When the treatment needs the cooperation of two specialities
Orthodontics and Maxillofacial Surgery
Upper and lower jaws are the bases of the teeth. In some cases, jaws are too small or too big, very wide or very narrow. As a result, teeth are misaligned and may suffer from several problems such as pain, decay, and periodontitis.
It is estimated that 5% of the general population has malocclusion due to skeletal irregularities. These problems can exist at birth, be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences or as a result of trauma to the face. The skeletal irregularities of the jaws and facial bones result in problems with chewing, swallowing, breathing and even speech and can definitely be responsible for face disharmony.
The most common developmental and aligning problems of the jaws are the following:
• Prognathism of upper or lower jaw (protruding teeth of upper jaw, protruding chin)
• Retrognathim of upper or lower jaw (abnormal posterior positioning of the maxilla or the chin)
• Gummy smile (excessive gum tissue appearance below the upper lip line)
• When smiling, upper front teeth are not visible
• The lips cannot close while the face is totally relaxed
• Long face
• Short face
• Open bite (there is a gap between the upper and lower front teeth)
• Facial Asymmetries
The orthodontist is the specialist that will straighten the crooked teeth and correct the teeth alignment for a perfect occlusion. But, in some cases, the orthodontic treatment is not enough. Skeletal problems of the jaws require special treatment through maxillofacial surgery. This is when the combination of Orthodontics and Maxillofacial surgery is needed in order to offer the best possible treatment. It is tailored to each patient’s personal needs and will result in correct bite, healthy TM joints, beautiful smile, and face harmony. The results of the cooperation of the two specialities are close enough to a perfect smile and face!
The treatment procedure
The treatment usually takes place at the age of 16-17, when jaws are fully developed. After evaluation and diagnosis, the orthodontic treatment begins aiming to align the teeth. The treatment, depending on each individual case, usually lasts between six and 18 months. Then, the orthodontist and the maxillofacial surgeon carefully plan the detailed procedure for the surgical operation. The use the latest technology with 3D scanners such as I-Tero Element, the 3D new generation Cone Beam Computed Tomography X-ray machine Planmeca Promax and 3D printers such as Envision-Tec, assist the maxillofacial surgeon and the orthodontist to fully diagnose the problems, imitate with absolute precision the necessary movements of the bones and schedule the treatment plan down to the finest detail.
Furthermore, surgical techniques have significantly progressed and have contributed to the considerable lessening of the duration of the operation with many advantages such as: the whole treatment period is shortened, intermaxillary fixation is avoided and the patient has less swelling and can eat regular meals from the day after the operation. After the surgery, the orthodontic treatment continues for six months in average, to finalize the occlusion and the perfect aesthetic outcome.
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