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Orthotropics VS Orthodontics – What’s the Difference?

A model of crooked teeth sitting beside a model of straight teeth.

You have likely heard of orthodontics and the various forms of appliances that are used in orthodontic treatment. However, you may not be familiar with orthotropics. Orthotropics are another treatment method used to address malocclusion. While orthodontics focus on repositioning and straightening teeth, orthotropics focus instead on facial growth guidance and repositioning the jaw.

Orthotropic therapy offers a more holistic approach to treating bite alignment and tooth alignment issues compared to orthodontics. While both treatments are effective, the methods and long term results vary greatly.

What is Malocclusion?

Malocclusion is when the upper and lower rows of teeth are not properly aligned. This can cause a series of issues, from overcrowded or crooked teeth, to jaw disorders, trouble speaking, and tooth loss.

Orthodontics VS Orthotropics – How They Work

Orthodontics and orthotropics address the same issues through different means. Traditional orthodontics focus on correcting the position of teeth to fix bite misalignment. This is often done with braces, Invisalign clear aligners, tooth extraction, or orthodontic surgery.

Orthotropics focus on altering the facial structure without surgery, tooth manipulation, or removal. The idea is that through treatments that correct posture by widening and expanding the maxilla and cranial bones, teeth have more space to fall into proper alignment. This, in turn, also results in proper jaw alignment and an improved facial appearance.

Types of Orthodontic Methods

Some types of orthodontic appliances and treatments include:

  • Metal Braces

  • Invisalign

  • Tooth Extraction

  • Jaw Surgery

Types of Orthotropic Methods

Some types of orthotropic appliances and methods include:

Another difference between orthodontics and orthotropics is when treatment begins. Orthotropics are typically started as early as possible to ensure lifelong results and superior effectiveness. This is because orthotropics are based on the idea that proper facial development and oral posture prevent malocclusion.

Conventional orthodontics, however, are usually applied after the oral structure has mostly or fully developed. Once orthodontic treatment is complete, patients often have to wear a retainer for the rest of their life to ensure results remain permanent.

The Differences Between Orthodontic & Orthotropic Appliances

Orthotropic appliances are removable devices that slowly alter growing orofacial structures, naturally creating more space for teeth and encouraging proper jaw alignment. They also correct improper resting positions of the teeth and tongue.

Orthodontic appliances are typically fixed devices, like braces, that simply move the teeth over time. On occasion, teeth will be removed in order to create more space for repositioning.

Contact Beyond Smiles of Park Ridge for Orthotropic Treatment

If you’re interested in orthotropic treatment for yourself or your child, contact our dental office today. As an experienced family and pediatric dentist in Park Ridge, you can rely on our knowledge of airway and structural therapies to address malocclusion and breathing problems.

Contact us to schedule an appointment and get started on your path to a straighter, healthier smile.

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