What is surgical orthodontics?
Just as orthodontics repositions teeth, surgical orthodontics (also known as orthognathic surgery) corrects jaw irregularities to improve the patient's ability to chew, speak, and breathe, and to improve facial appearances. In other words, surgical orthodontics improves and harmonizes the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. Moving the jaws also moves the teeth, so orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign® is always performed in conjunction with jaw correction. This helps make sure teeth are in their proper positions before and after surgery.
This helps make sure teeth are in their proper positions after surgery.
Who needs surgical orthodontics?
Dr. Chow will consider surgical orthodontic treatment for non-growing adult patients with severe biting relationship discrepancies and those with facial aesthetic concerns. Jaw growth is usually completed by age 16 for girls and 18 for boys. All 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.
How does it work?
During your orthodontic treatment, you will wear braces or Invisalign aligners and will visit our office for scheduled adjustments to your appliances. As your teeth move, you may think that your bite is getting worse rather than better. However, when your jaws are placed into proper alignment during orthognathic surgery, the teeth will then fit into their proper positions.
Surgery is performed in a surgical facility by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who is trained first as a dentist, and then as a certified specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery. When you have completed surgery, you should be able to return to school or work within one to two weeks. After the necessary healing time (about four to eight weeks), Dr. Chow will "fine-tune" your bite with your braces or Invisalign aligners. In most cases, your orthodontic treatment will be completed four to eight months following surgery.