Current Overbite Treatments
Orthodontics needs to be about more than straightening your teeth, it has to consider your entire face.
Orthodontics treats what are often complex facial conditions, based solely on the position of your teeth. This narrow focus ignores crucial elements such as your facial profile and airway.
Braces are widely accepted as the way to correct misaligned teeth. But trying to fix structural issues of the face with simple orthodontics, can have permanently harmful effects on breathing and facial development.
It's still common orthodontic practice to treat dental crowding by taking out healthy teeth. Teeth are generally the same size, so if your teeth aren't straight, it's likely your jaws haven't reached their ideal size.
A big overbite is the product of a small lower jaw. Yet most orthodontic treatment of an overbite, involves making your upper jaw smaller by removing teeth, or training you to posture your lower jaw forward.
Current surgical techniques to advance your lower jaw have benefits, but these are relatively modest. There are limits to how far they can bring your jaw forward, and require you to wait until you finish growing.
IMDO™ corrects an overbite while the face is growing, without removing teeth, or spending lengthy time in braces. IMDO™ opens your airway to normalise your breathing, and balances the proportions of your face.
Orthodontic extractions are still common practice in treating teenagers with big overbites. Extraction-based orthodontics uses the space made from tooth removal to pull back the upper front teeth.
Using braces to pull the front teeth back restricts the normal growth of the upper jaw. In fact, the goal with orthodontic extractions is to make the upper jaw smaller, to match the already small lower jaw.
This form of treatment is considered by many to be conservative, probably because orthodontics has been practiced this way for the past century. However, extraction orthodontics is anything but conservative.
One surgical procedure is needed to remove teeth before even starting braces. At least two years in braces is needed to close the extraction spaces, and further surgery is likely to remove impacted wisdom teeth.
Extraction orthodontics results in the loss of eight or more healthy teeth. Restricting jaw growth has permanent impacts on breathing, increases sleep apnea risk, and has detrimental effects on facial appearance.
Jaw Splints are often used alongside orthodontic extractions when attempting to correct an overbite. The devices are designed to increase growth of the lower jaw, by pushing and holding the lower jaw forwards.
Pushing the jaw joints forward and out of their sockets, is intended to increase their growth during development. This supposedly lengthens the lower jaw so that it is correctly proportioned with the upper jaw.
Another view, is the jaw joint finds a new functional position in the more forward position. Despite numerous studies to measure the success of Jaw Splints, all research to date has proven them ineffective.
There is the additional concern that the continued use of Jaw Splints during orthodontic treatment, can result in long-term jaw joint damage and chronic pain.
Best case scenario, treatment with Jaw Splints merely fails to correct a small lower jaw. At worst, it can lead to permanent injury to the jaw joints and debilitating pain conditions.
Traditional Jaw Surgery
Jaw Surgery corrects a small lower jaw by advancing it to match the upper jaw. The BSSO is performed by making a surgical cut at the angle of the jaw, which allows the front of the jaw & teeth to slide forward.
The procedure is reserved for patients with complete facial growth. At least one year of Ortho treatment is required before surgery, to move teeth into a position that enables predictable alignment of the jaws.
Small titanium plates & screws hold the lower jaw stable while it heals, and require removal in a second procedure. It can take up to 3 months or more for numbness to disappear, and normal jaw function to return.
Jaw Surgery has limits to the amount of stable movement each procedure can achieve. The BSSO can advance the lower jaw by a maximum of 10mm.
Any surgical procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, please seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
To speak further with our patient coordinator, or to book a consultation today, please use our online inquiry form or call 1300 323 288.