Airway Centric® TMJ philosophy/Airway Centric® orthodontics ushers in the postretraction world of orthodontics
William M. Hang, DDS, MSD1 , Michael Gelb, DDS, MS2 1 Private Practice, Agoura Hills, CA, USA,
2 Department of Oral Medicine & Pathology, NYU College of Dentistry, New York, NY, USA
Objective: Airway Centric® Dentistry/Orthodontics was defined in a previous article (Gelb M. Airway centric TMJ philosophy. CDA Journal. 2014) that also suggested airway considerations were more important than condylar position issues in determining patient health and welfare. Indeed, that article called for a new paradigm in the profession, but specific treatment techniques to achieve optimal airways and avoid reducing the airway were not discussed. The present article amplifies on that article and identifies specific orthodontic treatment methods, which are or are not, congruent with this new paradigm.
Method: The basis of traditional orthodontic diagnosis is outlined with references from the literature that show the scientific foundation for treatment is weak. A new approach to diagnosis and treatment with the goal of airway optimization is discussed.
Discussion: Six keys for optimal orthodontic outcomes are presented as new goals, and none involve the teeth. Ten specific treatment goals are outlined, and some are the diametric opposite of the current standard of care in the profession.
Conclusion: We recommend that optimizing the airway for every patient and never doing any treatment which will diminish the airway, even minutely, needs to become the standard of care in Airway Centric® Dentistry.