If you suffer from jaw irregularities, you may benefit from surgical orthodontic treatment. These treatments can improve a patient’s ability to chew and speak and also improve facial appearances. While braces are commonly used to correct jaw problems, sometimes other treatments, like lower or upper jaw surgery, must also be used to ensure your teeth and jaw are properly aligned.
Who Needs Surgical Orthodontics?
An orthodontist can help determine whether you need this type of treatment, but generally an ideal candidate is a non-growing adult patient with improper bites and those with facial aesthetic concerns. Jaw growth is usually completed by age 16 for girls and 18 for boys. All growth must be completed before jaw surgery can be performed. However, the pre-surgical tooth movements can begin one to two years prior to these ages.
How Does it Work?
Surgery can be performed by an oral surgeon and may take serval hours, depending on the type of surgery needed. In lower jaw surgery, the jawbone behind the teeth is separated and the tooth-bearing portion is moved forward or backward, as needed. In upper jaw surgery, the jaw can be repositioned forward or backward, or the jaw can be raised or lowered. Certain movements may require the jaws to be separated, with bone added or removed to achieve the proper alignment and stability. Other facial bones that contribute to alignment may also be repositioned or augmented.
Recovering from Surgery
When you have completed surgery, you should be able to return to school or work within two weeks. After the necessary healing time (about 4-8 weeks), your Colorado Springs orthodontist “fine-tunes” your bite. In most cases, braces are removed within 6 to 12 months following surgery. After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to maintain your beautiful new smile.
Find Out if You or Your Child Needs Surgical Orthodontics
In many cases, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist should you or your child need Colorado Springs surgical orthodontic treatment. Learn more about orthodontics at All Smiles Dental Group.