Neuromuscular Orthodontics

If you are unhappy with a “dished in” or sunken facial appearance, we can help. You might think that this is a developmental or genetic problem that can’t be corrected without painful, involved surgery. However, we can use special orthodontic approaches, Anterior Growth Guidance Appliances (AGGA), that re-activate your body’s natural growth. This achieves results you might have been told were impossible without surgery. In addition to a more attractive profile and smile, you can enjoy health benefits such as reduction of TMJ and sleep apnea.

To learn whether neuromuscular orthodontics are right for you, please call (408) 354-5600 today for an appointment with San Jose neuromuscular dentist Dr. Nancy Nehawandian at Top Down Dental in Los Gatos.

A woman smiling and laughing because fo the Neuromusucal Orthodontic treatment she received.

Benefits of Neuromuscular Orthodontics

Why should you consider neuromuscular orthodontics? Because the benefit of the treatment goes far beyond the appearance of your smile. With neuromuscular orthodontics you can enjoy:

  • Improved facial profile
  • Reduction or elimination of sunken face
  • Expanded airway
  • Better breathing during the day
  • Reduced sleep apnea
  • More room for teeth and tongue
  • Reduced TMJ symptoms

To learn how neuromuscular orthodontics can help you, you’ll need to schedule a consultation and exam. Once we see your situation, we’ll be able to let you know what benefits you might enjoy.

What Are Neuromuscular Orthodontics?

Orthodontics literally means “straight teeth,” but neuromuscular orthodontics goes far beyond straightening your teeth. Instead, it utilizes neuromuscular dentistry insights into the function of the teeth, muscles, and bones as a single, dynamic system. The dynamism in the system is particularly important–it can constantly grow and change according to the forces it creates and encounters.

Neuromuscular orthodontics introduces new forces to stimulate changes in the system. We aren’t just trying to straighten your teeth, we are looking to change the structure and function of your jaw. AGGA creates more room for your teeth, and in the process it can create more room for your airway, which improves breathing both during the day and at night. It also improves the way the teeth and jaws fit together, which can address symptoms of TMJ.

Two Types of AGGA

We utilize two different approaches for achieving the forces necessary to change the size and shape of the face:

  • Removable Anterior Guided Growth Appliances (RAGGA) fit securely over the teeth, but aren’t bonded to the teeth. They may have a significant plastic structure to help secure and support the appliance. These are more likely to be used for minor cases, especially children whose jaws are still developing.
  • Fixed Anterior Guided Growth Appliances (FAGGA) are bonded to the teeth to make a secure platform for the delivery of maximum force. The bonding provides more support, so these can be smaller and lighter. We recommend these for adult treatments that are trying to achieve significant reshaping of the jaw.

During your consultation, we will consider the goals of your treatment and the current state of your jaw before recommending one type of AGGA or another–as well as other possible treatments.

AGGA and Oral Myofunctional Therapy

If you are looking at different approaches to address some of these developmental problems, you might have noticed that AGGA seems to have significant overlap with the treatment goals of oral myofunctional therapy (OMT).

It’s true: the two treatments can achieve similar goals. However, they are not exactly identical. During your exam and consultation, we will evaluate your current situation and recommend which treatment approach might achieve the best results for you. Sometimes, we can combine the two approaches, utilizing RAGGA as well as some OMT approaches.

AGGA and Traditional Orthodontics

Since the primary goal of AGGA is functional improvement and alteration of the facial dimensions, it doesn’t always achieve straight teeth. If that’s the case for you, we might recommend a brief course of more traditional orthodontics, such as Invisalign Express to straighten your teeth. Some people prefer veneers, which can not only straighten, but reshape and whiten your teeth as well.

Start Looking and Feeling Better Today

If you are unhappy with your profile and are also experiencing symptoms of TMJ and/or sleep apnea, neuromuscular orthodontics might be able to help. Please call (408) 354-5600 today for an appointment with Dr. Nancy Nehawandian to learn about neuromuscular orthodontics in San Jose.