Occlusion Connections is focused on introducing the public and dental professional to a comprehensive objective orthodontic and “orthopedic” process – A key to “Seeing the Bigger Picture” in the diagnosis and treatment planning.
Conventional or retractive orthodontics, looks mainly at straightening teeth for esthetics and appearance and assumes that the facial muscles and jaw joints will accommodate to their new position. Teeth are considered for extraction if there is insufficient space to align the teeth. Making the teeth look straight is often the primary concern. Narrow and constricted arches will often result. This approach often does not consider the impact it has on the airway (breathing), proper tongue space, as well as the health of the masticatory muscles which must properly function for a stable bite. A “physiologic” relationship of the head and jaw posture are commonly over-looked when straightening and aligning the teeth.
Neuromuscular orthodontics emphasizes how the muscles, jaw joints and teeth affect one another to find a homeostatic relationship before aligning the teeth to one another. A proper gearing of the teeth to function in harmony with the jaw joints and muscles allows the teeth to wear and function evenly reducing any trauma and excessive strain to the surrounding supporting bone. Narrow dental arch forms are properly developed to a full contour, enhancing breathing and appearance. The closing of the bite vertically in the back regions of the mouth orthopedically is accomplished non surgically in most cases. The trained dentist will use objective measurements and TENS instrumentation to identify a more pleasing facial appearance and jaw position before and after treatment. This approach has been found to be more comprehensive going beyond just the straightening of teeth.Improved function, bite stability and facial appearance to avoid dental relapse is important to establish “Happy muscles” and stable jaw joints.
Dental Professional Considerations:
Orthodontic is more than just learning which bracket or wire system to use. It is about developing the knowledge, skills and ability to visualize the whole treatment – how to “orthopedically” develop the surrounding tissue and arches to a physiologic quantifiable position. It is about comprehending and applying the data gathered and strategically applying the appropriate techniques to the teeth and skeletal relationship using scientific methods that satisfy bio- physiologic relationships of the diagnosis. It is starting from point A to point Z putting the pieces together in an orderly fashion and to finish the case physiologically. This will enable the clinician to fulfill the laws of sound orthodontic tooth movement and orthopedic growth and development. As a result a stable occlusion is produced with pleasing facial esthetics.
Diagnostic standards of homeostasis of the cranio-mandibular and cervical complex is a key concept that distinguishes a comprehensive orthodontic curriculum, instilling in each student the importance of occlusal stability. Objective documentation and records along with an understanding of scan interpretation validate and support dentofacial and cervical alignment protocols and orthodontic and orthopedic mechanics is key to comprehensive orthodontic care and treatment.
© 2009 Clayton A. Chan, DDS. All Rights Reserved.