For most people regular visits to the dentist are enough to keep their smiles healthy and bright. Most issues can be prevented with regular maintenance and professional care, and existing issues such as missing, crooked, or discolored teeth can be addressed with cosmetic dentistry. However, those with underlying problems with jaw misalignment may require the help of an oral surgeon as well as a dentist to get their smiles into better shape.
Both major and minor corrective jaw surgeries can only be performed by an oral surgeon. Orthognatic surgery can help to correct irregularities and improve patients’ ability to chew, speak, and breath normally. These surgeons typically work in collaboration with dentists and orthodontists to reconstruct the jaw into proper formation. In addition to addressing practical concerns, orthognatic surgery can improve facial appearance and correct congenital defects.
Many jaw alignment problems lead to crowding of the teeth. This issue can lead to difficulty maintaining adequate dental hygiene as well as impede normal activities. Whether the misalignment is caused by genetic issues, lifestyle factors, or acute injury, the jaws and teeth must be realigned to avoid further problems. This may require long-term orthodontic treatment as well as surgery.
In some cases patients suffering from a misaligned jaw can benefit from tooth extractions and replacement of the missing teeth with dental implants. These artificial teeth will look just like natural teeth and allow patients to chew, speak, and breath normally. The advantage, however, is that they can be placed appropriately to correct crooked teeth and overcrowding. Both the extraction of the teeth and the placement of implants must also be performed by an oral surgeon, but further dental care can be administered by a dentist.
The idea of surgery may be off-putting for some, but the advantages it confers are too many for it to be dismissed. In addition to fixing the underlying problem, an oral surgeon can also address any complications that may have already resulted. This includes performing both reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries to restore the appearance of the face. A referral to an oral surgeon can be obtained from a dentist, but those interested can also learn more about their options online today.