For some patients with severe bite issues (malocclusions) and abnormalities of the jaw bone, a combination of orthodontics and jaw surgery offers the best results, beyond what braces or aligners alone can provide. In these patients, Dr. Leemin works closely with highly skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeons to formulate a treatment plan together and to coordinate care for optimal treatment outcomes.
Patients who have a severe discrepancy in the size or shape of the jaws often benefit from jaw surgery. Examples include patients who have noticeable asymmetry of their lower face, unusually large lower jaw that causes a severe underbite, or those with a very small lower jaw that is contributing to sleep apnea, are all great candidates for surgical orthodontics. Dr. Leemin will usually present both surgical and non-surgical treatment options and explain the pros and cons of each. Many skeletal discrepancies are treatable with orthodontics alone, so we highly recommend discussing all your options during your complimentary consultation.
After your consultation with the orthodontist, you will be referred to be seen by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for a surgical consultation. That visit will be an easy, non-binding opportunity for you to explore your options and ask any questions you may have about the surgery. You will then return for pre-surgical orthodontic treatment, during which we will prepare your teeth with braces or Invisalign for 6-12 months prior to surgery. When your teeth are ready, you will have one more consultation visit with the surgeon for the final planning. On the big day, you will have your operation at a hospital or a surgical center, and depending on the procedure, you will either go home the same day or stay overnight. You will start with a liquid diet and gradually progress through soft and increasingly harder foods. Once the jaws have healed, your orthodontist will fine-tune your bite for a few more months and finish your treatment.
Because jaw surgery is a surgical procedure, it carries the risks associated with any other surgical procedure. Before undergoing any treatment, it is important that you speak with a surgeon who can adequately explain the benefits and risks of any treatment options presented to you. Our Portland orthodontist At Hillsdale Orthodontics, Dr. Leemin will walk you through the process so that you understand what to expect, and refer you to an experienced surgeon who can provide you with all the information that you need to make a well-informed decision.