Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the treatment of jaw and tooth misalignment. An orthodontic specialist has attended two to three years of continuous training at an accredited orthodontic program. This education is in addition to completing a traditional Doctor of Dental Surgery degree required to practice dentistry in the state of Pennsylvania. As specialists, Orthodontists focus on orthodontic treatment and do not provide dental cleaning services, fillings, restorative treatments or other dental services. Their entire careers are dedicated to honing the skills required to perform orthodontic treatment in a reliable, repeatable and consistently excellent manner. The goal of orthodontics is to provide a harmonious fit of the teeth that is supportive of the jaw joint structures. In addition, orthodontics should provide an attractive smile that is balanced with the rest of the facial structures. These results, when properly maintained, should last a lifetime.
When tooth alignment problems are a result of jaw position and are so severe that the bite cannot be corrected properly with braces alone, we rely on a surgical approach to achieve the best results. Having a surgical treatment plan will allow for improved chewing function, more pleasing facial harmony, and less treatment time. We work in conjunction with Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to carefully plan your treatment to get predictable results. Depending on the extent of surgery being performed, orthognathic surgery is performed in the hospital or outpatient surgical center.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
Our office renders TMD therapy for all types of TMJ problems. The letters T-M-J refer to the Temporomandibular Joint. This joint is the hinge that moves the jaw. It is located directly in front of our ears. The human temporomandibular joint can suffer a number of problems including muscle spasms in the muscles that surround the joint, the dislocation of the disc within the joint, osteoarthritis or osteochondritis. Symptoms of TMJ, most typically, involve pain along one or both sides of the head, sometimes including the joint itself or the temples. Ear pain and ringing are also common symptoms. The jaw may also periodically become locked. Some of these problems are easily taken care of with simple treatments and others are much more complex and require interdisciplinary treatment between dental practitioners, physical therapists, neurologists and chiropractors. The most important aspect of TMD treatment is an accurate diagnosis.