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. It also provides improved facial balance and aesthetics. Moving the jaws also moves the teeth so braces or Invisalign® are always used in conjunction with jaw surgery. This ensures that teeth are in their proper positions after surgery.
Who needs surgical orthodontics?
If Dr. Duffy sees a significant skeletal discrepancy, orthognathic surgery may be required for complete correction. Jaw surgery cannot be performed until most, if not all, skeletal growth is complete. Jaw growth is usually completed no sooner than 16 years of age in females and 18 years of age in males. Orthodontic treatment will usually be initiated while the child is still growing in an attempt to guide the teeth jaws into a more favorable relationship before the surgery.
Adults with severe discrepancies in jaw position often require orthognathic surgery for complete correction since there is no growth remaining.