profile. It also helps to expand the sinus and to correct sleep apnea or breathing problems.

With the non-extraction technique which uses expansion appliances to widen the dental arch in patients. You can achieve great results. However, these appliances are non removable and must be kept in place to be effective for a specified time. Some patients have issues with this. But the results are well worth the effort involved.

Traditional Orthodontics 

Traditional orthodontics uses the extraction technique to provide more room in the mouth to straighten teeth.. Extractions can also lead to a flattened facial profile that cannot be changed later.

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Dental braces in general are made to help a patient whether an adult or child to have straighter teeth. Dentists have found that if the appliance is removable children will do just that and the results will be compromised.

functional Orthodontic Treatment 

Over time there has been new information about ways to treat dental abnormalities. There are obviously different approaches and you will need to assess what is right for you or your child. Know your options before you take that first step.

The growth of a child’s face may require you to decide due to the over crowding of their teeth. No one wants their child to face surgery. This functional orthodontics option is a way to handle all of the issues of over crowding without blood.

Functional Appliances

These are removable appliances which use the muscles of the face and jaws to improve the way that the teeth bite together. They are usually advised in those patients who have very prominent teeth (known as an increased overjet and with good patient co-operation they can produce dramatic improvements in the way that the teeth bite together. Functional appliances tend to work most effectively in growing patients so are not used in adult patients.

Although the braces are removable, they usually need to be worn throughout the day and in bed each night in order to work effectively. They are usually only removed when you brush your teeth and when taking part in contact sports or swimming. The treatment time with functional appliances can vary according to how prominent the front teeth are at the beginning of treatment but typically most treatment is completed in 9 to 12 months. It is possible to wear functional appliances even if there are still deciduous (baby) teeth present. Most functional appliance treatment patients then progress onto fixed appliance orthodontic treatment to fully correct their orthodontic problem.

Types of Orthodontic Brackets (Metal, Ceramic, Dental, Damon)


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