Basic Questions Answered about Holistic Orthodontics

What Is Your Orthodontic Specialty?

A typical holistic office will concentrate on Functional Jaw Orthopedics, or FJO. Also called Orthopedic Orthodontics, this is a treatment system which focuses on the underlying structural foundation of the teeth and jaws in order to minimize (if not eliminate entirely) the need for tooth extractions. Professionals in this field of practice have found that proper FJO treatment can result in successful resolution of tooth and jaw problems without the need for extracting teeth in 90 percent of cases (excepting the special problems of 3rd molars).

holistic orthodontist

They use progressive treatments involving fixed and removable appliances to correct bite problems and straighten teeth, thereby resolving a host of dental issues. FJO treatment guides patients toward optimum oral health while respecting the natural development of the mouth, teeth, and jaw.

Health Centered Dentistry is focused exclusively on using the latest and greatest treatment technology. This is why their team members undergo hundreds of hours of continuing education every year: To ensure that their patients always get the highest possible standard of treatment.

Those in the industry are currently focusing on encouraging better tongue and airway function for all of our patients and are now offering the less-invasive, faster-acting Damon™ Brackets (i.e. braces).

Braces are more formally known as "Fixed Appliance Orthodontics." In this form of treatment, brackets bonded to individual teeth provide the steady, gradual pressure required to realign teeth and improve patients' bites.

Removable Appliances are sophisticated tools that operate in conjunction with specific muscle groups to gradually alter the way the jaws and teeth develop.

What Separates Functional Jaw Orthopedics From Standard Orthodontics?

One key principle of Functional Jaw Orthopedics is to identify potential problems as early as possible so that effective treatments are less invasive and more successful. The normal aim of FJO treatment is to expand the amount of space available in the jaws so that all of a patient's teeth can fit naturally. The result is typically a healthier, wider smile and an increased level of oral health.

Traditional Orthodontics are more effective at making later-in-life adjustments to patients' jaws and teeth. The frequent use of tooth extractions carries with it the risk of permanent adverse effects, including narrower smiles, reduced vertical support, and flattened facial profiles.

FJO treatment is growing quickly in popularity thanks to the clearly-visible difference in treatment outcomes.

It's a simple fact that more and more people are growing up with crowded teeth. FJO is a superb way to address this problem early before your treatment options become all too limited. Early intervention is an excellent way to remove the need for more costly and invasive options (like extractions or even jaw surgery) later in life.

FJO is a great option because it has demonstrated great effectiveness in clinical study. It truly does produce wider smiles and healthier mouths! General dentists, orthodontists, and pedodontists throughout Europe and North America are learning the principles of FJO treatment in ever-greater numbers.

Why Are Extractions the Treatment of Last Resort?

When teeth are extracted (other than the third molars or "wisdom teeth") to make room for traditional orthodontic treatment, the process causes some unavoidable and adverse side effects. One of the biggest ones is a reduction in the size of the jaw and vertical distance between the bottom of the chin and the tip of the nose.

Why is this outcome undesirable? Because although this treatment reshapes the jaws, the teeth, and the bones of the face, it does nothing to change the size of the tongue. This strongest muscle of the body can cause significant problems if it is forced to reside in an unnaturally small mouth. The tongue may retreat down into the throat and become an unwanted obstruction in the airway. In extreme cases, this can pose significant health threats.

A reduction in the jaws' vertical dimensions can also subject the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) to undue pressures and stresses. Over time, these can cause repetitive stress injuries and cause serious structural problems for the jaw. TMJ issues are described at further length below.

At What Age Do You Start Treating Patients?

The earliest effective time for a functional jaw examination is after the eruption of the baby teeth and the onset of basic upper and lower jaw function. This typically occurs as early as two years of age. Though the American Association of Orthodontists recommends performing an initial orthodontic consultation by the age of seven, this is an upper rather than a lower limit. Some offices treat many patients, including prescribing appliances, as young as ages 2, 3, and 4. As with other forms of orthopedic correction (e.g. straightening crooked feet), jaw orthopedics are more effective when they're applied early, before crooked growth complicates the process.

Some offices also recommend basic cranio-sacral therapy for newborn babies. The traumatic birthing process often causes minor issues which could develop into serious problems later on, but these are relatively simple to resolve with infant treatment.

Is There An Upper Age Limit For Orthodontic Treatment?

In a word, no. Some practitioners have helped patients across a huge range of ages, all the way from eight weeks old to the 80s. The body is always ready to respond to professional positive treatment, regardless of its age.

Do I Need To Bring You Records From My Last Orthodontist - Or Any Other Additional Information?

Any and all orthodontic records you can provide will be helpful to us in charting out an effective course of treatment. We do need accurate records in order to offer the best possible standard of treatment; we will often need to perform our own diagnostics in order to ensure that we're dealing with accurate information.

How Long Will My Treatment Take?

The answer to this question can vary widely based on the specific forms of treatment you require. Restorative dentistry can be completed in a very short span of time - months or even weeks. Treatment typically lasts for one to three years. Your specific treatment time will be easier to estimate once your dental office has gathered and assessed all necessary records, and the most accurate estimate of treatment duration is typically made after the first phase of treatment is complete.

Note that total treatment time depends heavily on patient cooperation. Some offices can deliver the most effective, fastest, and cheapest results when you cooperate fully with treatment instructions!

Note also that children's treatment may involve relatively long breaks to allow their permanent teeth to come in.

How Much Will My Treatment Cost?

This question is best answered after your dental center has assembled complete records for you and analyzed them. A good center's standard procedure is to provide cost estimates at the Consultation Appointment which follows the New Patient Initial Exam (first visit).

Will I Need a Permanent Appliance to Keep My Teeth Straight?

Part of the goal for every patient is to encourage healthy tongue, lip, and cheek habits along with proper nutrition, all of which serves to keep your smile healthy after treatment. In contrast to some treatments, never cementing retention wires into place permanently. Most treatments end with a removable retention appliance that is prescribed for a specific length of time, with patients retaining the option to wear it as desired later. Speaking very broadly, the length of time an overnight retention appliance will be required will vary according to the age at which a patient starts treatment. The older the patient, the longer the retention period.