Dentofacial Orthopedics

Expansion Plates and Growth Modification

Dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood. Growth modification, with the use of orthodontic appliances, encourage or discourage the growth of the jaws in order to improve their relationship and thus improve the bite as well as the child’s facial appearance. Timing is important in growth modification as the effects are larger when the child is actively growing. In Orange Orthodontics, we take the growth of a child seriously. We want to encourage and maximize the child’s growth potential to allow for normal teeth eruption and jaw growth.

Expansion of dental arches
A fixed rapid palatal expander (RPE) or removable Schwarz appliance may be used to help expand narrow arches to accommodate the eruption of adult teeth while the child is growing.

  • Indications for expansion
  • Dental crowding
  • Narrow maxilla / mandibular arch
  • Obstruction of nasal airway

Class II malocclusions- Twin blocks
Twin Block appliances achieve rapid functional correction of malocclusion by the transmission of favourable occlusal forces to occlusal inclined planes that cover the posterior teeth. The forces of occlusion are used as the functional mechanism to keep the lower jaw postured and allow for growth.

Class III malocclusions- Protraction Facemask therapy
Protraction Facemask therapy is indicated for growing patients with a maxillary antero-posterior deficiency. A reverse overbite is usually seen in such patients and the facemask will assist in encouraging maxillary growth and inhibiting mandibular growth. Our orthodontist will assess the patient for suitability and prescribe the needed treatment. It will be useful to prepare a family history of any members in the immediate and extended family prior to the consultation as the severity of malocclusion has a familial link.

Habit control
There are various orthodontic appliances to discourage habits that may affect the development of the jaw bones or impede normal eruption of the permanent teeth. Some of the habits include:

  • Thumb/digit sucking
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Poor lip seal
  • Interdental lisping