If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you may be a candidate for surgically facilitated orthodontic treatment (or SFOT). Surgically facilitated orthodontics is offered in Colorado Springs at Southern Colorado Periodontics. With SFOT, your periodontist works with your orthodontist to improve and speed up your orthodontics treatment.
The main reason for SFOT is to thicken the jawbone so it can accommodate the expansion of crowded teeth and prevent the teeth from moving outside the bone. A side benefit is that it can dramatically shorten your total time in braces. Your periodontist can surgically improve your jaw bone which then allows your braces to better realign your teeth. The procedure is safe and has high patient satisfaction rates.
SFOT is NOT the same thing as “jaw surgery,” which is occasionally recommended by the orthodontist when the jaw bones are out of alignment and not just the teeth. SFOT is a minor surgical procedure that is much less invasive than major jaw surgery (orthognathics).
Ask your orthodontist if SFOT is right for you, and Dr. Tullis would be happy to collaborate with them to improve your results.
Keep reading to learn more about accelerated orthodontics …
If you’re dealing with misaligned teeth, surgically facilitated orthodontic treatment (SFOT) can help. Is SFOT right for your situation? Learn more about the procedure to see how it can help you …
What Is Surgically Facilitated Orthodontic Treatment (SFOT)?
Traditionally, orthodontists fix crooked teeth with metal braces or Invisalign trays that slowly shift teeth into the proper position. However, this treatment may take 12-36 months to complete safely. Modern CT imaging is showing that many patients do not have enough bone to straighten crowded teeth without either extracting perfectly good teeth or leaving the roots sticking out of the bone which can lose their gums and require gum grafting.
SFOT accomplishes 2 things:
- It thickens the bone so the teeth do not move outside the bone
- There is a healing phenomenon (RAP) triggered by the surgery that allows the teeth to move very quickly in a safe manner.
After the surgery, patients then wear braces for a shorter amount of time to straighten the teeth.
The main reason many patients pick SFOT is because it’s faster. Research shows that accelerated orthodontics can cut the amount of time patients wear braces in half. SFOT techniques are also very effective in cases that involve tooth crowding. Since SFOT reshapes the part of the jaw that holds tooth roots, it provides more space without requiring extractions. Patients who pick SFOT can retain more of their original teeth while getting a more even smile.
How Effective Is Accelerated Orthodontics?
Research shows that accelerated orthodontics are a safe and effective way of treating dental misalignment. Depending on a patient’s situation, SFOT may speed up their treatment by up to 50 percent. Patients also had less risk of teeth moving back to old positions when they removed their braces.
Furthermore, the risk of problems was low. The main issue was some gum recession following the surgery. This mostly just occurred in situations where the surgeon did not design the treatment appropriately. However, gum recession is a treatable problem. Other rare, but possible, complications include tooth damage or tooth root damage.
Though it works well for some patients, keep in mind that SFOT is not for everyone. You might not be a good candidate for this procedure if you have one of these issues.
- Untreated periodontal disease
- Cavities or dental caries
- Health conditions that require treatment with steroids
- Compromised immune systems
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Unwillingness to get braces or follow other dental recommendations
What Happens During SFOT?
The SFOT procedure works by cutting small grooves in the jawbone between each tooth. In many cases, bone is also grafted around the teeth to support the new tooth position.
The surgery is not the only way that SFOT accelerates treatment. Following any sort of bone surgery, the bone tissue is slightly ‘softer’ for around three to four months. SFOT takes advantage of this change to bone tissue. During this period, braces can move teeth more rapidly without increasing the risk of damaging teeth.
Here’s what you can expect throughout the course of your treatment:
- Your doctor will make a treatment plan for your specific case.
- On the day of surgery, your mouth will be given local anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything, and you may be sedated if you are scared or nervous.
- Following the surgery, you’ll need to rest, take painkillers, and follow the doctor’s instructions on caring for any incisions.
- Expect to take around seven to 10 days to recover.
- After the surgery, you’ll get fitted with braces.
- Your orthodontist will adjust your braces to move teeth on a rapid schedule
- You’ll be done with full treatment after roughly three to eight months.
Why See a Periodontist for SFOT?
When getting SFOT, it is essential to see a periodontist. Unlike normal braces, SFOT involves surgical augmentation of the bone just under the gums. A periodontist is a type of dentist that has extra training in gum and jawbone treatments. This additional knowledge allows them to perform more complex oral surgeries.
When you select a periodontist for your SFOT treatment, you get the best care possible. This sort of doctor knows exactly how to adjust the supporting structures of your teeth. They can select the ideal tooth, gum, and jawbone position for your needs. With care from a periodontist, you can be sure you’ll get a great outcome.
Do you like the idea of getting a straight, even smile in just months? Ultimately, advanced orthodontics can be a fast, safe, and effective way of treating tooth misalignments. At Southern Colorado Periodontics & Implants, we are happy to offer this revolutionary treatment to our patients. Ask your orthodontist if SFOT might be right for your needs.