Orthodontic Surgeries in St. John, IN

Orthodontic surgery may be required to prepare for orthodontic treatment. Whether it's to make space for crowded teeth, bring impacted teeth into your normal bite, treat with exposure and bonding, remove extra teeth or treat baby teeth that are stuck, surgery and orthodontics together help you achieve a healthy, beautifully aligned smile.

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Why would my orthodontist refer me for surgery?

Orthodontists may refer patients to an oral surgeon to treat a variety of issues before or during orthodontic treatment. This is to ensure their teeth are capable and prepared to go through the orthodontic process. Some of these issues are very straightforward and can be treated in our office. It is common for patients to have a tooth that is "stuck" or impacted. After wisdom teeth, the canines (eyetooth) are the next most common teeth to be impacted. Typically there is not enough space or the angulation of the teeth is misguided causing the canine to be impacted. Because they are an important tooth in your mouth, surgery may  be needed to bring the tooth into the dental arch. Sometimes extra teeth (supernumerary) block eruption of the normal teeth. Early recognition of crowding, extra teeth, and missing teeth is important to properly time surgery based on development and orthodontic treatment. We work closely with your orthodontist to help you achieve the best orthodontic results.

Did you know…

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The second most common tooth to be impacted is the upper canine.

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Impacted Canines

Canines are important when it comes to your oral health and orthodontic treatment. Canines can remain impacted when there is insufficient space for eruption or they are misaligned. When timed properly with orthodontic treatment, Dr. Smythe can expose them and place a bracket to allow the orthodontist to guide them into proper position.

Managing Extra Teeth

It is fairly common to have extra (supernumerary) teeth that may block the eruption of normal permanent teeth. Dr. Smythe will work with your orthodontist to time the removal of the extra teeth to allow your other teeth to develop and erupt normally. Early recognition is important.

Baby Teeth

Your orthodontist or dentist may refer you to the oral surgeon to remove ankylosed (stuck or fused) baby teeth to allow the permanent teeth a chance to erupt. Proper timing of this can reduce the need for further surgery. The goal is for the permanent teeth to follow the path of least resistance in erupting through the space that was made by the baby tooth extraction.

We Work With Your Orthodontist

We work and collaborate closely with your orthodontist to get you a plan tailored to your needs. Because orthodontics relies heavily on growth, the timing of surgery and orthodontics will be carefully planned together. Not only does this create a better outcome, but it will also make the process as efficient as possible and decrease your orthodontic treatment time.

Tooth Crowding & Malposition

Patients who have severe malposition, malocclusions, or significant crowding may benefit from orthodontic extractions. By removing as few as one to two teeth, your doctor can make more room in your mouth to prepare you for your orthodontic treatment. As with basic extractions, orthodontic extractions will only be performed when absolutely necessary.

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Everyone deserves to love their smile. That’s why we make it easy to pay for your treatment in a way that fits your budget and lifestyle.

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Before & After

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The Benefits of Orthodontic Surgery

Ensure Proper Alignment

If your orthodontist refers you to get a few teeth removed or an impacted tooth "exposed and bonded," it is necessary to align your teeth during orthodontics. Most of these surgeries are minor. Surgery related to orthodontics may be surprising or intimidating but a straight smile is right around the corner.

Improve Your Oral Health

Misalignment in the mouth or crowded teeth can make brushing and flossing more difficult, increasing your risk for gum disease. Impacted teeth can damage their neighboring teeth if not properly guided into position. In most cases, it is beneficial to keep your natural teeth and guide them into position. Surgery can facilitate and often accelerate orthodontic treatment.

Allows Proper Eruption of Teeth

It may be necessary to make space for proper eruption of teeth as part of an orthodontic plan. Removal of extra teeth, baby teeth or abnormal growths in the gums or bone may be needed for proper eruption. Bringing your teeth into the right position will give you a healthy smile.

The Orthodontic Surgery Process

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Consultation & Treatment Planning

First, you'll visit us for a comprehensive exam after your orthodontic consultation. Dr. Smythe will evaluate your teeth and gums, and obtain 3D images to develop a plan that is right for you. It may be necessary to coordinate the timing of surgery with your orthodontist. We will also discuss anesthesia options.

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If it's decided that you or your child need surgery to facilitate your orthodontic treatment, your doctor will explore sedation options with you. Treatment may involve positioning the gums or removing bone around a tooth to allow a clear path for a tooth eruption. A small bracket is often placed on the impacted tooth and a fine chain is attached to the orthodontic arch wire. This will allow the orthodontist to guide the tooth into a healthy position as they do with all the other teeth.  In other situations, the removal of teeth or extra teeth may also be necessary. Dissolvable sutures are often placed.

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Healing & Recovery

Every surgery is different, so your doctor will provide you with aftercare instructions specific to your case. However, with most orthodontic surgeries, it’s normal to experience minor swelling or discomfort for a few days after the procedure. You may also need to eat a softer diet. Return to normal functions typically occurs within a day or two. In certain cases when a bracket is applied, you will be advised to see your orthodontist within 7-14 days.

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Frequently Asked Questions

In some cases, your insurance provider may cover all or a portion of your treatment. This depends on your policy’s coverage. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about your dental insurance plan, but we recommend that you get in touch with your insurance provider to see if your recommended oral surgery, extraction, or other treatment is covered. It may also be a good idea to file your claim with both your dental insurance provider and your medical insurance provider, as the surgery may qualify as a medically necessary procedure.

Orthognathic surgery is different than the orthodontic surgeries described above. It corrects larger discrepancies in jaw size and position rather than impacted teeth or dental crowding. Orthognathic surgery is a corrective procedure that shifts a misaligned jaw bone into the proper position with surgery when orthodontics alone cannot correct the bite. After undergoing corrective jaw surgery, patients are able to bring their teeth together into a proper bite, speak, breathe and chew properly. These procedures are typically performed in a hospital setting and we can make a proper referral for you.

No! You’ll be entirely numb during your procedure, and sedation options can further enhance your comfort. It is normal to experience some discomfort after your surgery is complete, but it can be managed with cold compresses, as well as medications as recommended by your doctor.

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call (219) 288-2800
St. John Oral Surgery and Dental Implants serves our neighbors in St. John, Crown Point, Lowell, Hebron, Demotte, Merrillville, Schererville, Dyer, Munster, Highland, Griffith, Beecher, Cedar Lake, Valparaiso, Winfield, Monee, Crete, Lansing, Steger, Rensselaer and Chesterton