The use of traditional braces to straighten teeth is commonplace in mainstream dentistry. But now that this approach to orthodontia has been in use for so long, a growing number of people are reporting some very serious side effects that don’t necessarily appear until after the fact. Jaw clicking and pain becomes much more of a problem, and many people report issues with airway obstruction and sleep apnea that they didn’t have before.
The response to these challenges is airway dentistry. This emerging field takes a different approach to orthodontics by addressing the relationship between the airway and the development and alignment of the teeth and jaws. It recognizes the significant impact that the airway can have on overall health and aims to improve both dental and respiratory function.
Traditional orthodontics primarily focuses on straightening teeth and achieving an aesthetic smile. However, orthodontics for the airway takes a more comprehensive approach by considering the interplay between the airway, facial growth, and dental occlusion (a.k.a. your bite). The concept behind airway orthodontics is that certain structural abnormalities, such as narrow dental arches, overcrowded teeth, or misaligned jaws, can contribute to restricted breathing and compromised airflow. These issues can lead to sleep-disordered breathing conditions like snoring, sleep apnea, and other health problems. It aims to address the underlying causes of airway obstruction and improve the overall balance and harmony of the face and jaws.
The treatment in airway dentistry typically involves a combination of orthodontic techniques and interdisciplinary collaboration with other healthcare professionals. Dr. Hana Khan, our resident expert in airway dentistry, works closely with specialists such as sleep medicine physicians, ENT doctors, and myofunctional therapists to diagnose and manage your airway-related issues.
Airway dentistry is an evolving field that recognizes the importance of the airway in overall health and well-being. By addressing airway-related issues, orthodontists trained in airway-focused techniques aim to improve not only the quality of your smile but also the quality of your breathing and overall systemic health.
Why choose us over traditional dentistry? At TMJ and Sleep Therapy Centre of North Texas, we believe that achieving a great smile is just one aspect of orthodontic treatment. We go beyond aesthetics and prioritize your overall well-being, aiming to provide you or your child with the opportunity for a healthy and pain-free life. Our approach involves a thorough and thoughtful analysis of your anatomy, breathing patterns, physiology, and neurology, ensuring that we create the most effective treatment plan. Unlike traditional orthodontics, where the focus is primarily on straightening teeth and improving smiles, we recognize the importance of addressing skeletal changes that may be necessary. Our treatment plans consider not only proper breathing but also enhancements in posture, spine alignment, neurological balance, and muscle function. By prioritizing whole-body wellness, we aim to optimize brain function and promote your overall health.
Many adults believe that their orthodontic choices are limited because their facial structure is no longer growing. They may also think that certain corrections they desire are no longer achievable. Whether you’ve experienced relapse from previous orthodontic treatment or were dissatisfied with the results, Dr. Hana Khan offers refined techniques that can address skeletal and airway deficiencies, even in non-growing patients. Through these innovative methods, we can stimulate new bone growth and enhance both facial aesthetics and your dazzling smile, even in adulthood. Additionally, for those seeking more discreet options, clear or tooth-colored braces are available.
Dr. Hana is also certified in technologies such as clear aligners, providing further flexibility for simpler dental corrections. If you have experienced minor tooth shifting after previous orthodontic treatment or misplaced your retainers, Dr. Hana can assess your smile and suggest simpler alternatives to resolve cosmetic and hygiene concerns.
Interested in learning if you’re a candidate for airway dentistry? Contact us today to learn more.