When Surgical Orthodontic Treatment Might Be Needed

In many cases where there is a problem with teeth, such as crowding or crooked teeth, orthodontic treatment alone is enough to correct the problem.

However, in cases of severe alignment issues or jaw abnormalities, you may need surgical orthodontic treatment to line up your jaws and teeth correctly, so you can have that dazzling smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Most orthodontists have to refer patients who need surgery to an oral surgeon, but at Millennium Park Orthodontics in Chicago, you have a built-in advantage: Howard Spector, DDS, is the rare orthodontist who can also perform oral surgery.

What is surgical orthodontic treatment?

Surgical orthodontic treatment is corrective jaw surgery that is performed to treat skeletal problems that impair a patient’s ability to bite, chew, speak, or breathe. Normal orthodontic treatment is done in concert with the surgery. So when your surgery and orthodontic treatments are complete, your jaws and teeth will meet correctly.

Who needs surgical orthodontic treatment?

If your upper and lower jaws are severely out of alignment, you may need surgical treatment. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as genetics, birth defects, or injuries. For example, as you get older, your upper and lower jaws may grow out of alignment in the form of an extreme underbite. If this occurs, you’ll need surgery to correct the alignment of your jaws, and you’ll need orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth.

The best candidates for surgery are older teens and adults, because they’ll have finished growing. Your face and jawbones must be fully developed, or a growth spurt could undo the surgical correction.

What should I expect with surgical orthodontic treatment?

Your specific surgery will depend on your specific case. Dr. Spector can correct your jaw malformation as needed. He can move your upper and lower jawbones forward, backward, upward, or downward as necessary. He can even add extra bone if a jawbone is underdeveloped.

Surgical treatment alone won’t solve the problem. You’ll also need regular orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign®. Because Dr. Spector will handle both aspects of your treatment, he’ll easily be able to coordinate your orthodontic treatment with your surgery. 

Recovery time from your surgery will depend on what’s being done, but healing can last a month or two. Braces normally take 18-36 months to work their magic, and Invisalign normally takes 9-18 months. Surgery can add a few months to the process.

If you want your teeth straightened and think you may have an alignment issue as well, Dr. Spector can give you a thorough evaluation and explain your next steps. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Millennium Park Orthodontics today.

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