Alternatives to Jaw Surgery

Alternatives to jaw surgery include:

  1. Growth Modification for growing kids
  2. Camouflage Orthodontics
  3. Microimplants and camouflage orthodontics

Could we avoid jaw surgery when our children show signs of jaw imbalance?
Yes, and maybe.

For young kids showing early signs of an imbalanced jaw relationship, do bring them for a consultation early. This is one of the reasons why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that 7 years old be screened by an Orthodontist who is trained to diagnose and manage young children.

With early diagnosis and the right indications, Growth Modifications can be applied to prevent problems from snowballing and help make a complex problem easier to handle in future. Treatment solutions vary according to the type and severity of the jaw imbalance, as well as the age at which your child seeks help with us.

As a non-growing teen or an adult, growth modification is no longer an option. What then?

For late teens and adults, mild to moderately severe jaw imbalance can be treated with Camouflage Orthodontics.

What is Camouflage Orthodontics?
Camouflage Orthodontics is when we accept the underlying jaw imbalance but use braces to move teeth into a better bite to disguise and make the jaw imbalance appear ‘less severe’. This is done by changing the angulation of the front teeth to compensate for the jaw imbalance.

There are limitations to camouflage orthodontics such as thickness of the bony housing, lip and nose aesthetics (which will be discussed at your consultation with us). If the skeletal jaw imbalance is too great and pushes against the limitations of camouflage orthodontics, then a surgical approach to achieve better dental and facial aesthetics; dental health and stability should be seriously considered.

Below is an illustration of Proffit and Ackerman’s Envelope of Discrepancy. It describes the limitations and possibilities of the three basic treatment options for jaw discrepancies (Camouflage orthodontics; Dentofacial Orthopedics and Corrective jaw surgery).

The smallest inner circle represents the limitation of camouflage orthodontics, which achieves lesser outcome compared to the next two treatment options. The middle circle represents dentofacial orthopaedics. This treatment option produces a greater treatment range than braces alone but less than braces with jaw surgery. The largest, outer circle represents corrective jaw surgery which can achieve the greatest treatment change.
With the advancement of orthodontics such as Microimplants, which are small, temporary bone supports, we can now stretch the treatment range for camouflage orthodontics.

Proffit, W.R. and Ackerman, J.L. (1982) Diagnosis and Treatment Planning. In: Graber, T.M. and Swain, B.F., Eds., Current Orthodontic Concepts and Techniques, Chapter 1, Mosby, St. Louis, 3-100.

At MyBracesClinic, we strongly believe that patients ought to know the various treatment options available to solve their bite and facial profile problems. We will present these treatment options and discuss the pros vs. cons of each plan. Let’s balance these points with your input and feedback to reach an informed decision together.


FAQs about Alternatives to Jaw Surgerys

  • Is jaw surgery a major surgery?

    Jaw surgery is a major surgery that may take some recovery time. While recovering from jaw surgery, you might need to adjust your lifestyle, diet and other aspects of your daily life. Your doctor will advise you about the treatment plan and recovery process before the surgery.

  • How long does jaw surgery take to heal?

    One may see some sign of healing about 6 weeks after the jaw surgery in Singapore. However, the full recovery process may take up to 12 weeks. Thus, the whole surgery and recovery process can affect the patient’s lifestyle a lot.

  • How do I know if I need jaw surgery?

    It is best to visit an orthodontist for proper diagnosis. Your orthodontic doctor will advise you whether there is an actual need for jaw surgery or if your teeth and jaw alignment can be corrected with orthodontic braces instead.

  • What can you not do after jaw surgery?

    There are many things that you will not be able to do after the jaw surgery. Your orthodontic doctor will discuss them with you and what alternatives you may apply right before your decision if you want to proceed with the jaw surgery or not.