From time to time, our patients are informed that they need jaw surgery to assist the orthodontic management of overly large or small jaws. The skeletal framework of the upper and lower jaw affects how the facial soft tissues hang, and there are various skeletal determinants of facial beauty. These skeletal determinants affect the shape and relationship between the tip of the nose, the upper lip profile, the lower lip profile and the profile of the chin. Based on these datum points, various reference planes are described. For this reason, the orthodontist will use these reference planes (as seen on the right) to assess the need for jaw surgery.
The purpose of surgery (known as “orthognathic surgery”) is to normalise the size of the jaws such that the teeth can fit together accurately, while still maintaining or improving the harmony of the soft tissues, particularly the datum points described above. For most patients, orthognathic surgery is the only suitable option.
Some-times, it is possible to perform a “camouflage” procedure where we use a device known as an AdvancSync M2M appliance to assist camouflage a small lower jaw. In this way, we can in some cases avoid jaw surgery.
AdvanceSync Molar to Molar (M2M)
Along with the train-track brace, a “piston-like” device is placed on the molar teeth causing the lower jaw to move forwards when it closes. The lower jaw is held forward throughout treatment. The treatment works by facilitating remodelling of the jaw and/or joint. In children, there is much anecdotal evidence to indicate that a permanent change occurs. In adult jaws, there is a very significant risk of “relapse” i.e. the lower jaw will remodel back again. To prevent this, it is necessary to consider a longer term retention appliance to wear at night.
See the video below to understand more about the innovative molar-to-molar appliance (M2M).
Phone Antwerp Orthodontics today and speak to one of our Treatment Coordinators to find out how this innovative appliance can help you, and avoid jaw surgery in some cases.
Specific Advice for Orthodontic Patients
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