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Surgical Orthodontics Provides Path to Healthy Smile

For some patients, orthodontic measures such as braces or Invisalign may not be enough on their own to address severe orthodontic challenges.

Bad bites, asymmetry, jaw growth abnormalities, TMJ issues, and sleep apnea are just a few of many issues that require comprehensive corrective action that may be addressed only through surgical orthodontics.

This treatment, often called orthognathic surgery, is a powerful tool to achieving a healthy bite, balanced facial esthetic and ideal treatment result.

Surgical orthodontics basics

In most cases, surgical orthodontics is commenced once growth is completed. The orthodontist and oral surgeon are experts in determining the ideal treatment timing based upon several growth markers.

Jaw surgery is typically completed in combination with active orthodontic treatment and it is imperative that your orthodontist and oral surgeon work together cohesively. These are much more challenging orthodontic cases and it is crucial that your orthodontist is very comfortable with this type of treatment. Luckily, Dr Sandretti and Dr Rollofson are both very confident and capable in this treatment modality—you are in great hands at Elk Grove Orthodontics!

How surgical orthodontics works

There is typically a work-up and approval process which will be facilitated by the orthodontic records obtained at the office. This will typically be coordinated in conjunction with your medical insurance carrier. Our doctors and front office team are very knowledgeable in the approval process and will help you with the logistics.

One approved, the initial alignment of the teeth is completed by the orthodontist and the jaws are set up properly for a successful surgery.

Jaw surgery is usually completed during the middle of the orthodontic treatment plan.

Following surgery, patients undergo a rest period. A short time away from the office or classroom is likely required, typically a couple of weeks.

Once the patient’s jaw heals, their orthodontist will make minor adjustments to the bite to finish the bite in as ideal a position as possible.

Upon completion, surgical orthodontic patients, as with all patients, will wear a retainer to support the new and improved bite and smile.

Risks of surgical orthodontics

Like any surgical procedure, there are inherent risks.

Surgical orthodontics, however, has been practiced and refined over many years. The latest imaging and surgical techniques have greatly increased the predictability and decreased the risks over time.

During a consultation, patients learn about the details and processes that pertain to their particular situation.

Rewards of surgical orthodontics

Achieving a healthy and beautiful smile is the most apparent benefit of surgical orthodontics.

Restoring a bad bite, jaw abnormalities, or other malocclusions will restore the patient's confidence and function. Most patients observe significant functional and esthetic improvements in their bite and facial harmony.

Other health benefits, such as TMJ issues, sleep apnea and digestive considerations, also go along with this type of treatment.

Digital Impressions Reveal Dental Detail Without Mess, Improve Patient Care

Traditionally, impressions are captured with a tray and dental putty, with the patient remaining still while it hardens.

A technology-forward alternative is iTero scanning, which captures highly accurate tooth and jaw impressions without some of the downsides of dental impression materials.

A precise and accurate impression is guaranteed from the start thanks to the technology’s capability to capture data and turn it into a dynamic 3D visual model of the inside of a patient’s mouth.

There's a tremendous benefit to the extra detail of these digital impressions. It allows for great fitting appliances and accurate dental records.

The iTero system digitally scans the structure, teeth, and gums with optical technology that's radiation-free.

An orthodontist or assistant uses a hand-held wand to carefully scan inside the mouth to produce a 3D model in as little as three minutes.

The technology captures every detail, including soft tissue structures.

Beyond the immediate benefits of decreasing gag reflexes, digital impressions allow for the easy transfer of data, reducing the time needed for dental treatment analysis and consultation.

The improved quality of these impressions can ensure better fitted restorative solutions because details matter.

What does PPE mean in orthodontics?

PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, has become synonymous with the current health care emergency and COVID-19.

For frontline medical personnel, PPE is essential equipment that protects both healthcare workers and patients from the spread of disease. It has become an important topic due to supply limits and the increased demands during the pandemic.

While social distancing and some forms of personal protective gear provide sufficient safeguards in certain settings, extra measures will be taken during your next visit to our office to ensure both your safety and that of our team.

In our office, you can expect the normal happy faces you are used to—just with a little more stuff in the way. Our office has chosen to take a proactive approach, establishing standards at or above the current practice guidelines set out by the CDC and CDPH. This begins with a screening, temperature check and hand hygiene process upon arrival and continues into the treatment area.

Current guidelines require use of a high quality surgical mask, face-shield and gloves. During certain more involved procedures such as braces removal, you may also see use of gowns, caps and respirators (N95 masks). An increased emphasis will be placed on controlling aerosol release by utilizing high-volume suction, upgraded HVAC and hospital-grade HEPA filters which filter below the size of viral particles.

While we have always practiced universal precautions with regard to maintaining safe and clean work environments, there will be increased precautions placed in non-clinical areas such as restrooms, door handles, waiting room, etc.

These are just a few of the ways we are keeping you safe and healthy during your next visit, as that is our top priority. If you have any further questions about what to expect at your appointment, please contact us.  

5 Advantages to Clear Braces

Thanks to the advancement of orthodontic technology, clear ceramic braces are more comfortable, discreet and easier to wear than ever before.

Take a look at five ways this great orthodontic option makes life easier.


Clear Braces have a low profile for a comfortable fit. The brackets are small and smooth, with rounded corners to reduce rubbing and irritation.


Clear braces are firmly affixed to the teeth and do not need to be removed for eating and drinking. Unlike aligners, ceramic braces do not require continuous care to remove and replace—just normal brushing and flossing to keep clean. This option can be much more attractive to the busy child or adult that is always on the go.


Despite common belief, ceramic braces are a robust and durable treatment option.

The design of ceramic braces has been continuously improved and refined for maximum durability. Even though traditional braces are made with strong metal materials, ceramic braces are very durable and can hold up to the same conditions and forces as traditional metal braces.

Wide Range of Treatment

While at our office we have embraced and utilize the increasingly popular treatment approach of Invisalign, not all types of orthodontic problems are best addressed with aligner therapy. Clear braces allow for full treatment of all cases, from the most simple to the very complex.


If you’re going for the understated look, allow the translucent braces to blend in nicely with your teeth. If you’d like to make a statement, put on some bright bands for a pop of color on the clear braces. You can always mix it up based upon your mood and schedule.

If you are interested in learning more about ceramic braces contact us today!

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