What Is Airway Orthodontics?
Airway orthodontics aims to eliminate issues that cause breathing obstruction so that you or your child are able to breathe properly without any effort. With airway orthodontics, a team of professionals works together to pinpoint the exact cause of breathing obstruction and come up with a feasible solution. This team can include your orthodontist, a speech therapist, and ENT specialists. Each individual professional brings a different perspective and valuable insight so that together they can solve breathing problems. Airway orthodontics mainly focuses on facilitating normal breathing but also guide proper jaw development, allow for fewer dental and health issues, and lead to better overall health.
Similar to most other health issues, breathing difficulties have repercussions that go beyond what you would normally think. The entire body works together to function properly, and when one part of this system, such as your breathing, is not working at full capacity, the rest of your body will have to compensate. Airway obstruction can have an impact on tongue placement, swallowing, posture, and even the look of the jaw and teeth. These issues come with their own set of symptoms that need to be managed, in a way making breathing problems the first domino to be tipped in a line of health issues.
Who Needs Airway Orthodontics?
Both children and adults can qualify for airway orthodontics. In children, some signs that they may need airway orthodontic treatment include hyperactivity or ADHD, breathing through the mouth rather than the nose, chronic lethargy, bedwetting, periods of no breath-holding, or no breathing while asleep, rapid shallow breathing, and chronic nighttime restlessness, waking, or nightmares.
In adults, symptoms that can prompt airway orthodontics are dozing off during daytime activities, chronic daytime sleepiness even with a full night’s sleep, periods of breath-holding or no breathing while asleep, poor work or school performance, and obesity. We understand that both for children and adults these symptoms can be related to other health issues as well. Instead of using this as an excuse to ignore breathing problems and rule out airway orthodontics as an intervention, we suggest that you stop by for a free consultation and get an informed recommendation from our doctors. We have over 25 years of experience in treating sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing, and we would never pressure you into a treatment that would not truly benefit your health and well-being.
What Is The Treatment Process Like?
To start the process, you will need to come in for an examination or consultation. During this appointment, you can explain your symptoms and personal experience with airway obstruction. Your orthodontist will take 3D digital scans of your maxillofacial area so they are able to do an airway analysis and diagnose the root cause of your breathing difficulties. Depending on the cause, your orthodontist, an ENT specialist, or a speech therapist may provide treatment.
Orthodontic treatments for these breathing problems include palate expansion for children and orthotics for adults. The treatment time will really depend on the patient, and we will ask you to come in for check-ups periodically to monitor your progress and give more accurate estimates of treatment duration. Along with treatment, airway orthodontics can give you a better sense of how your breathing difficulties impact the rest of your body and your life.
Our team at Farina Orthodontic Specialists will be able to answer questions like:
- Are there other reasons for restricted airflow that are better addressed by another medical specialist?
- Has the improper formation of the upper and lower jaws, or other components of the jaw and airway resulted in limited airflow during breathing?
- Have these compensations influenced the shape, size, or position of the jaws, teeth, and face?
- Has the patient had to compensate for limited airflow while breathing? Has this resulted in improper habits, such as accelerated breathing, tongue placement, abnormal swallowing, or body posture?
Are Airway Orthodontics Covered By Insurance?
Insurance coverage depends on what insurance provider you have and what kind of treatment is needed. For airway orthodontics that you receive at Farina Orthodontic Specialists, you will need to check if your dental insurance covers orthodontics. If you need treatment from an ENT, this would fall under the jurisdiction of your general health insurance. As with all treatments at Farina Orthodontic Specialists, we do not want you to have to sacrifice your health because of financial stress. We encourage you to speak with our team about OrthoFi, our in-house financing program to divvy up treatment costs into a manageable payment plan.
Do I Need A Referral From My Dentist?
Nope! If you have been experiencing any of the above symptoms relating to airway obstruction, feel free to call Farina Orthodontic Specialists and set up a consultation. It is important to remember that you are in control of your body and the medical care that you receive, so be proactive and contact Farina Orthodontic Specialists today for top-notch care and a better quality of life.