28 Asylum Street
Milford, MA 01757
Esposito, Peter T D.D.S.
2377 Boston Rd # 105
Wilbraham, MA, 01095-1180
Donadio, Marco G D.D.S.
110 Long Pond Rd # 124
Plymouth, MA, 02360-2642
Morgan, Peter A D.D.S.
1 Merrimac St # 18
Newburyport, MA, 01950-2562
Rosenfeld, Leonard D.D.S.
435 South St # 4
Pittsfield, MA, 01201-8214
If you're having problems with TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction), your diagnosis doesn't have to be guesswork. Your dentist or oral surgeon can see joint structures clearly and start your treatment with confidence.
You or someone you know may have had arthroscopic surgery to fix a knee, shoulder or hip injury, especially if the injury was sports related. But more and more dentists and are using this amazing tool for jaw disorders.
The arthroscope is a small microscope that is inserted into the jaw joint to monitor the surgery. We can watch closely as intrusive tissues -- that limit jaw mobility and impinge on nerves -- are cleared away.
Since the arthroscope is less than 2 millimeters, there's no need for sutures and you won't experience any scarring.
This procedure is done under general anesthesia and requires a short hospital stay. You may also need therapy to limber jaw movement. The good news is that patients who have arthroscopic jaw surgery experience almost immediate relief from their TMJ symptoms and a rapid recovery.
Corrective oral surgery (orthognathic surgery) moves teeth and jaws into a more balanced, functional and healthier position. Unequal growth of the jaws, birth defects or injury can create problems. Orthognathic means "straight jaws" and corrects a wide range of facial and jaw fractures and irregularities.
Its benefits include an improved ability to:
When only the teeth are involved, orthodontics can correct many "bite" problems but it cannot reposition jaws. Corrective oral surgery is usually performed when needed in connection with orthodontics corrections. The orthodontist and oral surgeon work together in developing your specific treatment program. A complete evaluation of the patient's condition through X-rays, photographs, facial measurements and dental impressions help them determine the best course of therapy.
Your orthodontist and oral surgeon will work closely together in preparation for your complete treatment program. First, pre-surgical orthodontics will move your teeth into a new position to fit together better after surgery. This means you'll be wearing braces for 6 to 18 months prior to the surgery. Your teeth will be carefully evaluated during orthodontic visits. When your dental correction team determines that your teeth are properly positioned, the surgery will be scheduled.
The surgery is performed in either a hospital or outpatient surgical center under general anesthesia which "puts you to sleep" during the operation. The length of surgery will depend upon the amount and type of surgery needed.
Since most incisions are made inside the mouth, no external scars are usually visible. If incisions are needed externally, the surgeon carefully conceals them in natural skin creases.
After surgery, you will experience some discomfort that is usually not significant; the pain can be controlled with medications. Your healing will take some time. Normally you can return to work or school within two weeks.
After four to eight weeks following surgery, your orthodontics treatment will continue to complete the proper positioning of your teeth. Usually your braces are removed within 6 to 12 months after surgery.
Following the removal of your braces, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a check-up. You'll have plenty to celebrate with all the benefits gained as a result of the corrective oral surgery.
By Brian J. Gray, DDS, MAGD, FICO