While the majority of our patients can achieve better alignment and their perfect smile with standard orthodontic treatment, some people require a little more than braces. Some malocclusions can only be corrected with orthodontic surgery because their jaws need more substantial corrections than braces can deliver. This is a form of orthodontic treatment we are proud to be offering at iSmile Orthodontics to ensure everyone can find their straight, healthy smile.
Braces are designed to move your teeth and your jaw, gently, into alignment. Braces can be helped with elastics and expanders as well as occasional tooth extractions. However, there is only so much movement which can be achieved in these ways. Therefore, some bite alignments are simply out of the range of a brace’s capacity. For patients with a severe overbite or underbite, for example, orthodontic surgery can help.
There are two primary reasons a patient may require jaw surgery. Firstly, a severe skeletal discrepancy such as a severe overbite, underbite or an anterior open bite. These are usually misalignments which cannot be solved with traditional braces. Some patients will not wish to undergo surgery and in these cases, braces can be fitted. However, we will not be able to achieve the perfect smile which would be available after surgery. The other reason is that a patient may wish to undergo jaw surgery to correct a facial feature such as a small chin. This is not always possible but some surgical procedures can move existing bones into a more aesthetically pleasing alignment.
The decision to have surgery is not taken lightly and this is a conversation you will have with your Specialist Orthodontist and your Treatment Coordinator at your first consultation. It is your decision but your orthodontist will recommend surgery only when they believe it will deliver the best result for you. If you do wish to pursue surgery, we will refer you to our oral surgeon where your surgery options will be discussed in greater detail.
Translating as ‘Straight’ + ‘Jaw’,Orthognathic Surgery is available for patients with mismatched jaw alignments which cannot be corrected with traditional orthodontic methods. It is not true that your jaw is ‘broken’ during surgery and then reset in the correct position. The procedure is far more nuanced than that and is different for every patient. There are a number of different surgical procedures but these are the most common performed for iSmile Orthodontic patients:
- Maxillary Osteotomy – correcting a receded upper jaw, an open bite or a cross bite
- Mandibular Osteotomy – correcting a receded lower jaw
- Genioplasty – correcting a chin deficiency
You can discuss your surgical options with your orthodontist at your first appointment and then in more detail with our oral surgeon. Surgery can happen before or after you have had braces, depending on your alignment issues and how the teeth can be moved into position prior or after surgical intervention.
As with every aspect of orthodontic treatment, surgery requires a personalised approach. This article is designed to give you an overview of your options but for a diagnosis and treatment options specific to you, make an appointment with iSmile Orthodontics today.