When a patient presents to our office for the initial visit, it presents the most opportune time to identify and contributing factors that may be causing a bad bite. Once orthodontic treatment is initiated, the environment is changed, and it becomes more difficult to identify and treat those underlying factors. One reason we put such an emphasis on identifying and treating underlying causes of bad bites is because of the chance for relapse if those conditions are not treated. Things we look for consist of, but are not limited to:
• Airway obstruction
• Mouth Breathing habits
• Tongue Thrusting/Tongue Tie
• Finger Sucking
• Lip and Fingernail biting
• Strong facial musculature
• Muscular imbalance
• Low muscle tone
• Excessive muscular activity
• Abnormal muscle function

A thorough health history and diagnosis is crucial in order to identify any of these potential contributing factors.

At a new patient consultation, the doctor will discuss pertinent health history and will look for signs of any of these contributing factors. As part of the diagnostic record, study models of a patients’ teeth and radiographs of a patients’ teeth and jaws are taken in order to properly diagnose any orthodontic problems. Often, a CBCT 3D radiograph is taken to identify growth and development of the face and jaws, as well as identify any underlying airway problems that may be present. Another valuable diagnostic tool our office uses is Rhinomanometry, which is a measure of nasal resistance to determine if a patient has higher than normal resistance to proper breathing through the nose. Once all of the information gathered is evaluated by the doctor, a very specific treatment plan can be created for the patient. This treatment plan will address any of the contributing factors that may be present.