Some people are born with skeletal problems that prevent them from biting normally. This “bad bite” can be in the form of an under-bite, an over-bite or an open bite. Also known as severe malocclusion, the deformity can cause difficulties with chewing food properly (which affects digestion), speech problems, headaches and joint pain. It can also compromise a person’s appearance, especially their profile. To correct a bad bite, the jaw can be realigned in teens using Orthopaedic Appliances or by Surgery.
Orthopaedic appliances are used to improve the facial appearance and dental function in patients who are still growing and have a jaw discrepancy. The aim of this early treatment is to reduce the potential requirement for more complex treatment, involving either extractions or jaw surgery as they grow older.
Surgical orthodontics involves both an Orthodontist and an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon who use a co-ordinated approach in correcting significant bite discrepancies in patients. Although very few orthodontic cases require surgery, a small percentage of cases cannot be fully corrected without surgical movement of the jaws.