In a small percentage of the population, comprehensive orthodontic treatment alone cannot correct a malocclusion (condition in which the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly). Differences in growth of the upper and lower jaws, injury, and birth defects result in malocclusions best corrected with braces and corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery). Fortunately, in many cases in early adolescence, orthopedic growth appliances (such as a Herbst appliance) and braces are successful in correcting skeletal discrepancies so surgery can be avoided. For adults, however, orthopedic appliances and braces alone are generally not successful as growth is complete.
Dr. Beck will identify patients who would benefit from orthognathic surgery at the initial visit. She will review with you her findings and the recommended treatment. If you are an orthosurgical candidate, Dr. Beck will refer you to an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon for a presurgical consultation. The oral surgeon reviews the problem and determines the type of surgery needed to realign the jaws. Their office will address any insurance questions you have concerning the surgical phase. Then, the surgeon and Dr. Beck will work together to create a treatment plan.
The next step for patients proceeding with treatment is the presurgical orthodontic phase. During this phase, braces are placed and teeth are aligned properly in each jaw, allowing crowding and malalignment of the teeth to be resolved. This phase of treatment varies from six to eighteen months, depending on the goals determined by Dr. Beck and the oral surgeon. During the presurgical orthodontic phase, periodic study models, photos and x-rays are taken to evaluate the presurgical alignment.
The surgical phase of treatment is the next step for orthosurgical patients. The oral surgeon takes appropriate records prior to surgery and reviews the plan with you. The surgery is perfomed under general anesthetic as an inpatient or outpatient procedure. Micro screws are used routinely to stabilize the bone segments in place. Patients are usually able to resume their normal routines two weeks after surgery. Any restrictions in physical activity and diet are reviewed with you at the time of surgery. Patients return to Dr. Beck's office 4-6 weeks after the surgery to resume the postsurgical phase of orthodontic treatment.
The postsurgical orthodontic phase is generally six to twelve months. During this phase of treatment, the patient's bite is fine-tuned for an optimal result. Adaptation of muscle and teeth to the new alignment occurs during this phase. Patients will also be followed by the oral surgeon.
What are common problems requiring Corrective Jaw Surgery?
a prognathic lower jaw
a receeded lower jaw
an openbite where patients only bite on the back molars
asymmetry of either jaw
inability for the upper and lower lips to meet without straining the lips when at rest
excessive gum tissue showing in a rest position and at smiling
Our patients having an orthosurgical correction have been extremely happy with their results. Great results happen when patient, orthodontist, and oral surgeon work together as a team.