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Surgical Solutions

Oral and Orthognathic Surgery

Some orthodontic treatment plans may require surgical interventions like extraction of teeth or corrective jaw surgery.

Adult with recessed upper jaw needing jaw surgery

Our Comprehensive Assessment Identifies Any Surgical Needs

Dr. Reichard’s initial evaluation of a new patient assesses tooth and jaw relationships, along with facial aesthetics. For some patients, their treatment plan will include surgical interventions. This might include removal of teeth, placement of temporary implants or moving the upper and/or lower jawbones.

Teen with metal braces needing orthognathic surgery

Signs Indicating Surgical Intervention May Be Needed

Orthodontic problems that require surgical treatment can be caused by a variety of factors, including inherited or congenital conditions or injuries to the mouth or jaw.

These situations, among others, may indicate a potential orthodontic surgical need and should be evaluated by Dr. Reichard:

  • Jaw, chin and nose appear misaligned
  • Lips do not touch in a natural manner
  • Chin/lower jaw sticks out farther than upper jaw (protruding jaw)
  • Chin is small or recessed (retruded jaw)
  • A tooth, usually third molar/wisdom teeth or canines/eyeteeth, is “stuck” and does not erupt on its own

Different Situations Require Different Orthodontic Surgery Solutions

Oral surgery includes removal of teeth. A tooth or multiple teeth may need to be surgically removed in order to ensure proper spacing. A tooth may become stuck and not erupt on its own, called an impacted tooth. An ectopic tooth is a tooth that is erupting in the wrong place; depending on where it erupted, an ectopic tooth may need to be surgically removed. At times, extra teeth (also called supernumerary teeth) or growths may block proper eruption of a normal adult tooth.

Oral surgery also includes the placement of temporary implants used to move teeth. A temporary anchorage device, or TAD, consists of one or two miniature titanium alloy screws temporarily placed into the gum tissue and jawbone. A TAD creates a fixed point in the mouth that can be used to direct and shift teeth as needed. Dr. Reichard may recommend a TAD when she wants to move certain teeth while keeping others still. While the procedure may sound scary and painful, both the placement and removal are quick and painless.

Orthognathic surgery modifies the jawbones and is also called corrective jaw surgery. This type of surgery is more complex than oral surgery. The surgery can be performed on the top jaw, bottom jaw or both, depending on the patient’s specific needs. The jawbone(s) can be moved in or out, up or down, or shortened or lengthened.

Dr. Reichard Partners with Local Expert Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Experts

Like many aspects of healthcare, it sometimes takes a team of experts working together to deliver needed care to patients. Orthodontics is no different! In addition to partnering with patients' family dentists, Dr. Reichard works closely with local oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

Dr. Reichard refers patients needing either oral or orthognathic surgery to local, experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons. The specific surgeon recommended depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic needs and treatment plan, and will be provided as part of Dr. Reichard’s treatment plan discussion with the patient.