Dentofacial orthopedics for children

When some young children develop, the jaw does do not grow in an optimal proportion with the rest of the face. The imbalance affects the proper alignment of the lower teeth with the upper teeth. Dr. Calkins can treat the condition with an advanced specialty, known as dentofacial orthopedics. Knowledge of craniofacial growth is essential to successful treatment, and Dr. Calkins has extensive training in the field.

Children are generally the best candidates for the therapy, and it’s best to implement the treatment at an early age. This is the time when the treatment provides the best opportunity to normalize imbalances of the jaw and surrounding facial structures.

the consultation, Dr. Calkins will examine your child to determine when treatment should begin. If treatment is not yet required, she will monitor your child’s growth to determine when to begin it.

The treatment occurs in two phases.

In phase one, treatment begins before all the adult teeth have erupted. During this phase, Dr. Calkins utilizes treatments designed to correct your child’s jaw growth on order to align the jaw bone properly.

Then phase-two treatment can begin. It usually involves braces to straighten the teeth.

Dr. Calkins is one of a limited number of dentists who are experienced in the use of MRI imaging. Unlike x-rays, MRI is radiation free. It also allows for more precise diagnosis. While x-rays only image the bones, MRI provides images of the bones and the surrounding soft tissue. As a result, MRI enhances Dr. Calkins ability to diagnose problems of proportional growth that include the bones and muscles, such as jaw retrusion, and plan optimal treatment options.

Dentofacial orthopedics can also assist in pediatric sleep apnea management. Emphasis in early intervention leads to improved treatment outcomes in facial harmony, airway openness, and coordination of the bite, along with other dental functions.

The ideal age to begin treatment is 7 but could be as early as 4

By the age of 7, the first adult molars have erupted. These teeth establish the back bite. At this time, Dr. Calkins can evaluate all bite and jaw relationships and more accurately determine any potential orthodontic problems. Other growth abnormalities require intervention as early as age 4.

Advantages of Interceptive Orthodontics

Is your child a candidate for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment helps to correct bad bites, or malocclusions, as well as enhance cosmetic appearances. Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment and can negatively affect the way your child smiles, chews, speaks, and feels about his or her smile. It’s important that these bad bite do not go untreated, because they can lead to bigger problems later in life.

Schedule your child’s first orthodontic visit with Dr. Calkins

If you believe your child needs orthodontic treatment, or would like to have an initial evaluation, please contact our office. We’ll schedule an appointment that works with your schedule.

Our office is conveniently located in Reston, Virginia, and we provide our expert orthodontic care services to children, teens and adults in the Herndon, Great Falls, McLean, Vienna, Falls Church, Leesburg, Ashburn and greater Washington D.C metro area.

We look forward to meeting you and your child soon!


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