Did you know that if you have an overbite, it’s likely an inherited trait – just like grandma’s high cheekbones or grandpa’s wavy hair? In the past, your ancestors were forced to live with crooked smiles (no wonder they looked so serious in those heirloom photographs). Today, there are a variety of treatments for overbites.
For most people, braces are all that is necessary to correct a bite or “occlusion” problem caused from teeth that are misaligned. But jaws can be misaligned too, sometimes causing an overbite. Have you wondered if corrective jaw surgery can fix your overbite? That’s exactly what corrective jaw surgery is designed to do – fix bite problems caused by jaw misalignment.
Here’s how it works:
• Prior to corrective jaw surgery, an orthodontist will place orthodontic braces on your teeth to move them into a new position that will fit together after your surgery.
• As your orthodontic treatment nears completion, it’ll be time to update your records with X-rays, pictures and models of your teeth.
• This information helps to guide your oral surgeon during corrective jaw surgery, which may take one to several hours to complete. During the procedure, your oral surgeon will reposition your jawbones to correct their misalignment by adding, taking away or reshaping bone. To hold your jaws in their new position, your oral surgeon may use surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands. Incisions are usually made inside the mouth to reduce visible scarring. If tiny incisions are required outside of the mouth, your oral surgeon will take care to minimize their appearance.
• The initial healing phase lasts about six weeks and includes a modified diet, strict oral hygiene program and rest. Most patients are able to return to work or school from one to three weeks after surgery, depending on how they’re feeling.