Jaw surgery vs braces – how to choose
There is nothing more beautiful than a person who is smiling. If you have been hiding your smile for years due to teeth issues you don’t have to do that anymore. Nowadays there are multiple ways in which you can improve your smile and overcome your smile insecurities. Certain issues can be solved with braces while others require jaw surgery. This is not a decision that you need to make on your own. The first step you need to make is to consult a professional. Sometimes you will need to combine both procedures and sometimes one or the other can fix your issue. Now let’s see how to choose between jaw surgery vs braces.
What is the main difference between jaw surgery vs braces?
Going to the dentist can be hard for some people, however, in order to resolve any dental issue and improve your health you need to cope with dental anxiety. This is important if you want to improve your life.
The biggest difference between jaw surgery and braces is how invasive procedures are. Getting braces is a much easier process. Even though you have wires on your teeth, and you need to maintain your braces it is not as invasive as surgery. You can go on with your day-to-day life as if nothing happened. You need to have checkups with your orthodontist, in order to check your progress. However, surgery is much more complex and there is a certain period of recovery. Moreover, there is no age limit for braces. However, when it comes to jaw surgery it is not recommended for kids. Their jaw is still developing. Therefore, it is better to try and fix their teeth issues with braces and then undergo surgery in the future if the problem is not resolved.
Another big difference between the two is the cost. The cost of braces and jaw surgery can vary depending on the severity of the case and the practitioner who is performing the surgery or fixing your braces.
The cost of braces vs jaw surgery
As you can presume the cost of surgery is higher than the cost of braces. The price difference is not small. The average cost of braces can go anywhere from $3000 to $7000, while surgery can cost you around $40000. The price of surgery is this high because you are not only paying for the surgery itself but also other hospital-related costs.
The good news is that if you have a good insurance policy then the entirety or a part of your costs can be covered. A good orthodontist will give you more information about this if you are not sure whether or not they accept certain insurance policies.
Jaw surgery can help with severe dental issues
Restoring the correct positioning of the jaws normalizes dental occlusion, guaranteeing effective chewing and good dental health over the long term and improving the aesthetics of the face and smile.
Jaw surgery, also called orthognathic surgery, can take place in different situations. The most frequent operations aim to reposition misaligned jaws to restore dental occlusion or to treat a fractured jaw. A jaw operation can also occur in the case of cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.
To have good teeth structure, your top and bottom teeth must come into contact in a very precise way. When teeth are not correctly aligned then the dental occlusion is imperfect. There are two types of malocclusions (misaligned jaw)- overbite and underbite. Overbite is when the upper teeth protrude and underbite is when the lower teeth are too far forward.
A misalignment of the jaws generally leads to more or less serious problems. These can significantly affect the quality of life of those who suffer from them. Apart from aesthetic concerns, jaw surgery can solve other problems related to teeth such as:
- Disorders of masticatory function
- Sleep apnea
- Difficulties related to swallowing
- Phonetic articulation problems
- Difficulties related to brushing teeth
How is a jaw operation performed?
The surgery is performed through the inside of the mouth. Therefore, there are no visible scars, and the stitches are absorbable. Once the jaw has been properly repositioned, titanium plates are placed on the bone to stabilize the new configuration. It is possible to remove them later if they are in the way. At the end of the operation, rubber bands are stretched between the jaws to guide them into the new occlusion.
The duration of the surgery varies from one to four hours depending on the complexity of the task. If there are no major complications, the patient is discharged no later than 48 hours after the operation.
What to do after the surgery?
To facilitate the healing and strengthening of the jaw, it will be necessary to avoid stressing it on the first days. The diet will therefore be adapted accordingly:
- Liquid food for the first few days
- Soft foods the following days
- Solid foods about 2 weeks after the procedure
The healing process is long but worth it. Once you can use your jaw normally you need to continue maintaining your oral health. This is important if you want to have healthy and beautiful teeth.
Alternatives to jaw surgery
Jaw surgery can treat severe cases of jaw misalignment. It is recommended when the situation has consequences on daily life and affects eating, speech, and/or sleep. However, there are solutions before jaw surgery. The first resort is traditional metal braces, especially in case of overbite.
Braces can improve your confidence
Many people think that you should get braces only for aesthetic reasons. However, this is not always the case. While straightening your teeth to fix your smile is just one of the reasons to get braces. If you are having trouble sleeping, chewing your food, or speaking these all can be signs that you need braces. These are the things that are stopping you from having a normal life.
Braces can help you resolve dental and orthodontic issues. Not only can braces improve your confidence but they can also help you fix speech impediments, jaw disorders, and biting and chewing problems.
What dental issues can braces fix?
We are not going to go into the history of braces today, but we will present you some of the most common issues that you can fix with the help of braces:
- Underbite – Not only this can cause your face to be unbalanced, but you can have problems with chewing. Braces can correct your underbite by pushing the teeth backward to align with your upper teeth.
- Overbite– this is the opposite of an underbite, and just like the underbite this can cause chewing and biting difficulties.
- Open bite – this is a common case with children, especially those that used to suck their thumbs. While most of the time these issues can fix on their own naturally, sometimes getting braces to correct an open bite is more efficient.
- Midline mismatch – when upper and lower jaws are not laying against each other, we call this a midline mismatch. Not only this causes you to have a distorted smile, but also you can have problems chewing food.
- Jaw misalignment – this can cause you to have pain in your jaw, if the case is not severe it can be fixed with braces.
- Difficulties with chewing – some of the above-mentioned issues can affect the way one chews. Improperly chewed food can cause dietary issues.
- Difficulty speaking – misaligned teeth can make it difficult to pronounce certain sounds correctly. Speaking problems caused by the misalignment can be fixed by braces.
What kind of braces do you need?
There are different types of braces not only the metal braces that most people use. Two other popular types of braces are ceramic and clear braces. A great thing about clear braces is that they are almost unnoticeable, which makes them more aesthetically pleasing.
One of the benefits of wearing clear braces is that it is easier to clean the teeth than it is with regular braces. You can take them off and do your regular teeth cleaning routine. With regular braces, it is harder to prevent tooth decay. Even with ceramic braces maintaining good dental hygiene can be challenging. Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces. They just see noticeable since the brackets can be the same color as the teeth or clear.
Many adults opt for clear braces because they feel more confident wearing them. If this option is more appealing to you, your orthodontist can recommend you some of the best clear braces on the market.
Which is better jaw surgery vs braces?
At the end of the day, there is no clear answer whether jaw surgery vs braces would be more suitable, it all depends on the severity of the problem. Certain mild and moderate issues can be fixed with braces while others require surgery. There is no right or wrong since both treatments are effective. It all depends on which treatment can fix the issue in question. Deciding wheatear one or the other is for you is not a decision you need to make on your own. You must visit a specialist who can analyze your problem and provide you with a solution.
If you want to learn more about dental hygiene and braces browse the Consumer Opinion Guide. You will find many interesting articles that will help you maintain good dental hygiene and stay informed about the latest braces trends and technologies.