Choice between jaw surgery or having teeth extracted

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Choice between jaw surgery or having teeth extracted

#1 Post by Braces24 »

I am 24 years old and just got the clear Innovation braces on my top teeth two weeks ago. I never would have got braces put on, but I still had my baby canine teeth and the adult teeth erupted behind my other teeth pushing some of my teeth forward to give me the appearance of having a "snaggle tooth". I needed to get this taken care of and am now in the braces and they will extract my two baby canine teeth and pull down my adult canine teeth soon. My orthodontist has informed me that I have a severe overbite (when I bite down my front teeth completely overlap my bottom teeth). He has given me three options (none of which I find at all desirable) in how my treatment can be handled:
- I can just wear the braces to bring down the adult canine teeth into their proper place and straighten my teeth but deal with the overbite. He has informed me that once my teeth are straight the overbite will be much more noticeable
- I can have teeth extracted from my top and he can move my upper teeth back to match up with my lower teeth to give me a perfect bite but says this would negatively affect my appearance. I have a sort of pouty front lip that balances my profile, but would lose this if my front teeth are moved back and would have a profile where my nose dominated.
- I can have my jaw broken, and have my lower jaw moved forward. He is encouraging me to go this path since it would be the most aesthetically pleasing as well as fixing my bite.

I need help deciding. I do not want to go thru braces and the cost of them to be left with a noticeable overbite but I also don't want to change my appearance to look worse or go thru 6 weeks of having my jaw wired shut! I would appreciate advice from anyone who has had to make the same decision when it comes to fixing their overbite.

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#2 Post by ohmyjaw »

You may want to get a consultation with an oral surgeon and see what's involved in the surgery, because you may not need to be wired shut for 6 weeks (or at all). I had surgery for an underbite, not overbite, so I can't really offer any personal advice, but I do know a number of people on this forum have had surgery for overbites with great results (both functionally and aesthetically).

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#3 Post by almost50 »

I don't have the baby canine teeth issue, but I experienced deja vu when reading your options because it's practically word for word the same as mine. (I did see several orthos for a consult and got pretty much the same thing.)

So you are left with two options that won't look good, or one that will but involves surgery. Who wants to put the money and time into something that will negatively affect your appearance?

I ended up choosing the jaw surgery option. It's a big deal--more so at my age. I was told that it's a same day procedure unless there are complications. No jaw wired shut, but a splint. And you are young so you should heal fairly quickly and well and have the rest of your life to love your new smile.

I love my teeth
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#4 Post by I love my teeth »

OH Braces 24---it's like deja vu for me too!!!! when I was in jr. high, I had a baby canine pulled and the adult tooth brought down with braces........unfortunately, due to late growth spurt, maybe?? when I was in late high school my upper jaw grew, my lower jaw didn't....when I was 24 I was on my own, and moved away from home, got a dentist, who promply sent me to an orthodontist, who said I needed braces and lower jaw surgery to move my jaw forward, wired shut 6weeks (this was early 1990's)--I said no thanks--not interested--I got married, changed dentists, same song and dance-I said no thanks, cosmetically, I can deal--no one mentioned it was going to get worse, well here I am 2 kids and 15years later, at about age 36, I felt I was disliking my smile, but again for cosmetic reasons only, I was not going to do it!! Then, I met a new dentist and orthodontist who said if I don't do something I will loose my teeth---yikes!!! and here I am 1month into braces with an OS consult in July. They generally don't wire you shut anymore from what I understand!!

My advice--don't take my journey----I definately have hindsight is 20/20 going on, and reading this board and seeing all the 20somethings having braces---I could have done this and been done 15years ago, but I put it off, and put it off!!!! Please, if you do anything, see it all the way through--you don't want to have to do this again in your 40's!!!!! Any questions, let me know!! Good luck!
Wore Braces for 2 years, 5 months, 3 days



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#5 Post by iBorg »

I may not be the best person to answer this as I had both jaws moved forward (8.5 mm) and a cant removed a week and a half ago and my recovery has been on the extremely easy side. I was told that there was a good chance I'd wake up with heavy elastics and a splint. I had neither. I was warned of possible nerve damage (my age works against me), and while things don't feel right, I have feeling in most of my face. The swelling is a third of what I expected (but still annoying) and my skin is starting to react from the almost constant drolling. I've had a random bloody nose since the surgery but have been told that should be expected because of cutting in the sinus cavity when then moved the upper jaw. The increase in my breathing ability due to the jaw movement is absolutely amazing. My results have been so good I may not be the best opinion. Of course, someone who had a horror experience is also not a good source of information.

What I suggest to you is ask yourself several questions before proceeding. Will you learn to hate a compromise result because it prevented the difficulty of recovering from surgery? I ask this as I had a compromise treatment in the few years just out of high school. I learned to be ashamed of my smile in the twenty plus years between my first ortho treatment and now.

You need to consider how settling for a compromise treatment will effect you long term. Ask your ortho how stable your bite will be post treatment with each of his treatment schemes. If one treatment gives a pleasing result that is only short term (five or so years), is that the right approach?

Finally the advice given concerning second opinions is invaluable. We can make recommendations based upon our personal experiences, but trained professionals should not have a basis that will suggest one or another specific treatment plan. While you may not be able to see a surgeon without a referral (maybe your regular dentist could do that), you should seek at least two or three other opinions from other orthodontists. Even if you have to pay for the evaluations, when you consider how important your smile is to your mental health, they would be a good investment in your future.

Good luck. This is a difficult decision that needs to be made carefully and with due consideration.

I wore braces (this time) for 1294 days or 3 years, 6 months and 17 days.
But who's counting?
Jaw Surgery June 1, 2009
Thanks for praying for me and thinking happy thoughts.


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#6 Post by HokieTay »

As others have mentioned, it really comes down to what YOU want and professional opinions. I agree that more than one opinion doesn't hurt. When it is all said and done I have had 3 different dentist opinions and four different oral surgeon opinions.

I am also 24. I am getting upper and lower surgery on Monday. This was recommended when I was 15, but all I heard was "surgery, cutting, braces for even longer, recovery time, etc" and I said no, I don't care. My bite doesn't need to be perfect. Unfortunately, my parents let me have the final say and this is my SINGLE, BIGGEST REGRET IN LIFE. You may think I am being dramatic, but given I am 24 and have had a relatively good life I regret so much not doing it 9 years ago when my parents were footing the bill and I wouldn't have to take time off work, explain it to friends and coworkers, etc.

Now, I realize it's not just about my bite, my lack of profile, or gummy smile. It affects EVERYTHING for me... chewing, swallowing, breathing, sinuses, etc.

You know what's best, but of those options I would go with the surgery.

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#7 Post by sarpevictim »

When I was about 15 I went to see an ortho because I had an overbite just like teeth completely covered my bottom teeth.

They told me they could try braces and removing teeth but it wouldn't help that much, or I could do surgery to move my undeveloped bottom jaw forward. I said no way to the surgery, and no way to the braces since they wouldn't do much.

I regret that so much right now. I didn't know it was going to get so much worse; since my bite was already bad, I thought it couldn't get worse. The thing is that, if you have a problem that requires surgery to fix, it's best to do it as early as possible, because this problem is not going to go away.

Now I have an extremely narrow palate, a crossbite and my overbite is more severe so when they move the jaw forward it will be more movement which will make the surgery more dangerous.

I just did first of two surgeries that I have to do, and I'm loving the results. My jaw surgery is in a year after braces to "prepare" the teeth and as worried as I am, I am looking forward to it. This bad bite has affected me so much self-esteem wise and socially.

I don't know what kind of surgery your ortho wants you to do, but nowadays they have a new type of jaw surgery that doesn't require you to get your mouth wired shut. It involves a lot less cutting and they don't even put in a metal bar, just a few screws, which makes recovery a lot faster. I know I may be a little biased from my personal experience, I'm sure there are some terrible stories about jaw surgery too, but I would say do jaw surgery. If that fails, you have the other two to get mediocre results.

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#8 Post by Braces24 »

Thanks everyone for the advice, I appreciate it!

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Re: Choice between jaw surgery or having teeth extracted

#9 Post by archangel689 »

Braces24 wrote: - I can just wear the braces to bring down the adult canine teeth into their proper place and straighten my teeth but deal with the overbite. He has informed me that once my teeth are straight the overbite will be much more noticeable
You don't know how bad the over bite will be until the teeth are straight. Theres a possibility its almost non existent and you wont give a crap.

Theres also a possibility of a major malocclusion which means BSSO surgery at least.

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#10 Post by Braceschris »

Here is something else to think about that a lot of people do not look allways look at. Do you have a medical condition of Sleep Apena? If so this surgery should/will help you out so that you do not have to use a machine or dental device while sleeping. Just another thought for you to look at.


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