What is Surgical Orthodontics?
The primary function of surgical orthodontics is to straighten the jaw. While braces are often used to straighten the teeth, additionally surgery will also need to be used in combination with the braces, in order to straighten the jaw. This is also done to help with straightening the teeth, as they can be moved to their proper position after the jaw surgery is complete. Surgical orthodontics first involves x-rays being performed on the patient in order to determine what type of problem they are dealing with. Then, the teeth in the jawbone are aligned properly, which can take up to a year. After this, the jaw is then straightened by using the surgical orthodontic procedure. The different procedures included in surgical orthodontic include surgical-assisted rapid palatal expansion, corticotomies, orthognathic surgery and orthodontic implants and bone plates.
Who is in Need of Surgical Orthodontics?
Surgical orthodontics is not done on children or adolescents still growing, as their jaw may continue growing as well. It is ideal for any non-growing patients, which is typically girls 16 and older, and boys 18 and older. The jaw growth must be complete before surgery can be considered. However, the pre-surgery teeth movement through braces can start 1-2 years before getting surgical orthodontics performed.
How Surgical Orthodontics Works
Surgical orthodontics is done either on individuals who have not had braces and notice that their jaw is crooked, affecting their appearance, bite and smile, or with patients who have gotten braces but their jaw is causing them problems. It is done in a hospital setting and performed by an oral surgeon. The surgery itself may take several hours to complete, though this depends which procedure was performed. If the patient is getting surgery on their lower jaw, their jawbone will be separated behind their teeth in order to move the jaw backward or forward. With upper jaw surgery, the jaw is positioned backward or forward, lowered or raised, or any combination of these movements. Bone in the jaw may also need to be removed or added for better support and movement. The recovery time takes about 4-8 weeks in total, though you can usually return to work or school after two weeks.
If you are not happy with your jaw, whether because you can’t breathe and it is uncomfortable, or you simply don’t like the appearance of your face, speak to your orthodontist about possible surgical orthodontics. It is not only going to improve how you feel about yourself, but improves chewing and function.
Dr. Olmsted is committed to providing quality dental care to patients in Oak Ridge, Stokesdale, Colfax, Summerfield, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville. If you would like a consultation, call us at 336-441-8301.
If you are in need of orthodontics, it may not just be with braces to correct your teeth, but in jaw issues. Many people seeking help from their orthodontist have different problems with their jaw, whether it is from problems with talking, chewing or even breathing. The facial appearance and lines of the jaw may also be affected. This is where the benefit of surgical orthodontics comes in, as it can correct a variety of problems that traditional orthodontic treatment, like braces, can’t.