Level Three Orthodontics Provides a Philosophy of Aesthetics, Function, and Health
Modern orthodontics should be more than just straightening teeth. Braces can help attain beautiful aesthetics, but what will you do to invest in your beautiful new smile? In Louisville, KY and Radcliff, KY, Dr. L. Douglas Knight practices a comprehensive approach to care that achieves long-lasting results. Level three orthodontics straightens teeth, corrects the bite, and evaluates the jaw joint, airways, tooth form, and facial and smile aesthetics. By including a focus on function and health, this philosophy benefits your entire body and long-term well-being.
The FACE™ Philosophy
Dr. Knight embraces the FACE™ (Functional and Cosmetic Excellence) treatment philosophy, which is described as “a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to the treatment of the entire system with emphasis placed on the face.” Orthodontists who adhere to this ideology believe that modern orthodontics exists in harmony with overall health. If the teeth, muscles, and joints of your face are not working properly, it can result in long-term health problems. There are four FACE™ principles that guide comprehensive orthodontics:
- Proper joint function: If there is a problem with your TMJ (temporomandibular joint), it can lead to more serious concerns such as overexertion of the facial muscles, tooth erosion, gum recession, and breathing problems such as sleep apnea. For healthy function, your jaw joint must be in proper alignment.
- Functional occlusion: The way your teeth fit together when you close down is called occlusion. If there are problems with your occlusion, it can cause headaches, tooth erosion, tooth loss, gum recession, bruxism (teeth grinding), and bone resorption, among other things. The goal is to provide optimal function and a balanced bite.
- Anterior guidance: The form and shape of the front teeth is assessed, carefully positioning them to achieve an optimal bite.
- Facial aesthetics: This principle evaluates facial proportions such as the lips, gums, and teeth, making sure everything is lined up correctly.
The FACE™ philosophy is about goal oriented treatment. Rather than simply straightening teeth, this method of orthodontics looks at the big picture, and asks what can be done for overall health. Goal oriented orthodontic treatment takes all of these factors into account:
- Dental aesthetics and facial harmony
- Functional occlusion
- Long-term stability
- Patient satisfaction
- TMJ health
- Periodontal health
Benefits of Level Three Orthodontics
A comprehensive approach will result in different treatment for each patient, and can vary tremendously. Some may only need braces to correct a minor issue. Others may need orthognathic surgery to achieve proper function. When you pursue treatment that addresses all underlying skeletal issues, the result will be exponentially better than what could be achieved with teeth straightening alone. The three levels of orthodontics work together to provide:
- Straight teeth
- Functional bite
- Healthy jaw joint
- Improved airway
- Improved smile aesthetics
- Improved facial aesthetics
Unfortunately, many people who attempt extensive correction with braces alone tend to undergo lengthy treatment that often takes four or five years. Even after all of that, they typically end up with compromised results. Although the teeth are straight, there is a lack the function and health that is provided by level three orthodontics.
The Importance of Level Three Orthodontics in Children
When treating children, level three orthodontics is especially useful. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first appointment around the age of seven. Because young children are still in their developmental years, it is an optimal time to assess and treat any problems. Dr. Knight offers two-phase treatment for children who can benefit from it. This involves an initial phase of orthodontics that begins around the age of eight or nine, and a second phase of treatment beginning around the age of 12 or 13. Correcting growth issues at an early age prevents the development of other serious conditions in the future. By investing in your child’s dental health now, you are actively improving their future well-being.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
If you or a family member is in need of orthodontic treatment, contact us to schedule a complimentary examination with Dr. Knight. You can schedule an appointment online, or call us at (502) 327-6453 (Louisville) or (270) 351-5151 (Radcliff).