Functional Non Extraction Orthodontics
The traditional orthodontic approach to correcting crowded teeth in narrow jaws has been the removal of up to four healthy permanent teeth.
At Danny de Villiers Dentist in Weybridge, we eliminate the narrowness of the jaws and the crowding, without the removal of permanent teeth.
Crowded teeth are almost always the result of narrow jaw structures and not teeth that are too big. Larger teeth are actually an advantage when it comes to creating a full, beautiful smile because the arch form can be enlarged in order to create the space needed for all the teeth. This helps with preventing overbites, potential TMJ problems and future problems with breathing and sleep apnoea.
There are nine ‘Keys’ for lower facial harmony.
1. Fully Developed Upper Jaw
The upper jaw form the roof of the mouth and the floor of the nasal passageway. A narrow upper jaw is the biggest culprit and cause of most orthodontic problems. The upper arch needs to be widened / developed to create space for all the teeth. The result is then a wide smile, good lip and mid face support, open airway and it allows the lower jaw to come forward giving the patient a good profile and not a recessed chin.
2. Unobstructed Nasal Breathing:
A person’s ability to breathe properly through his or her nose, without obstruction, is critical to his or her health and vitality in many ways. Any obstruction needs to be eliminated! Mouth breathing can lead to many avoidable problems, including poor facial and dental development.
3. Proper Forward Positioning of the Lower Jaw:
A key factor to lower facial harmony is for the lower jaw to be in balance with the fully developed upper jaw. This gives the person a most attractive and healthy relationship. For this to happen, the upper jaw must be expanded to its full arch form, allowing the lower jaw to develop to its normal size, shape and position. If the lower jaw is trapped, it leads to an overbite.
Bruce Forsyth – A very narrow upper jaw that made the lower jaw grow excessively.
4. Healthy TMJ Function:
We have two Temperomandibular joints located just in front of the ears. These allow the lower jaw to move for the wide range of motions like chewing, talking, yawning, laughing or swallowing. The connection of the TMJ to teeth is direct and movement of those teeth affects the TMJ.
Symptoms of TMD are:
Shifting of jaw when opening or closing,
Difficulty opening wide
5. Ideal Head Position:
The teeth have a lot of influence, good and bad, on a person’s head posture. When the jaw is retruded, the head moves into a forward head-posture in an attempt to remain in balance. This puts a lot of strain on the muscles of the neck, shoulders and upper back. The vertebrae in the neck lose their normal curvature and a person ends up with a straight neck with loss of mobility in the neck.
Mouth breathing also results in a head forward position in an attempt to open the airway.
6. Avoidance of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea:
A narrow upper arch and blocked airway can lead to sleep apnoea. This is a stopping of airflow during breathing while asleep. This reaction results in a lack of oxygen being delivered to the brain and usually causes the person to wake up briefly or shift so that the blockage is relieved. OSA can create cardiovascular stress which can lead to strokes or heart attacks. It is also linked to systemic hypertension, diabetes, kidney diseases and ADD / ADHD. At Danny de Villiers Dentist, we can make you an appropriate appliance that can be worn at night to reposition your lower jaw, tongue and soft palate. This opens your airway and makes it less likely for you to snore or stop breathing.
7. Ideal Lower Face Symmetry:
Symmetry means one side of an object is the mirror image of the opposite side. Over the years, many studies have verified that facial symmetry is dominant in our perception of beauty. The face is horizontally divided into thirds and vertically into fifths.
Facial asymmetry can be traced back to a difficult birth etc.
8. Elimination of Adverse Oral habits:
Habits like thumb sucking can have a very negative effect on facial development in a growing child. The following is a list of habits to avoid:
Improper tongue placement,
Teeth clenching and grinding
Chewing foreign objects, Ice chewing
Bottle feeding, Swallow toothpaste
Thumb and finger sucking, Gum chewing
Jaw playing, Resting chin on palm
Princess Beatrice – Has a tongue thrust, narrow upper jaw and increased lower face (from nose to chin)
9. Optimal Tooth Positioning:
At last we get to the straightening of the teeth as this is the important aspect of appearance. Straight teeth just look more attractive.
There are several braces or appliances available at Danny de Villiers Dentist in Weybridge, to straighten the teeth. We choose the best for the patient. There is no age limit to straighten your teeth and get a beautiful smile.
Functional Non Extraction Orthodontics