STRAIGHT TALK by Dr. Vic Schacher, Orthodontist
About Jaw Surgery
Q: My eight year-old son has a prominent lower jaw. I have been told to wait another eight years until he has stopped growing. He would then need braces and jaw surgery. Is this the only way?
Dr. Vic: No, don't wait. This is usually not the "only way". Orthodontic/orthopedic intervention begun at this age can achieve a much earlier and more natural looking correction and avoid the need for surgery. Some children can be treated as early as four years of age because this is a jaw problem and not a tooth problem. In cases of patients with jaw discrepancies the earlier they see the orthodontist the better. Early improvement in self-image can also be an important added advantage.
Q: Our orthodontist has recommended jaw surgery and braces for our fifteen year-old daughter to correct her bite. We would like to get the situation take care of but she doesn't want jaw surgery. What do we do?
Dr. Vic : Get a second opinion and if necessary a third. In many cases there are non-surgical alternatives in which well planned conventional orthodontic treatment alone can make a suitable correction.