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What We Do as a Jaw Surgeon in Lee's Summit
As a jaw surgeon in Lee's Summit, when braces alone cannot correct misaligned jaws, we can bring your jaws into alignment that will enable you not only to chew more effectively, but will positively impact your smile.
What is a Malocclusion and How Does it Affect Me?
A malocclusion is the medical term for jaws that do not fit together correctly, possibly due to a congenital defect, an injury, or simply that the upper and lower jaws developed at different rates. Malocclusions are often hereditary, overcrowding or abnormal bite patterns can be, and often are passed down from parent to child. However, as a jaw surgeon in Lee's Summit, we can correct most of these problems.
In a normal jaw, when the teeth are brought together, the upper teeth fit over the lower teeth, and the points of the molars neatly fit into the grooves in the opposite molar. However, if both sets of teeth are out of sync with each other, when the person bites down, the upper teeth will protrude beyond their lower ones (over-bite). Otherwise, the lower teeth will protrude beyond their upper ones (under-bite), or the upper teeth will come down to the side of the lower set. One other problem is called an 'open-bite' when both the upper and lower jaws protrude so far out that the front teeth do not touch even when the person's mouth is closed.
It is true that only a very few people have teeth that are perfectly aligned, but most problems are so unnoticeable that they do not require treatment. However, when the malocclusion is serious, it can cause a number of problems, any of which may indicate the necessity of corrective jaw surgery and working with a jaw surgeon in Lee's Summit.
Difficulty biting, chewing and/or swallowing
Chronic pain in the joint of the jaw (TMJ disorder), or in the jaw itself.
Excessive and unbalanced wear on the teeth
Breathing through the mouth
A protruding or receding lower jaw
Lips that do not meet
Additionally, most people are very conscious of their profile when the lower jaw protrudes too far forward or is set too far back giving them the classic 'weak chin'. While surgery is done from a medical standpoint to correct function and improve the person's ability to chew, speak and/or breathe, it can dramatically improve their appearance as well. What is particularly valuable is that computer imaging enables us to show the patient how they will look after the surgery.
This surgery is often, but not always, preceded by orthodontic treatment, inasmuch as the patient will wear braces for a period of several months to bring their teeth into alignment. In which case the surgeon will work closely with the orthodontist.
After the teeth are closer to where they need to be, we will reposition the jaws. When the lower law protrudes, the two portions of the law are separated, and the front portion moved backwards. On the other hand, if the lower law is positioned too far back, the portion that holds the teeth are brought forward.
It is unnecessary to live with the pain, discomfort and less than pleasing appearance caused by misaligned jaws. As a jaw surgeon in Lee's Summit, we will gladly answer any questions you may have and will guide you through the process.