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Dentofacial Orthopedics


You may have noticed that Dr. Aurora Sordelli specializes in "Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics." While most people have heard of orthodontics, many are confused by the dentofacial orthopedics part of the title.

Essentially, while orthodontics entails the management of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood. Habits such as mouth breathing and thumb sucking can affect the way the jaws grow and develop.  Dr. Aurora Sordelli agrees with the American Association of Orthodontists, that children should be evaluated by the orthodontist by the age of 7, or even earlier if the parents or other healthcare providers detect a problem.  

Dr. Sordelli likes to carefully examine and monitor your child’s growth to determine when treatment will be most effective. Quite often the patient does not need an appliance, but rather coaching on habit stopping, nasal breathing, or the recommendation to see another specialist such as the ENT, the myofunctional therapist, or the general dentist. Other times, Dr. Sordelli discovers that she must intervene early with either an expander or another orthopedic appliance to "prepare the foundation" so that all teeth are able to come in on their own and so that upper and lower jaws relate well with each other.  Early intervention often saves the patient from getting surgery in the future.

If your child begins orthodontic treatment before all adult teeth have erupted, it is known as phase-one treatment. During phase-one treatment, Dr. Sordelli will use treatments designed to enhance your child’s jaw growth and make sure that the jaw bone is properly aligned before beginning the second phase of treatment, which usually involves braces or aligners to straighten the teeth.In children, the jaw bones are still forming and have not completely hardened, making it easier for orthodontists to control bone growth and tooth movement. 

See our before and after gallery.

Being skilled in both areas, Dr. Aurora Sordelli is able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw as well as the facial structure, and can devise a treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatment.