“I am a special type of dentist. My job is to straighten teeth with braces, check for the adult teeth appearing in the mouth at the right time and to help plan for more complex brace treatment if patients need it when they are older. I work with the cleft surgeons and other dentists on the team to get patient’s the best smile we can.”
The Orthodontist’s role is to monitor the growth and development of the teeth and the jaw bones, mainly being concerned with improving their function and appearance. Any patient who has a cleft involving a gap in their jawbone, will most likely require their teeth to be moved into a better position for function and their aesthetics. This is sometimes done at two stages, once around the time of a patient have their alveolar bone graft and then later on once patients have all their adult teeth.
If a patient has a top jaw growing less than their lower jaw, it might not be possible to correct their bite with just braces. Therefore, they work closely with the cleft surgical team to determine if it is necessary to change the position of the jaw bones once a patient has finished growing.
If a patient is missing any adult teeth due to the gap in their jaw bone, the orthodontist and restorative dentist plan the case together to determine the best outcome for each individual patient’s needs.
All patients who have any orthodontic treatment will be given a set of retainers to hold their teeth in the position they have been moved to, it is essential these are worn to maintain a good result.
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