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Why is my lower jaw small?

IMDO™ is a combined process that is managed by both your surgical specialist and orthodontic practitioner. The first aspect is a detailed consultation with your IMDO™ surgeon, which involves an extensive examination and history.

Clinical photography and digital models of the teeth are taken to assess your child's bite and jaw relationship. 3D Facial Imaging is used to analyse in detail the effects their jaw growth has on the airway, teeth, and facial structures.

The pre-IMDO™ phase is coordinated by your orthodontic practitioner. This involves two key aspects, the widening of the upper jaw (palatal expansion), and the forward positioning of the upper front teeth

This produces an upper jaw that is big enough to allow for the healthy eruption and retention of the biggest number of teeth. It also maximises the amount of jaw distraction that can be achieved with active-IMDO™.

The active-IMDO™ phase involves a conservative surgical procedure where a small separation is made between the 1st and 2nd molars, and growth stimulating devices called Coceancig distractors are placed.

Your child will have a 1-2 night stay in hospital, after which they will see us to begin distraction. We will show you the parents how to turn the distractors, and you will be able to continue and finish the process at home.

Two turns a day per side grows the lower jaw by 1mm, so a distance of 12mm will take exactly 12 days. The distractors are in place for around 40 days to let the new bone solidify, after which they are removed in a minor procedure.

Everything will then be removed from your child's mouth, allowing their jaws and face to continue to grow normally. The aim is not to have appliances in the mouth for extended periods of time, as they may restrict normal facial growth.

Your child's teeth should begin to naturally decrowd and align, and gradually settle into a normal bite. Most children will still need a short period of orthodontics after IMDO™, to obtain the perfect alignment of their teeth.

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‘Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.’

 

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