Many common orthodontic issues can be treated with braces, clear aligners or oral appliances. However, in some instances, issues with the jaws or bite may be too serious for braces or appliances to correct on their own. If you’re a candidate for surgical orthodontics in Creve Coeur, call Olive Orthodontics today.
Sometimes braces and other common orthodontic treatment aren’t enough to give you a healthier smile and more confident appearance. Severe malocclusion (a bad bite) may make it difficult to chew, speak, and even breathe comfortably. Such oral issues can also cause headaches, face or jaw pain, and periodontal problems. To treat these problems, Dr. Rohra may recommend surgical orthodontics.
Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, corrects jaw issues to improve your ability to chew, speak and breathe. In cases of chronic sleep apnea, surgical orthodontics may be a treatment option to help open obstructed airways. It can also enhance your appearance in the case of underbite, overbite or other cosmetic problems. Jaw surgery requires a team consisting of an oral surgeon, orthodontist and general dentist to complete. It’s a multistep process and takes many months to coordinate.
Since treating your jaw alignment will involve moving your teeth, you will also receive pre-surgical orthodontic treatment before any surgical procedure. Treatment can include braces, clear aligners or other oral appliances to reposition your teeth. This will ensure your teeth will meet correctly once your jaw alignment has been treated. Braces treatment will typically last from nine to 18 months, depending on the severity of your case.
To begin your treatment, call our friendly and knowledgeable staff for a consultation. Dr. Rohra will discuss all your questions and concerns. Dr. Rohra has extensive experience preparing patients for jaw surgery. He’ll work closely with your surgeon and general dentist to create a plan to achieve the best possible results.
Surgical orthodontics is a coordinated team effort between your general dentist, oral surgeon and our staff. Once we’ve worked with you to develop a treatment plan, we’ll begin braces or clear aligner treatment nine to 18 months before your surgery. You’ll come in for regular orthodontic checkups to ensure your teeth will be in the correct position before your jaw surgery. As your teeth shift, you may feel your bite is getting worse which may cause anxiety or discomfort. But don’t worry! Once you jaws are repositioned, your bite will meet in a natural, comfortable alignment.
As with any surgical procedure, your oral surgeon will perform your jaw surgery in a local hospital. In lower jaw surgery, the jawbone is separated and moved forward or backward as necessary. In upper jaw surgery, the jaw may be repositioned forward or backward in the mouth or can be raised or lowered. Depending on your case and the degree of correction required, jaw bone tissue may be added or removed. Other nearby facial bones may also be repositioned or augmented to improve alignment as well as aesthetic appearance.
Surgical orthodontics is reserved for adult patients with misaligned jaws, underbites, overbites and other aesthetic concerns. Jaw surgery can’t be performed while the jaw is still growing. Jaw growth is usually complete by age 16 for girls and 18 for boys. With the many treatment options available to children and teenagers, surgery can be avoided with early prevention. However, if you’re an adult with issues too severe for traditional orthodontics to correct on their own, surgical orthodontics may be right for you.
Every case is different, but the post-surgery healing period will typically take between four and six weeks. You’ll need to rest in the first few days after your surgery, so expect some downtime (and plenty of soft foods) following your procedure. In most cases, you’ll be able to return to work or school within two weeks as you regain normal function in your mouth and jaw.
Your mouth will continue healing for the next nine to 12 months. In this time, you’ll continue to visit our office for regular orthodontic checkups. We’ll ensure your teeth are in the correct position and make any adjustments to accommodate your new jaw alignment. This treatment phase typically lasts two to six months before your braces are removed. Then you will wear a retainer to maintain your beautiful new smile.
If you think you’re a candidate for surgical orthodontics in Creve Coeur, call our office at (314) 274-1477 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Rohra will work with you to create a plan that will give you a beautiful and healthy smile that will last a lifetime.