Orthodontics and Corrective Jaw Surgery
Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of malocclusion (improper tooth positioning) and facial imbalance. An orthodontist is a dental specialist that has completed four years of dental school, as well as an additional two to three years of specialty training and advanced education in orthodontics. Orthodontists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of skeletal and dental malocclusion as well as facial growth and development. An orthodontist utilizes braces, headgear, retainers, appliances, and other methods to treat malocclusion and facial imbalance.
Orthodontics is an integral part of the diagnosis and treatment of every patient requiring orthognathic surgery as well as many patients requiring craniofacial and facial cosmetic surgery. The orthodontist is typically the first doctor to identify a facial skeletal problem and make the referral to a surgeon specializing in corrective jaw surgery.
The orthodontist and the corrective jaw surgeon together will diagnose the dental and skeletal problems and subsequently formulate a comprehensive treatment plan and estimated timeline of treatment.
Your orthodontist will apply braces to your teeth prior to your surgery so that your teeth may be moved into position to prepare for surgery. Braces work by placing a carefully controlled, constant, gentle force on your teeth to move them into the desired position.
Treatment times vary depending on many factors including your age and the severity of your problem. You will have braces before, during, and after your surgery. The total treatment time varies from approximately 1–3 years.