Why a Well-Aligned Bite Is Important
Having a well-aligned bite is essential for your long-term health and well-being. Poor alignment means the jaw’s joints may suffer increased wear and tear. Eventually, they may even break down, resulting in pain and stiffness. Often, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics are enough to correct the bite. However, in some cases, more is needed to create the correct alignment and surgical orthodontics on the Upper West Side may be necessary. Surgery intended to align the jaw is called orthognathic surgery.
Types of Surgical Treatment Available
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.
How does the surgeon do this? In order to accomplish the movement of the jaw, the first step is to divide the jaw into two sections. The front section of the jaw, which contains the teeth, is then moved into its new position. Screws and plates are used to attach the jaw into its new position while it heals. If needed, 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.
This type of surgery is performed by a specialist called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Orthodontists do not do surgical procedures but if you need surgical treatment, our Upper West Side orthodontist will refer you to a surgeon to get the optimal outcome. Having seen the results that patients have experienced through surgical orthodontics, he can help you select the best jaw surgeon in NYC for your particular needs.
Before & After Surgery
Your surgery is just one part of your complete smile treatment. Before surgery, orthodontic treatment is used to prepare your mouth for the surgery. The goal is to align the teeth for your new (post-surgical) bite through the use of braces. In certain cases, Invisalign can be used for this first phase of treatment, but braces will still need to be placed before surgery is performed. Why? Because braces are needed to stabilize the teeth during the procedure. Therefore, surgery is performed after this first phase, while braces are still on the teeth.
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 Orthodontist Will Refer You for Surgical Orthodontics on Upper West Side
If you are considering surgical orthodontics, 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 on the Upper West Side. 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 orthodontics office at (212) 362-4400 or use our convenient online booking system here.