Alternatives to jaw surgery include:
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.
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.
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.
With the advancement of orthodontics such as Microimplants, which are small, temporary bone supports, we can now stretch the treatment range for camouflage orthodontics.
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.