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I have a class 3 cross bite. Medically will I have problems in the future not correcting it?

Your questions answered by our surgeon, Lucian Ion, FRCS(Plast)

Asked on 09 April 2011

Question

My older sister and I both have a class 3 cross bite. About 15 years ago she had her's corrected and never regained feeling in her lower jaw.

She also experiences pain in other areas of her mouth and regrets getting it fixed. Because of this my parents never wanted to get mine corrected. I have always been self aware about mine.

I am now 33 and still debating over my options. Medically will I have problems in the future not correcting it? Is jaw contouring a good alternative? Am I more likely to have nerve damage because my sister has? I hate the shape of my chin regardless of the cross bite. What can I do?

Answer

I'm afraid the answer I can offer is that while a plastic surgeon that collaborates with the maxillofacial surgeon, not the answer of the maxillofacial surgeon himself.

The crossbite has both functional and cosmetic implications. With regards to the functional aspects, your discussion should be strictly with your dentist and a maxillofacial specialists.

With regards to the cosmetic aspect, my suggestion would be a consultation using 3-D imaging and planning, to appreciate better what it is you would like to achieve.

Based on this information, it is possible to decide what type of surgery is necessary to achieve your targets, and whether you would prefer a smaller intervention, perhaps with a more moderate improvement, or a more substantial change, which may well involve more extensive surgery.

Together with a maxillofacial colleague, I run a facial sculpting clinic, which represents a suitable setup for discussing your concerns if you wish.

With regards to the nerve damage, whilst the risk is always there, when entertaining orthognatic surgery, I see no reason why your risk would be higher on the basis that your sister unfortunately had this problem. As a parent, I do very much understand the position of your family.

It is possible to mask some of the external effects of the crossbite, with surgery that does not involve resetting the jaw, but it will of course have no impact on the quality of your dental occlusion.

Lucian Ion Cosmetic Surgeon Mr Lucian Ion FRCS(Plast)
129 Harley Street
London
W1G 6BA

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