Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that deals with corrections involving jaws and teeth alignment. Research has shown that functional appliances can be very effective in improving the functional and skeletal problems when utilized in the mixed dentition in growing patients. The utilization of these appliances can also help develop the dental arches and thus reduce the necessity for extraction of permanent teeth. Dr. Sunderland feels that the use of functional appliances in the mixed dentition, followed often by fixed appliances( braces), may prevent or eliminated many orthodontic problems.
Braces employ the use of brackets and wires that attach directly onto the teeth to supply the necessary forces to move the teeth and bones into the proper alignment.
Functional appliances help correct the bone problems, while the tooth problems are corrected with the orthodontic braces. The appliances can be removable or fixed, and have the greatest effect on changing the skeletal malformations during the peak pubertal growth phase. Careful monitoring of your child’s development will determine if orthodontic treatment is necessary and the optimal time to begin treatment.