Non-Surgical Treatment Options
The thought of having jaw surgery can be intimidating, and it’s not something that you want to do unless there is no other option. At Molen Orthodontics, we understand your concerns. By using the latest techniques and the most innovative tools, we have had great success treating patients using non-surgical treatment options in borderline cases.
We know that many patients have been told by other orthodontists that surgery was their only choice, but surgery is simply not always the best answer. We’re pleased to provide second opinions so you can confidently understand your full range of options. When you choose Molen Orthodontics, you can be confident that our doctors don’t just use the latest techniques and appliances—they’ve been instrumental in developing many of the non-surgical treatment procedures that we offer to patients.
Benefits from Non-Surgical Treatment
There are many people who may have been told that surgery was their best choice, but it is possible that the following cases will have great success without requiring surgical intervention:
- Patients who have good facial balance, despite their misaligned bite.
- Children whose jaws and facial bones are still in active growth.
- Patients whose need for surgery could be described as “borderline.”
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Your Non-Surgical Options
Low-Force Palatal Expanders
One of the most common non-surgical treatment options, which addresses narrow or misaligned jaws, is a palatal expander. These appliances may look a little intimidating, but you can rest easy—they’ve been used successfully and comfortably on thousands of patients, including our doctors’ own children. The expander is attached using temporary metal bands that fit around the teeth. It slowly and gradually places outward pressure on the two halves of the palate, separating them at their unfused suture, and widening the upper jaw. Our doctors believe strongly in also uprighting the lower teeth using a spring-loaded appliance of Dr. Molen’s own design concurrently while expanding the upper jaw. This ensures that the bite stays together to produce an even, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing result.
Expanding the upper jaw ideally needs to be done while your child is still growing, well before the two sides of the upper palate become fused. This treatment is typically offered to children up to 10.5 years of age, though there are a few exceptions. After expansion is complete, a non-removable permanent retainer is placed to protect the expansion. Expansion may seem like a straight-forward endeavor, but its execution and retention is actually quite technique-sensitive. In fact, our doctors see many patients that previously had palatal expansion done in other offices that were performed or retained improperly, and now require the widths of their jaws to be redeveloped.
You don’t want to go through surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary, and you definitely don’t want to put your children through it if there are other options available. As much as we’d love to be able to say ‘no’ to surgery in every case, this simply is not realistic. When a patient’s facial balance is severely out of alignment or the structure of the jaw is impeding the patient’s airway, surgery may be the only way to achieve lasting and significant results. When a surgical approach is warranted, you can rest assured in the knowledge that our doctors have extensive training and experience treating surgical orthodontic cases.
Whether or not we determine that surgery is your best option, Molen Orthodontics promises that we will always discuss your options with you honestly. We want to make sure that you are thoroughly informed and knowledgeable about your specific case and how your various treatment options will impact your results.