The Difference Between Orthodontic and Orthotropic Care

When most people think about dental misalignment, the first thing that comes to mind is crooked teeth. Therefore, orthodontic treatment often seems like the most reasonable treatment for any dental misalignment. However, the truth is that not all forms of dental misalignment are the same. Even if the most notable problem seems to be a crooked bite, there may be more to the issue than just one or more misaligned teeth. At our Livonia, MI, dental office, we can help you determine if orthodontic treatment is preferable to correct your child’s condition, or if orthotropic treatment is the better, more effective solution.

The goals of orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic treatment, which often comes in the form of braces, has the very specific goal of correcting the alignment of your child’s teeth and, to some degree, jaw. This is achieved by carefully and precisely mapping the bite’s proper dentition, and the degree to which your child’s bite defers from it. Then, orthodontic braces can be designed to gently and continuously guide your child’s teeth into their proper positions to achieve ideal bite alignment. By the time your child completes treatment, their teeth and bite will once again function properly.

The goals of orthotropic treatment

Orthotropic treatment is also about correcting alignment, but the goals of the treatment involve addressing the alignment of all of your child’s oral and facial structures. What may sometimes seem like just crooked teeth may be an abnormality in the size, shape, or position of such structures, which can also lead to a host of other issues. For example, improper development of nasal and airway structures can lead to sleep breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, on top of the problems related to bite misalignment. Orthotropics often involves the use of one or more custom-designed aligners that promote more symmetrical, proper development of your child’s oral and facial structures to reduce the risks of such complications.

Which one is right for your child?

Determining which treatment option is right for your child requires a careful, comprehensive examination at our dental office. Using digital imaging and measuring, innovative bite analysis, and more, we can determine if other conditions are present besides bite misalignment, and whether or not your child requires the assistance of orthotropics for improved oral and facial development.

Ask us about the benefits of orthotropic care

While their goals and outcomes may be similar in some respects, there are several important distinctions between orthodontics and orthotropics. For more information, or to find out if your child can benefit from orthotropic treatment, schedule a consultation by calling the office of James Stewart, DDS in Livonia, MI, today at (734) 425-4400.