Orthodontics vs. Orthotropics

Traditional orthodontics focuses primarily on straightening misaligned teeth. The main goal is to create a great smile with perfect tooth alignment, and a proper bite (occlusion). Braces and wires, or aligners such as Invisalign® are the preferred way of aligning the teeth. In cases of severe crowding, some teeth may be extracted. Poor jaw relationship is corrected by using various mechanics and appliances, such as elastics, headgear, Herbst, etc. Severe discrepancy in jaw relationship is usually resolved by jaw surgery in adulthood, when all growth is complete.

Orthotropics is a philosophy and treatment focused on proper and harmonious facial development. Its primary objective is a correction of unfavorable growth pattern of both jaws (usually excessive vertical growth and lack of horizontal growth). Such adverse growth has both an esthetic and a functional impact on the patient. It produces longer, narrower, flatter faces with larger noses and sagging tissue later in life; and with lack of proper forward growth of the face, airway may be compromised. New evidence shows that in growing children, adequate airway flow plays a crucial role in somatic, cognitive and behavioral development. 

Orthotropic treatment helps develop better facial features and wider airways. It is more face centered than tooth centered. As such, it does not produce perfect tooth alignment - but it does significantly improve crowding, Tooth alignment be done later, if desired, with braces or with non-brace aligners (phase II treatment). Orthotropics may prevent the need for jaw surgery later in life.

Dr. Chae has been trained as a traditional orthodontist and offers all forms of conventional orthodontic treatment, such as regular and clear braces, Invisalign®, etc. She has also been trained in less traditional treatment methods, including Crozat, ALF, and Myobrace therapy. In addition, she is now providing Biobloc Orthotropic™ treatment for children ages 3 to 12 yrs. She is the first certified provider of Biobloc Orthotropic™ treatment in WA State.

Dr. Chae utilizes concepts of esthetics, function, and airway maximization in her diagnosis and treatment-planning for both children and adults. Her extensive training, research, and continuous education allows her to determine the most meaningful and efficient course of treatment that addresses all individual concerns.

Let Dr. Chae help you or your child. Call for a complimentary consultation today!

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