What is Dental Orthopedics

What is Dental Orthopedics?

Dental Orthopedics is a rapidly evolving field of dentistry that is poorly understood  by the dental

dental orthopedic appliance
Twin Block dental orthopedic appliance

profession.  It is known by various different names: dental orthopedics, dentofacial orthopedics, cranio-mandibular orthopedics, and jaw orthopedics.  In a disguised form it is utilized in the treatment of various conditions: sleep apnea, TMJ dysfunction, athletic enhancement, etc. .  The lack of a clear definition, and missing orthopedic principles,  has hindered  dentistry’s acceptance, recognition, and implementation of dental orthopedics.

Part of the confusion surrounding dental orthopedics is that there is no consensus in dentistry as to how to assess ideal jaw orthopedic position, or whether or not dental orthopedic therapy has been done precisely.  The closest solution to this problem is the work done in neuromuscular dentistry, yet they do not have the complete answer either.   It is the intent of this website to clarify and investigate this and other questions.  This is part of the question as to “what is dental orthopedics”: it is partly questions yet answered.

What is Dental orthopedics?

It deserves its rightful place in dental treatment plans.  Dentists are

what is dental orthopedics
dental orthopedic repositioning appliance

taught that treatment plans follow a specific sequence, typically: examination, caries control,  periodontal treatment, operative treatment, and finally prosthodontic treatment.  This model ignores medical history integration, dental orthopedic evaluation, and dental orthopedic treatment planning.

In addition, historically it is well established that one’s dental orthopedic relationship frequently has a major influence on health, yet dental orthopedic assessment is not being done or taught in dental schools.  Neither have physicians come to the knowledge or understanding of the importance of  trigeminal tone.  Dentists have so much to offer medicine.  It is time that dentists contribute their due share and start with defining “what is dental orthopedics.

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