Principals of Orthopaedic & Ortho-Postural Dentistry

Incorporating innovation, knowledge and experience to deliver a higher level of patient well-being.

Oral health involves understanding the ultimate relationship between jaw growth, airway physiology, sleep quality and head and neck posture. Breakdown of teeth, excessive wear, jaw joint inflammation and muscular or neurological pain in the head or neck are often signs of the result of the body’s breakdown when compensating for less than ideal growth and development.

Woollahra Dental examines the patient to determine the causal sequence represented by the problem in question before commencing a treatment plan. This approach has proven to deliver a much higher level of care, where head and jaw pain problems are relieved before restorative, orthodontic or surgical procedures are undertaken.

Ortho-Postural Dentistry

Ortho-Postural Dentistry brings together years of research and understanding from the fields of sports medicine, neurology, orthopaedics, respiratory and whole body physiology and chronic pain treatment. The philosophy is based on rehabilitation of injured tissues, including worn teeth, with a view to restoring optimal function.

The system of treatment is based on aligning the skeletal system, which in turn results in a balanced muscular relationship. Minimal wear and stress to the supporting structures is therefore achieved.


Ortho-postural dentistry starts with the developing infant and growing child. A major aim is to correct aberrant myofunctional habits, establishing an ideal breathing pattern and developing jaw bones to their ideal genetic potential. These functions are critical to the child’s physical, emotional, biochemical and aesthetic development.

Orofacial pain

The treatment of chronic pain of the head and neck is a difficult diagnostic puzzle. In an acute injury, the pain is at the site of origin, in a chronic condition however, the brain and body have instigated a variety of compensatory mechanisms that may drastically alter the degree and location of symptoms.

Diagnostic postural balance tests are used to prioritise treatment and identify the origin of the presenting systems, which may involve: muscle pain of the head, neck or back; dizziness or vertigo; migraine; pain in the arms, hands or shoulders; sleep deprivation; swallowing difficulty; and many other symptoms. Treatment involves jaw joint stabilisation using removable pivots or splints and mandibular postural appliances to correct any structural injuries. Referral to other medical and allied health practitioners is required if systems persist for treatment of biochemical, physiological, hormonal or respiratory disorders.

Following jaw joint stabilisation, pain relief and a full range of jaw movements, restorative dentistry is undertaken (if required). This involves protecting compromised heavily restored teeth, improving aesthetics, reconstructing the correct intermeshing of teeth using restorative techniques (crown, bridges, implants or only) orthodontics, orthognathic surgery or cosmetic dentistry,