Dr. Jack Friend is an experienced oral surgeon specializing in corrective jaw reconstruction (orthognathic surgery), wisdom teeth removal, and TMG treatment. Here are some specifics about each of these dental procedures:
Corrective Jaw Reconstruction (Orthognathic Surgery)
Orthognathic surgery is needed when the jaws do not meet correctly and/or teeth do not seem to fit with jaws. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics and corrective jaw surgery is performed to reposition misaligned jaws. This not only improves one’s facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.
Who Needs Orthognathic Surgery?
Patients that can benefit from orthognathic surgery include individuals with an improper bite or jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a gradual process and, in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. This can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health, and aesthetic appearance. Birth defects and injuries to the jaw can also affect a person’s jaw alignment. While orthodontics can correct bite problems if only the teeth are involved, orthognathic surgery is often required if the jaws need repositioning as well.
Difficulty in the following areas should be evaluated :
- difficulty biting, chewing or swallowing
- problems with speech
- open bite
- protruding jaw
- chronic jaw or TMJ pain
- breathing problems
The average adult has thirty-two teeth by age eighteen: sixteen teeth on the top and sixteen teeth on the bottom. The average mouth is made to hold just 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four extra teeth are your third molars, commonly referred to as “wisdom teeth”.
Why Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not typically happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they move to find a pathway that will allow them to erupt successfully. When this is the case these teeth should be removed to prevent infection and pain.
TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to the complex jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, these problems can be easily diagnosed and treated. Since some types of TMJ problems may progress to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are critical.
Trouble with Your Jaw?
TMJ disorders develop for several reasons. You may grind or clinch your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your Temporomandibular joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Whatever the cause, these issues can cause a misaligned bite, pain, clicking noises when opening your mouth, or difficulties opening your mouth wide.
There are various treatment options that Dr. Friend can utilize to improve the alignment and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Dr. Friend will determine the proper course of treatment for your individual case. To learn more about your treatment options and to schedule an initial consultation, call Friend Family Dentistry at (804)520-8994.