How Dental Care, Orthodontics, and an Oral Surgeon Work Together

Oral SurgeonYou may need an oral surgeon while straightening your teeth.  Many of our patients want a beautiful and perfectly straight smile.  There are many advantages of getting one including your health and appearance.  Crooked teeth are more susceptible to getting cavities or becoming infected, so this is a true positive for your overall health, doing far more than creating a beautiful Hollywood-style smile. In fact, no matter how old you are, there are clear advantages to a straight and healthy smile.

Before you can head down the road to straight teeth, you must first make sure that they are healthy.  In this way, it all starts with traditional dental care.  Having your teeth cleaned and examined should be the first step before you have any cosmetic or orthodontic procedures.  This allows us to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar while ensuring that your mouth is healthy and without cavity or infection. If we identify something like gum disease, for example, that will need to be treated first so that you are not exposing your mouth to any unnecessary irritation during your treatment.  Simultaneously, you should not put pressure on infected teeth, something that braces would do if your teeth were left untreated.

Once you are ready for orthodontics, both braces and aligners are excellent options.  They function using the same basic principals of applying constant pressure to the teeth.  The main difference is that braces are affixed using a system of brackets and wires.  Aligners, on the other hand, look like a full upper and lower retainer that comes out when you eat or clean your teeth.  The latter option is only available for older teens and adults, making traditional braces a continuing solution for children everywhere. At times, however, an oral surgeon is also involved in the treatment plan.

While most people don't think of an oral surgeon when getting braces, there are many times where one is necessary for completing the overall procedure.  For example, not every tooth will respond to pressure by braces or aligners.  There are times where all of the other teeth have moved or are moving, and a straggler simply won't respond.  In this scenario, oral surgery may be necessary.  Very often, a dental implant can take the place of a natural tooth in order to complete the smile transformation.  An implant is the best synthetic option to a natural tooth because it tricks the body into thinking that it is your real tooth.  This is done by implanting a titanium post under the gums and securing it to the jawbone.  The titanium and bone will fuse together through the process of osseointegration, creating a durable synthetic root system that helps to support bone health.  The new crown that is attached to it will look completely natural in order to finish the smile makeover achieved through orthodontics.

The second reason that an oral surgeon may become involved is to help with a jaw alignment.  A misaligned jaw can put undue pressure on certain teeth, hurt your appearance, and even create discomfort in the jaw, face, and neck.  Aligning it is a critical function of orthodontics but there are times where oral appliances aren't enough to complete the process and, in this case, an oral surgeon is called in to help.  Working together, dental care, orthodontics, and oral surgery can produce a healthy and beautiful smile.

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