Not all oral malformations can be remedied by traditional orthodontic solutions. For instance, many jaw abnormalities are severe and interfere with chewing, appropriate speech, and may even cause headaches and facial pain. A severe over- or under-bite may contribute to aesthetic concerns and embarrassment. The only way to remedy these conditions may be surgical treatment. Let’s consider together what that may involve.
If your orthodontist determines you need oral surgery due to functional or aesthetic problems with your bite, he will consult with a maxillofacial surgeon to plan your treatment. Usually he will not recommend the surgical approach to treatment if you are under the age of 16, as the jaw is underdeveloped prior to this.
An orthodontic surgery must be performed by a licensed maxillofacial surgeon in a hospital setting. It may take several hours and the recovery period could last up to two weeks. Once your bite has healed your dentist will take care of any necessary minor adjustments in his office, possibly through braces or retainers. This entire process may take up to a year.
The benefits of orthodontic surgery are not just limited to a beautiful smile; ease of chewing, clearer speech, and alleviation of facial pain are all common after effects of these procedures. It could also be considered an option for treatment of severe sleep apnea.
Every medical procedure comes with risks. However, you should have ample time prior to your surgery to discuss any concerns with both your orthodontist and your oral surgeon. They will work together to create a treatment plan you’re comfortable with that will also be effective in reaching the goals you have for your smile.
If you feel you may be a candidate for orthodontic surgery, speak with your orthodontist today. You may not have to continue to suffer pain or embarrassment caused by an oral malformation. The road to your ideal smile may be just a phone call away!