Planning and Pre-Surgical Orthodontic Treatment
THE BEGINNING OF TREATMENT
When a patient’s orthodontist has evaluated the patient and considered that surgery may be indicated as part of their overall treatment, the patient is referred to Dr. Maranon. The orthodontist and Dr. Maranon will now work together to determine whether a patient is a candidate for corrective jaw surgery and which surgical procedures are appropriate. After they have made that determination, they will present the treatment options to the patient. It is important that patients and their families understand the treatment and procedures. Treatment may require a long-term commitment from the patient and your family. Dr. Maranon and the patient’s orthodontist will give an estimate of the time required for your treatment and what is involved.
The main goals of orthognathic surgery are to achieve a correct bite, an aesthetic face and an enlarged airway. While correcting the bite is important, your facial appearance must be considered to achieve the most aesthetic result. Great care must be taken during the planning phase to be successful. Planning treatment requires a multidisciplinary team approach that includes your dentist, orthodontist and Dr. Maranon. Sometimes patients are asked to see other medical and dental providers such as periodontists, primary care physicians, an otolaryngologist (Ear Nose and Throat), a plastic surgeon or a speech therapist. Facial and dental measurements, radiographs, CT scans, dental models (impressions or molds) and photographs will be taken. Planning software is used to try to predict the facial changes after surgery and to explain surgery to patients and their families.
Before your surgery, the orthodontist will use orthodontic appliances to move the teeth into a new position. In order to prepare for your surgical procedure, teeth must be coordinated in the jaws so that they will fit together after surgery. Pre-surgical orthodontics may take as few as 6 months or as many as 18 months, depending on each individual patient’s needs. The orthodontist typically places braces on the teeth to align crowded teeth and position teeth favorably in the jaw. Many patients may even feel their bite is getting worse during this phase rather than better. Dr. Maranon will monitor the orthodontic phase of treatment and consult with the orthodontist frequently. During treatment, impressions of the teeth will be taken in order to check the progress of the orthodontic alignment. These impressions are referred to as progress models. As pre-surgical orthodontic treatment nears completion, additional or updated records, including x-rays, pictures and models of the teeth, may be taken to help guide surgery. Once the pre-surgical goals have been achieved, an appointment is made for the patient with Dr. Maranon for pre-surgical analysis and planning.