Orthodontistry is the practice of correcting teeth or jaw alignment to achieve a proper bite. An improper bite, or malocclusion, can interfere with appearance, eating, speech, sleep, and even breathing.
Sometimes, orthodontic treatment alone may not be enough to correct severe teeth and jaw alignment problems. Depending on the nature and severity of the misalignment, your orthodontist may recommend oral surgery before or during your orthodontic treatment to achieve optimal results.
If your orthodontist is recommending oral surgery, talk to the oral surgeons at Southwest Oral Surgery in Glendale. We can coordinate care with your orthodontist and create a treatment plan that is right for you.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) defines five types of oral surgery often performed in conjunction with orthodontic treatment:
As part of your treatment to correct misaligned teeth, your orthodontist may recommend the implantation of miniature titanium screws, known as Temporary Anchorage Devices, or TADs. These screws anchor the jaw in place, allowing your orthodontist to attach elastic bands that will apply the right amount of pressure to move your teeth in the proper direction.
Canine teeth, or eye teeth, have long roots that provide major support for chewing. If a canine tooth is impacted, your other teeth may be absorbing too much pressure from chewing and become damaged as a result.
Your orthodontist may recommend surgery to remove the gum tissue and bone that are covering the canine tooth, allowing the tooth to grow into your mouth correctly and align with the rest of your teeth.
The fold of membrane that attaches your lips, cheeks, and tongue to your jaw and gums is known as a frenem. The lingual frenem is located under your tongue; the labial frenem connects your upper lip to your gum above your two front teeth.
An enlarged lingual frenem can restrict tongue movement and impair speech; an enlarged labial frenem may prevent the two front teeth from growing together correctly. In either case, your orthodontist may recommend a frenectomy, or reduction of the frenem, so that your teeth and jaw can align properly.
Wisdom teeth removal may be required when they become impacted and adversely affect the alignment of your other teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can crowd your other teeth, making orthodontic treatment difficult. They can also cause hygiene problems or lead to cavities or gum disease.
Corrective jaw surgery, known as orthognathic surgery, may be required when the upper and lower jaws are misaligned; that is, they do not fit together properly. One or both jaw bones may need to be surgically repositioned to allow for a proper bite. In some cases, the jaw bones may need to be shortened or lengthened.
Common conditions requiring orthognathic surgery are an open bite (the jaw and teeth do not close together), overbite, underbite, and a condition called Le Fort Advancement, where the upper teeth are positioned behind the lower teeth.
If you require any of these surgeries, your orthodontist and oral surgeon will work together to provide you with the best treatment possible so that you can have healthy teeth, jaw, and gums…and a beautiful smile. For more information call Southwest Oral Surgery at (623) 792-5794.