The foundations which the teeth sit on – the jaws may also be out of position. They jaws can be crooked, narrow, too long or too short. All of these can have a significant effect the teeth and smile.
Braces are still required to move the teeth, but we also need the help of our friendly surgeon to move the jaws so that the foundations can be placed appropriately.
Surgery will be offered as an option, if your orthodontist feels it may produce a better result. Of course an alternative option will also be offered, however this is usually involves some level of compromise. The patient and family ultimately decide which option is best suited to them.
Some general information on surgery;
- Braces are placed for approximately 12 months before surgery. All surgery is carried out under a general anesthetic
- All surgery is done from the inside of the mouth
- There are no scars on the outside of the mouth after surgery
- Surgery aims to separate the jaws like the two sides of a tim tam biscuit. Like a telescope we can then slide the jaw forwards, backwards or side to side
- Wisdom teeth are removed at the time of jaw surgery. This means that you do not require surgery again (Which most people do anyway) to have the wisdom teeth removed later in life.
- The recovery process is astonishingly fast, and by week two most patients have had majority of the swelling subside.
- Metal plates and screws remain, holding the jaws together during the healing process. Generally, no second surgery is required to remove these.
- After healing the strength of the jaws back to normal.
- Sports can be played after 6-8 weeks.
- No surgery is done on the jaw joints.
- Braces are off the teeth 6 months after surgery.
- Total treatment takes approximately 20 months.