4455 E. Camelback Road, Suite #E-100, Phoenix, AZ 85018
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Surgically Facilitated Orthodontic Therapy (SFOT)


Medical research is making almost daily innovative and significant advancements in modern medicine and dentistry. Medical breakthroughs such as high intensity guided laser therapy that can destroy cranial cancer cells to a pinpoint location without harm to other surrounding brain cells. In dentistry, Surgically Facilitated Orthodontic Therapy, or SFOT, is an advanced procedure that pinpoints and treats the underlying problems of insufficient alveolar bone and compromised arch forms in patients with maligned teeth. It is an alternative to the traditional orthodontic approach to managing dental crowding, malocclusion and is airway directed.

Nearly two-thirds of the US population have malocclusions of unknown etiology; however, insufficient alveolar bone is a common finding. When you don't have enough alveolar bone for the teeth, your teeth may not have enough room to be properly aligned without a compromise. This is very common in patients with dental crowding or crooked teeth. In certain instances, tooth extractions may be recommended in order to make room to align teeth. This doesn't address the constricted arch form that can negatively affect function, esthetics, and the critically important airway. Unfortunately, extracting a tooth is irreversible and has the potential to reduce oral cavity volume. Instead, SFOT adds the necessary bone around the teeth widening the bone arch for tooth movement where bone did not previously exist.

CT 3-D images of the results of bone grafting to increase the bone volume for proper tooth movement
CT 3-D images of the results of bone grafting to increase the bone volume for proper tooth movement

CT cross sectional radiographic images of bone volume before and after bone grafting
CT cross sectional radiographic images of bone volume before and after bone grafting


Additionally, many patients may have a tooth extracted and teeth aligned during orthodontic treatment only to be disheartened, when their teeth begin to relapse 5-10 years later changing their smile. In addition to the changes to their smile, they develop gum recession or that they don't have enough room for their tongue compromising the airway. Most of the time, the problem is not too many teeth for the jaw, but rather not enough jawbone volume to house the teeth properly. The innovative surgical technique, SFOT, is used to prevent case relapse, avoid tooth extractions, develop proper bone volume around the teeth, correct an improper bite (malocclusion), reduce the long-term risk of gum recession and develop more oral cavity volume which makes more room for the tongue and opens up the airway compared to the traditional approach of extracting certain teeth, pulling them back which lessens the airway space.

Surgically Facilitated Orthodontics treats the underlying problems associated with maligned teeth and not just the symptoms which is poor tooth positions and crooked teeth. Research evidence demonstrates that SFOT reduces the amount of time spent in braces by over 50%, most cases can be treated in 6-9 months. This can be a significant time saving and make it possible for a working adult.

Reduced Treatment Time, Reduced Risk of Complications


The revolutionary SFOT approach includes correcting misaligned teeth by enhancing the healing phenomena of the bone surrounding the teeth after a specific periodontal surgery to respond to orthodontic treatment in a more gently and predictable way. After a corticotomy with bone augmentation surgery, the bone physiologically "softens" for a transient period of roughly 3-4 months. This is known as the regional acceleratory phenomena (RAP), something originally discovered in orthopedic surgery. RAP will actually make it easier, and faster, to move the teeth into their proper place. This type of tooth movement is almost totally different from that that occurs with the traditional procedures of moving teeth through the natural hard bone. The bone augmentation creates more bone volume to prevent extractions, increase the boundaries with which safe tooth movement can occur, and transforms the periodontal phenotype to one that is actually less susceptible to bone loss and gum recession. In many cases, SFOT can also help accomplish orthodontic tooth movement that would not otherwise be possible as well as to optimize oral cavity volume needed for better breathing. The teeth can also be positioned for an enhanced and more dynamic smile.

Cases


Case 1


Close up of misaligned teeth pre-treatmentPre-Treatment

Close up of straight teeth after a Surgically Facilitated Orthodontic treatmentPost-Treatment
Treatment Time: 6 months and 3 weeks

Case 2


Close up of misaligned teeth pre-treatmentPre-Treatment

Close up of straight teeth after a Surgically Facilitated Orthodontic treatmentPost-Treatment
Treatment Time: 6 months and 2 weeks


BENEFITS OF SFOT THERAPY


•  Requires a comprehensive diagnosis and coordinated treatment planning between Dr. Watkins and your orthodontists
•  Creates an enhanced, dynamic smile
•  Extraction of permanent teeth may be avoided
•  Reduces orthodontic treatment time by 50%
•  Establishes proper bone structure
•  Helps eliminate the risk of post-orthodontic relapse
•  Decreases the risk of root resorption (Roots being shortened)
•  Reduces the risk of gum recession
•  Converts thin periodontal phenotypes to thick – reduces the incidence of bone loss influenced by tooth movement
•  Can be used with either braces as well as aligners

These SFOT advantages are the result of treating the causes of post-orthodontic relapse and gum recession by creating a more stable bone environment thus making orthodontics a long term acceptable, cost-effective patient option.

Call Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona at (480) 504-0506 to schedule a consultation.
Office Hours
Monday8–5
Tuesday8–5
Wednesday7–4
Thursday8–5
Friday8–12
Closed for Lunch12–1
Contact Us
4455 E. Camelback Road
Suite #E-100
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(480) 504-0506