Interdisciplinary Collaboration at Airway and Sleep Group
When working with dental patients, age can matter, especially in dental care for infants and young children and adults. And the critical ages from birth to five, before the adult teeth have erupted, sets the stage for the future. That’s why the interdisciplinary collaboration between pediatric dentistry and craniofacial orthopedics in orthodontics at Airway and Sleep Group’s “Zero to 5” program series is so important.
The Zero to 5 Program
In the Zero to 5 program, early intervention is recommended to get a patient’s craniofacial growth off to the best start. As outlined in an earlier blog post, deficient craniofacial growth can affect a child’s airway development, leading to problems with sleep — like sleep apnea, tooth alignment, and the space for the tongue. It’s also shown as a root cause of some behavioral problems and learning issues.
With an interdisciplinary collaboration between a pediatric dentist and a craniofacial specialist, you have the best of both worlds.
Why Interdisciplinary Collaboration is so Important Between Pediatric Dentistry and Craniofacial Orthopedics in Orthodontics
A “regular” dentist’s office can be scary for a young child, with its professional and sterile demeanor. A pediatric office, on the other hand, is set up for children, with bright colors and toys, language that helps children relax, and technology sized for smaller mouths. (See: What is the Difference Between a Pediatric Dentist and a General Dentist?)
Your pediatric dentist can also be the first to identify an issue in your child’s airway or craniofacial development. They’re familiar with normal growth and anatomy and can pinpoint a problem area early.
This is where interdisciplinary collaboration comes into play. The pediatric dentist may call in a craniofacial specialist for evaluation. If anomalies or issues are found, a plan utilizing both dental specialties can be created to address them before they have the chance to impact your child’s growth and development.
Every child’s mouth and bite are different and unique, and with interdisciplinary collaboration, you have the advantage of modern technology and child dental health experts of multiple disciplines at your fingertips.
What Is Craniofacial Orthopedics in Orthodontics?
First of all, what is orthodontics? Simply put, it’s the dental specialty that diagnoses and treats teeth and jaw irregularities in people ranging from children to adults. These abnormalities can include things like crooked, crowded, or impacted teeth, bite problems, and jaw misalignment.
Craniofacial orthopedics is a sub-specialty of orthodontics that focuses on tooth and jaw development and growth, along with facial malformations like a cleft palate or cleft lip. A child’s jaw may not develop in an optimal proportion to the face, which can affect speech, chewing, or airway openness. Early intervention can lead to desired outcomes in facial harmony, bite coordination, normal dental functions, and airway openness.
Through Airway & Sleep Group’s Zero to 5 program, we work with children and their pediatric dentists like Dr. Rishita Jaju of Smile Wonders to catch and treat potential complications early. This helps prevent the need for more serious or invasive treatments later on.
Schedule Your Appointment
For more information, contact Airway & Sleep Group at 571-244-7329. You can also fill out our online contact form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.