Definition Dental Orthopedics

Definition Dental Orthopedics :

Definition: Dental orthopedics is the branch of dentistry that has to do with the assessment, development, and alignment of maxilla, mandible, and other cranial bones, with attendant improvement in airway, muscle and neurological tone.  Though most often done in the course of orthodontic treatment, it is also done for other reasons (i.e. sleep apnea, TMJ dysfunction, athletic enhancement, and to remedy some medical conditions).   A respectable minority of dental practitioners believe that when done properly, it offers substantial health benefits in that it  improves systemic muscle, neurological, and endocrine function. Dental orthopedic treatment is typically done with functional appliances.  It is known by various other names:  dentofacial orthopedics, cranio-mandibular orthopedics, gnathological orthopedics, and jaw orthopedics.

Consensus as to a definition of dental orthopedics is important in the evolution of dental orthopedics toward becoming a specialty in dentistry.

Numerous dental organizations are devoted to dental orthopedics: American Acadamy of Gnathological Orthopedics (, International College of Cranio-mandibular Orthopedics (, American Association of Orthodontists (, and American Orthodontic Society (  Numerous publications address dental orthopedics: The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice (, Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (, Journal or American Acadamy of Gnathological Orthopecics, and American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopecics (  Additional information on dental orthopedics is at other locations: Alf orthodontics (

Numerous books and articles have been published on dental orthopedics:

  1. The Clinical Management of Basic Maxillofacial Orthopedic Appliances, Vol. 1: Mechanics by John W. Witzig and Terrance J. Spahl (Jan 1987)
  2. Orthodontic and Dentofacial Orthopedic Treatment by Thomas Rakosi and Thomas M. Graber (Dec 16, 2009)
  3. Dentofacial Orthopedics with Functional Appliances, 2e by Thomas M. Graber DMD MSD PhD OdontDr DSc ScD MD FDSRCS(Eng), Thomas Rakoski MD DDS PhD and Alexandre G. Petrovic MD DSc (May 15, 1997)
  4. Practical Dentofacial Orthopedics  by Frans P. G. M. van der Linden (Jan 1996)
  5. Mandibular Growth Anomalies: Terminology – Aetiology Diagnosis – Treatment by Hugo L. Obwegeser, P. Tessier and W.R. Proffit (Dec 7, 2010)
  6. Management of Temporomandibular Disorders and Occlusion, 6e by Jeffrey P. Okeson (Jul 11, 2007)
  7. The Clinical Management of Basic Maxillofacial Orthopedic Appliances: Temporomandibular Joint by Terrance J. Spahl and John W. Witzig (Feb 1991)
  8. Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Dentofacial Orthopedics (The Van der Linden series) by Frans P. G. M. Van Der Linden and Herman Boersma (Dec 1987)
  9. Orthodontics And Dentofacial Orthopedics by James A. Jr., Ed. McNamara (2001)
  10. Problems and Procedures in Dentofacial Orthopedics (VAN DER LINDEN SERIES) by Frans P. G. M. Van Der Linden (Oct 1990)
  11. Orthopedic Gnathology by Hockel (1983)
  12. Neuromuscular Dental Diagnosis and Treatment by Robert R. Jankelson (Apr 1990)
  13. Haupl, Karl.  Textbook of functional jaw orthopaedics.
  14.  Mew, John. Bioblock Therapy.
  15. Schmuth, Gottfriend. Milestones in the development and practical application of functional appliances.  American Journal of Orthodontics. Volume 84. Issue 1. July 1983. Pages 48-53
  16.  Wahl, Norman. Orthodontics in 3 millennia. Chapter 9:Functional appliances to midcentury. American Journal of orthodontics and Dentofacial orthopedics. Volume 129, Issue 6 June 2006. Pages 829-833



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