Pediatric Dentofacial Orthopedics

Our team provides comprehensive evaluation and management of discrepancies in craniofacial growth and development for children ages three to seventeen. We focus on craniofacial risk assessment and orthopedic treatment for children with signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. Midwest Dental Sleep Center believes in early intervention, and we work with you and your child's team of medical providers to develop a multidisciplinary approach to care.

Sleep Disordered Breathing occurs in 4% to 11% of children. Although sleep apnea is multifactorial, discrepancies in craniofacial growth and development may contribute to an underlying sleep related breathing disorder. Facial growth influences the size and shape of the upper airway in the pediatric population. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, mandibular retrognathia, long and narrow faces, narrow and high-arched palate, steep mandibular plane angle, anterior open bite and midface deficiency can predispose children to developing sleep apnea.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Association of Orthodontists, The American Dental Association and The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine all recommend screening children for snoring and sleep related breathing disorders. Early identification and treatment of sleep problems may prevent negative consequences, including daytime sleepiness, irritability, behavioral problems, learning difficulties, motor vehicle crashes in teenagers and poor academic performance.

Risk Factors

  • Tonsillar or Adenoidal Hypertrophy

  • Craniofacial Anomalies

  • Obesity

  • Neuromuscular Disorders

  • Genetic Syndromes with craniofacial anomalies


  • Habitual Snoring

  • Witnessed Apnea

  • Choking or Gasping During Sleep

  • Disturbed Sleep

  • Bed Wetting

  • Unusual Sleep Positions - Sleeping in a seated position or with the neck hyperextended

  • Restless Sleep - frequent position changes during sleep

  • Headaches on awakening

  • Daytime Sleepiness

  • Learning Difficulties

  • Daytime Neurobehavioral Problems

  • Hyperactivity

  • ADHD


  • Mouth Breathing

  • Neurocognitive Impairment

  • Underweight or Overweight

  • Anterior Open Bite - There is no overlap between the upper incisors and lower incisors and the front teeth fail to touch

  • Micrognathia - Underdeveloped lower jaw (mandible)

  • Retrognathia - Lower jaw (mandible) is set back from the upper jaw (maxilla)

  • Maxillary Hypoplasia - Underdeveloped upper jaw (maxilla)

  • High-arched Palate

  • Dolicocephaly - Long and narrow face

  • Failure to Thrive

  • Hypertension


Midwest Dental Sleep Center may recommend non-surgical intraoral appliances after a complete craniofacial assessment as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to care. Midwest Dental Sleep Center uses a variety of functional oral appliances to optimize our patients growth and development that depend on each child's growth stage and specific craniofacial discrepancies.  Additionally, our team coordinates care with all appropriate medical providers, including primary care physicians, sleep medicine physicians, otolaryngologists, pulmonologists, oral surgeons, general dentists, orthodontists and speech language pathologists.  We work with your child's team of medical providers throughout the Chicagoland area to assist in a comprehensive multi-disciplinary treatment program.