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Surgical orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with interventions associated with the movement of the teeth and the jaws for orthodontic reasons using surgical procedures. Although orthognathic surgery (corrective jaw surgery) is also part of surgical orthodontics, this area is generally discussed as its own entity because of its complexity and specialized treatment preparation (See Corrective Jaw Surgery Section.) Surgical orthodontics includes procedures that generally involve both tooth and jaw surgery procedures to expand and augment the orthodontist’s capacity to treat multiple dental conditions which otherwise would give a patient either a compromised orthodontic treatment with likelihood of relapse or would make the proper treatment very difficult or nearly impossible. It aims to correct the position, appearance and function of bites, misaligned or unerupted teeth.
Oral maxillofacial surgeons are the specialist who works in conjunction with the orthodontists to provide these services. All of these procedures involve surgery in addition to the use of braces, chains, spacers, elastics, retainers, expanders, anchoring devices and skeletal fixation plates all to help achieve the desired outcome.
Surgical orthodontic procedures include the following:
- 1. Exposures and Impacted Canines
- 2. Molar Uprighting
- 3. Subluxations
- 4. Surgically Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion (S.A.R.P.E.)
- 5. Temporary Anchoring Devices (T.A.D.’s) and Skeletal Fixation Plates
These procedures are generally considered when patient start developing or present with dentofacial abnormalities which need corrections in deficiencies of either tooth eruption or position, lack of space and crowding, and/or growth discrepancies or abnormalities.
Because each of these surgical procedures requires specialized treatment and they are offered during specific time frames of the patient’s growth and development, these interventions are best described and discussed individually.