Orthodontists are dealing with crooked or malpositioned teeth or jaws.
Patients may need teeth removed to create space in their mouths. Often orthodontists request removal of premolar teeth which are between the front teeth and the molars. They are either the fourth or fifth teeth back from the front. Usually these are very easy to remove, however most kids and many adults are nervous about the procedure as it is often their first real trip to the dentist for treatment. In this case some sedation either with a tablet or intravenous sedation will really help with the nerves. Healing is quick and braces go on about two weeks after surgery.
Impacted, or misplaced teeth
The most common impacted and misplaced tooth after wisdom teeth is the upper canine or eye tooth. These teeth have a long way to travel and often get lost in the palate. In this situation the tooth needs to be exposed and dragged into the correct position. Although it takes a while it is a very successful treatment in kids and can save a lot of headaches later in life if the procedure is peformed during the growing years. The success rate is much better in the teenage years than in adulthood so it is better to get in early. Exposures are a minor procedure usually performed under intravenous sedation (twilight sleep). The gum and any bone covering the impacted tooth is removed and often a gold bracket and chain are attached to the tooth. A dressing is also placed and this acts like a band-aid until it comes off or is removed. Most people need a day off school or work after the procedure to recover.
This type of surgery involves movement of the jaw bones to create facial harmony and a normal relationship between the upper and lower teeth. Sometimes braces can’t do all the work on their own and your orthodontist will refer you for a jaw surgery to align the jaws. Although everyone has a little asymmetry or variation in their jaws and face, sometimes this can be severe enough that it creates a functional problem with the bite and the facial harmony. In this situation movement of the jaws and chin can create a much easier job for the orthodontist and improve the bite and facial appearance. The surgery is commonly done. Most people will require a period of one to three weeks off school or work following surgery.