Orthodontics is the field of dentistry that deals with correcting malocclusions (improper bites) and misaligned teeth. Braces are one of the most common orthodontic appliances to straighten teeth and correct occlusion problems. However, in some cases, braces alone may not correct severe bite problems. In such cases, surgical orthodontics may be required in addition to braces.
Combining braces and surgical orthodontics is a popular treatment option for patients with severe bite problems. Broad Street Braces in Philadelphia offers this comprehensive guide covering everything you need to know when combining these two treatments.
What is Surgical Orthodontics?
Surgical orthodontics, or orthognathic surgery, is an orthodontic treatment used to correct severe skeletal abnormalities of the jaw. These abnormalities can result in functional problems such as difficulty chewing, biting or speaking, and psychological problems such as low self-esteem and confidence.
Surgical orthodontics involves braces in combination with orthognathic surgery to correct these abnormalities. The surgery involves cutting and repositioning the jaw bones to restore teeth alignment and improve the patient’s bite.
Who is a Candidate for Surgical Orthodontics?
Not everyone who needs braces requires surgical orthodontics. The procedure is typically recommended for patients with severe skeletal problems that cannot be corrected with braces alone. Some of the common conditions that may require surgical orthodontics include:
- Severe underbite or overbite
- Open bite (when the upper and lower teeth do not meet when biting)
- Jaw deformities
- Sleep apnea
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Speech problems
If you have any of these conditions, Dr. Neil Uffner at Broad Street Braces may recommend surgical orthodontics and braces.
How Does the Procedure Work?
Before surgery, you must wear braces for several months to prepare your teeth for the procedure. Dr. Neil uses braces to move your teeth into the correct position, which will help your surgeon plan the surgery. Dr. Neil works with several teams of orthognathic surgeons in the Philadelphia area, including those at the University of Pennsylvania, Jefferson Hospital and Temple University Hospital.
During surgery, your surgeon will make incisions in your jawbone and move the bones into the correct position. They will then secure the bones in place with small plates and screws. After surgery, you must wear braces for several months to ensure your teeth remain in the correct position.
What to Expect After Surgery
After surgery, you must follow a strict diet and oral hygiene regimen to ensure your bones heal properly. You may experience swelling and discomfort for the first few days after surgery, but this will gradually subside. You must visit Broad Street Braces regularly to monitor your progress and adjust your braces as needed. Following Dr. Neil’s instructions carefully ensures the best possible outcome. Once your treatment is complete, you can enjoy a straighter, healthier smile and improved bite function.
Combining braces and surgical orthodontics is a highly effective treatment option for patients with severe bite problems. If you have any conditions requiring surgical orthodontics, talk to Dr. Neil at Broad Street Braces to see if this treatment option is right for you.