My son has worn braces for the past four years. Although his teeth are
straight, he still has an open bite. The orthodontist stated he wants to remove the braces at this point since they have been on his teeth for a long
time and he wants to avoid any damage to his roots or teeth.
He suggested two options: One to remove the braces and just get a retainer. He mentioned the open bite would not improve with the retainer but probably would not get worse. However, he mentioned there is still a slight chance that it could become worse even with the retainer. The second option would be at some point to have surgery to take care of the open bite.
Is it true that not all braces can control the open bite? What would happen if he didn't use any type of retainer for a few years? Would his teeth possibly straighten out on their own? If surgery is the route we go, what age would you suggest to go with the surgery? ...Visitor from NJ
By today's standards 4 years is a long time for orthodontic treatment.
True, orthodontic treatment has its limitations when it comes to skeletal
structure and sometimes a combination of orthognathic surgery and
orthodontics is necessary.
When probability is that both treatments will be necessary, the preliminary
orthodontic treatment is done to line up the teeth in the most favorable
position for the future surgery and improve the smile esthetically for the
time period until surgery is appropriate.
Orthognathic surgery (done in the hospital by an Oral and Maxillofacial
Surgeon) is rarely accomplished prior to full bone growth. This is usually
measured by an x-ray, typically of the wrist, which shows that the skeletal
growth is matured. Usually sooner in females this is not until late teens.
I would recommend a second opinion with an oral surgeon/orthodontic team
that are accustomed to working together and on these specific types of
potential surgical cases.
If you need a referral to an appropriate team, there are a couple in my area
whom I'm familiar with. If it needs to be closer to you I can request if
they know anyone experienced and well skilled in these areas.
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