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FAQ:  Orthodontics - Children - Teens



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Question:
Small Lower Jaw: My top teeth are straight .. it's just my lower teeth.

In my lower mouth my two fronts are in the back because when it was time to take out my baby teeth I didn't so the permanent teeth grew behind the baby teeth. The dentist I went to put braces on my top teeth and gave me a retainer for my bottom teeth to make space so they can put braces on the bottom.

But my jaw is so small that it is taking a long time for my lower jaw to gain the space it needs to get braces on them. I was considering a surgery on my lower teeth to make them straight. But ... after the surgery will I have to wear braces? And if so how long? ....Visitor from NY

Answer:
What you are considering is called Orthognatic Surgery. It is the moving of the bones in the jaw itself (breaking the jaw and resetting it).

When this procedure is done you will need to wear braces often before and after the surgery. The first set of braces may make the Occlusion (bite) worse until the surgery is actually performed. The purpose of this is to move the teeth into the position they should be in after the surgery.

After the surgery the braces will serve to help set the bone (Jaw) in it's new spot and will perform the final alignment of the teeth to a perfect fit.

Total treatment time with the braces may be one to two years with the final aesthetic result not fully realized until all of the fat and muscles adjust to the new position in about a year after the surgery.

Editorial Staff



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