Is orthotropic dentistry effective for adults?
Is orthotropic dentistry only effective for children? What is the age range that would see the most success with this treatment?
Thank you for your question. Orthotropics is a term coined by Dr John Mew a dentist from the UK, who has been suspended by the General Dental council from clinical practice. Details can be found in this link: https://gdcolrlive.blob.core.windows.net/annotationspublic/857ab0e5-0481-e711-8107-5065f38bd502
Orthotropic dentistry is not a recognised branch of dentistry. It purports to treat malocclusion by guiding the growth of the facial bones and correcting the oral environment. This treatment supposedly creates more space for the teeth and tongue with its main focus being to correct a patients oral and head posture.
However, due to lack of scientific evidence, the information presented on their website about this treatment can be misleading to the general public.
The basis of orthotropics treatment is that the cause of improper bites and facial form is mostly environmental and hence modifiable. They do this with removable appliances and muscle exercises.Hence orthotropic treatment is supposedly most effective in young patients experiencing growth as this is the period whereby correcting the soft tissue behaviour and oral environment will then influence the way the jaw bones and teeth grow.
However, the cause of improper bites and jaw problems can be multifactorial, both genetic and environmental factors are important considerations. This also explains why parents who are of tall stature have also bestowed this gift of height upon their progeny. Likewise it is not uncommon to see families who have similar facial structure, long lower jaws are often found in siblings and relatives. A famous example would be the Hapsburg monarchy.
The concept that form follows function is nothing new, orthodontists have been trying to modify growth by changing the environment for centuries using a myriad of appliances. Just to name a few they are: the Frankl appliance, the Twinblock and tongue spurs. All of these appliances aim to influence the environment so as to improve one's teeth and jaw growth. However to answer your question on the effectiveness of orthotropic dentistry and the recommended age range, it would be important to understand the type of malocclusion (bad bite) that one is wanting to correct. It would be best to consult an orthodontist who may be better able to assist your concerns.
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