Just as orthodontics repositions teeth, surgical orthodontics (which includes orthognathic surgery) corrects jaw irregularities to improve a patient´s ability to chew, speak, and breathe and also improves facial appearance. Teeth are first aligned and set in the proper position with braces. Then, surgical corrections of the jaws are performed by an oral surgeon. Combining braces with surgical correction of jaws helps make sure teeth are in their proper positions after surgery.
Who needs Surgical Orthodontics?
Your orthodontist will generally consider surgical orthodontic treatment for non-growing adult patients with improper bites and those with facial esthetic concerns. Jaw growth is usually completed around age 16-18 for girls and 18-21 for boys. As a general rule the growth must be completed before jaw surgery can be performed. However the pre-surgical tooth movements can begin one to two years prior to these ages.