You may have noticed that our doctor specializes in “orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.” While most people have heard of orthodontics, many are confused by the dentofacial orthopedics part of the title. Essentially, while orthodontics entails the management of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood.
As an example, a palatal expander can be used to help widen the upper teeth and jaw in order to correct a posterior crossbite which is where the upper teeth reside on the inside of the lower teeth.
Other appliances are used to correct skeletal growth disharmonies. In cases where there has been inadequate growth of the lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw, we typically will use a Carriere appliance or a Herbst appliance depending on the degree of the discrepancy.
For those with a skeletal underbite or anterior crossbite, sometimes we will use a reverse headhear in conjuntion wtih a palatal expander. This can help protract the maxilla (the upper jaw) to help correct this skeletal imbalance.