Jaw Surgery In New York City (NYC)
A well-aligned bite is important for long-term health and well-being. When the alignment is poor, the joints of the jaw may suffer increased wear and tear. They may even eventually break down, causing pain and stiffness. Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics are often enough to correct the bite. However, in some cases, more is needed to create the correct alignment. In these cases, surgical treatment can be useful. Surgery intended to align the jaw is called orthognathic surgery.
What Types Of Surgical Treatment Are Used?
During orthognathic surgery, the surgeon can move either the lower or the upper jaw to create the correct alignment. In a few cases, both jaws are moved.
In order to accomplish the movement of the jaw, the first step is to divide it into two sections. The front section of the jaw, containing the teeth, is then moved into its new position. Screws and plates are used to affix the jaw into its new position while it heals. When necessary, the surgeon may take pieces of bone from other parts of the body, such as the hip or rib, and add it to the jaw.
A specialist who can perform this type of surgery is called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Orthodontists do not do surgical procedures. For this reason, our Upper West Side orthodontist will refer you to a surgeon if you need surgical treatment to get the optimal outcome. Having seen the results that patients have gotten from various surgeons, he can help you select the best jaw surgeon in New York City (NYC) for your particular needs.
Will Treatment Be Finished After Surgery?
The surgery is only one part of your complete smile treatment. Orthodontic treatment is used first, to prepare your mouth for the surgery. The goal is to align the teeth for your new (post-surgical) bite. Many adults have had previous orthodontic treatment during their adolescence. Often, this earlier phase of treatment aligned the teeth to the incorrectly placed jaw bones and was therefore unable to achieve the optimal outcome. In other cases, the jaw bones continued growing after the orthodontic treatment was completed, interfering with the treatment result.
The surgery is performed after the first phase of treatment is completed, while braces are still on the teeth. The braces are needed to stabilize the teeth during the surgical procedure. In certain cases, Invisalign can be used for the first phase of treatment, but braces will still need to be placed before the surgery takes place.
After surgery, the bones are allowed to heal. The braces are usually left on and help to accomplish the “finishing work” of bringing the teeth into the optimal alignment for the new jaw position. This typically takes only a few months. When these braces are removed, permanent retainers may be placed, or removable retainers may be used.
Our Manhattan Orthodontist Can Help Refer You To The Right Jaw Surgeon
If you are considering jaw surgery, the first step is to see an orthodontist who can evaluate you and then refer you to the right jaw surgeon. Dr. George Pliakas is one of the best orthodontists in New York City. At Central Park Orthodontics, he offers his patients the benefit of his many years of Ivy League education and extensive post-graduate specialty training. To book your appointment, call our Upper West Side (UWS) orthodontics office at (212) 362-4400 or use our convenient online booking system here.