Most people have heard of orthodontics and most people have probably seen them, too. Metal brackets and wires or other devices help to straighten teeth for a more attractive and healthy smile. But what if there are considerations beyond just the appearance of your smile? Problems such as TMJ dysfunction, malocclusion and facial imbalance may need treatment beyond ordinary orthodontics. In this case, functional orthodontics from Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Gasper can help create a pleasing facial shape and profile, as well as a balanced bite.
What is Functional Orthodontics?
In addition to straightening teeth, functional orthodontics addresses the facial profile, too, in order to achieve results that are attractive and functional. The same mechanics are used as in standard orthodontics, but the focus in on creating balance and harmony in the skeletal and neuromuscular systems.
Functional Orthodontics for Children
Among Dr. Gasper’s youngest patients, functional orthodontics can be used to create smiles that provide plenty of room for permanent teeth to erupt. With functional orthodontics, there is usually not the need to extract teeth, as can be the case with traditional orthodontics. Instead, jaw growth is managed and teeth are guided into proper placement.
In addition, with functional orthodontics Dr. Gasper can treat other problems that can affect speech and other developmental milestones later in life. These problems may include restricted airway, soft tissue interference, tongue thrusting and thumb sucking and other circumstances that could lead to TMJ dysfunction later in life.
Functional Orthodontics for Adults
For his adult patients with TMJ dysfunction, Dr. Gasper uses functional orthodontics to treat this often painful and debilitating condition that is frequently marked by jaw pain; head, neck and shoulder pain; weakened facial muscles; and the feeling that your jaw is locked or stuck in position. Part of your TMJ therapy may include wearing functional orthodontics that will reposition the jaw. In this way, Dr. Gasper is able to treat the bite issues that may be causing TMJ dysfunction.
And because functional orthodontics can treat facial shape and profile, this system can be used to correct a lower jaw that is positioned too far back—also known as a retruded chin. Functional orthodontics will shift the lower jaw forward in order to create a more balanced bite and natural looking profile.
Call Our Office Today
If you would like to learn more about functional orthodontics, or to schedule a consultation with Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Gasper, contact our dental practice today.