Dr. Lee specializes in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. Dentofacial orthopedics is a specialized distinction earned by orthodontists who have completed an additional two to three years of orthodontic residency.
Dentofacial orthopedics is a process that corrects and normalizes the growth pattern of a patient’s bone structure and corrects any disproportionate areas of the face and/or jaws. The process usually requires two-phase treatment and often begins while patients still have the majority of their baby teeth.
Dentofacial Orthopedics for Children
Children are often the best candidates for dentofacial orthopedic therapy. This is one the main reasons that American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends seeing an orthodontist at around age 7. At a young age, we can better monitor your child’s growth and development and determine when starting treatment will be the most effective.
IF your child begins orthodontic treatment prior to losing all of their baby teeth, it is known as Phase-One orthodontic treatment. During phase-one, your child’s orthodontist can correct your child’s jaw growth pattern and ensure that their jawbones are proportional prior to beginning the second phase of treatment, which normally involves braces to straighten and align their teeth. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis by Dr. Lee.
Dentofacial Orthopedics for Adults
Dentofacial orthopedics can also be used to treat adults; however, this process can involve surgical corrections. In growing children, the bones are still forming and haven’t completely fused together. This allows orthodontists to monitor bone growth and development.
Because adults are no longer growing, and their jawbones have fused and hardened, it can be more challenging to adjust the bite and reposition their teeth into proper alignment because the facial bones are not coordinated. Please contact our office with any questions or to learn more about dentofacial orthopedics and if this is the right treatment for you.