While orthodontics are a common practice for straightening teeth and addressing other alignment problems, sometimes the factors causing misalignment are more serious and require a surgical approach. Surgery combined with orthodontics is called orthognathic surgery, and is used to correct cases that include severe overbites/underbites, jaw bone abnormalities, and other skeletal or jaw conditions that regular orthodontic treatment will not correct. These include:
- Improper alignment of jaws
- Difficulty chewing, biting, swallowing, or making the lips meet
- Chronic jaw pain or headaches
- Chronic mouth breathing or sleep apnea
- Excessive wear of teeth
- Facial injury
- Birth defects
Surgery is performed by specially-trained oral and maxillofacial surgeons who focus on treating complex cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull. Orthognathic surgery will help properly align the jaws after the teeth are aligned. Once you have healed from the surgery, your teeth are moved to the best position for the new jaw relationship.
Our orthodontists recommend surgery only when it’s determined to be the most effective course of treatment for our patients. It is only recommended for patients whose jaw bones have finished growing—typically after age 16 for girls and 18 for boys.
If you have any questions about surgical orthodontics, please contact us at our pediatric dental office for more information or to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist. We proudly serve Norwood, Walpole, and surrounding areas.