A biologic approach to orthodontics takes more than just the aesthetics of the smile into account. Dr. Tim Kelly plans orthodontic therapy with the function of the entire jaw and mouth in mind. Properly aligned teeth not only look straight and uniform, they also promote a healthy, comfortable bite.View transcript
We've all heard the term "orthodontics", and we all understand that that's the movement of teeth to align them to look pretty. That's really what we want. But what I have found over the years is that a high percentage of my patients that have TMJ problems have teeth that aren't aligned properly. A high majority of them had orthodontics. So for years we investigated a more biologic approach to moving teeth and aligning them, and so that's where the term "biologic orthodontic therapy" was born. What that means is with understanding of the entire chewing system by making an accurate diagnosis of where the teeth should be and how we should bite relative to our TMJ or the health of our joints, that's the position that we want to have our teeth when we're all done. So we don't just do orthodontics. We do a biologic approach to have accurate orthodontics completed. The orthodontic community in general, when orthodontics is done, they're not focusing on the health of the joint. If we move teeth and we do not coordinate the two, we've only kind of done the job halfway. The main difference is, just like when we treat a TMJ patient, is accurate records and understanding the entire system before we start moving teeth, and then have goals that are appropriate for a system that's going to work properly when we're done. That's the difference with biologic orthodontic therapy as opposed to traditional orthodontic therapy. The benefits are numerous, actually. We know that a system that is chewing and functioning properly, how nature intended, is a system that lasts. The teeth don't wear out, the teeth don't shift back to where they came from, the patients stay comfortable, and so your orthodontic therapy, when done biologically, can really have a huge impact on your entire life.