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FAQ:  Orthodontics - Children - Teens

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Orthodontics Ask The Dentist - Edward Leventhal Question:
My son, age 11, has been diagnosed with a 3mm overbite. Two orthodontists have seen him. One treatment plan suggests using a twinblock and then braces over the next 2 years.

The second plan suggests braces then surgery to the jaw or teeth when he is 18. Furthermore, the second indicated that the first approach (the twinblock) would NOT work. How would you recommend resolving such conflicting approaches? What key questions should I be asking? ...Visitor from MD

Two treatment options have been given to you. The first involves twinblock appliance and braces. A twinblock appliance involves having the lower jaw posture forward in order to meet with the top jaw. Some orthodontists believe that this promotes the lower jaw in growing more forward than it already has.

One cannot encourage the lower jaw to grow, genetics is left to mother nature. When the lower jaw is repositioned, I believe that it moves the lower jaw away from it's socket and could develop potential problems down the road. The ideal way to treat, would be to make sure the jaws are aligned in its socket, then treat from there.

I would tend to lean towards the second orthodontist, but, seek a third opinion if you are still unsure. Discuss different options with different orthodontists so that you are clear of your decision.

Edward Leventhal, DDS
Baltimore Cosmetic Implant Dentistry
8860 Belair Road
Baltimore, MD 21236
(410) 256-7300

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