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12 Sep, 2019

Everything You Should Know About Functional Orthodontics

Every time the term orthodontics comes up, people begin to think of the cosmetic benefits that come with the treatment. While this specialty will realize a cosmetic improvement in the appearance of your smile, it is not the primary reason for orthodontics.

There is another approach to orthodontic treatment that is often not familiar nor to mention popular. This is called functional orthodontics. Read on to learn more about this area of dentistry.

What Is Functional Orthodontics?

It is the process of straightening malpositioned teeth, with the primary aim of correcting both the teeth and the facial structures of patients.

One main distinguishing factor between traditional orthodontics and functional orthodontics is the concern for the original cause of the problem. Your attending orthodontist will first examine and analyze the root cause of your problem before beginning any treatment.

A great example of functional orthodontics is when treating a crowded mouth. Traditional orthodontics would rush to remove a tooth or two, creating room for the rest to be properly positioned. On the contrary, functional orthodontics will focus on treatment to expand your jawbone which will address the root of the problem – have insufficient room for all the teeth.

Who Qualifies for Functional Orthodontics?

For the longest time, traditional orthodontics has been popularized as a treatment option that is mostly designed for children, even though adults can benefit. Things are different from functional orthodontics as it is meant for everyone. Functional orthodontics for adults is not novel or strange.

What Makes Functional Orthodontics Stand Out?

General Dentistry in Huntington Beach, CA will point you to an orthodontist that deals with functional teeth alignment if that is what you want. Some of the things that make this area of orthodontics special include:

  • No tooth extractions are necessary – removing teeth is not the end goal for functional orthodontic. This specialty is founded on the goal that the primary root of teeth misalignment has nothing to do with the teeth.
  • Jaw expansion is necessary – this treatment is about stimulating the growth of the jaw. If you are looking for jaw pain treatment that will also help the alignment of your teeth, functional orthodontics is the direction to go. An oral device is designed to help expand the jawbone structure creating more room in your mouth for all the teeth to sit properly.
  • Teeth hardly shift back – the concerns over wearing a retainer to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original positions are reduced with functional orthodontics. Proper jaw position is the underlying factor that determines how well teeth will be supported in the mouth. Since there is sufficient room in the jawbone, teeth tend to naturally occupy the available space.
  • Can treat other oral-related problems – the key to a problem-free beautiful smile lies in functional orthodontics. The increment of the jaw will improve many things, not just your smile. For one sleep apnea treatment can be achieved through functional orthodontics. More room in your jaw will improve breathability when you sleep, which treats sleep apnea. Aside from that, jaw repositioning is the only way to rectify an improper bite in the long haul.

Where to Find a Functional Orthodontist

There are more traditional orthodontists than functional ones. In most cases, patients are only in pursuit of a beautiful smile, without the intricate details of perfecting the jawline, correcting bites, or treating sleep apnea.

Therefore, if you are interested in a functional orthodontic treatment, be sure to inquire with your attending orthodontist. Ask also about the types of oral appliances they used for treatment as this you can point you toward their direction of work.

Benefits of Functional Orthodontics

If you are still unsure of which direction to go when it comes to teeth straightening treatment, consider the following impeccable benefits of functional orthodontics:

  • Cosmetic results – even though the approach is very different from traditional orthodontists, you will still achieve a perfect smile with functional orthodontics.
  • Improved chewing and eating – an improper bite will stand in the way of you enjoying all the foods you want.
  • Alleviating jaw pain – when the pressure is released from some of the stain areas of your oral cavity, your jaw will no longer be in pain.
  • Long-term results – you might skip the step of wearing retainers for the rest of your life, as the results of functional orthodontics are more permanent than traditional realignment.