Working together for you

surgical orthoIn the treatment of dental abnormalities, bad bites (malocclusion) and crooked teeth are usually corrected by an orthodontist.

Abnormalities of the jaw are usually corrected by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. When both conditions exist, it is common to find an orthodontist and oral surgeon working together to correct the deformity.

This collaborative approach to the complex dental / facial problems is ensured to provide better oral health for thousands of adults and children. These thousands are rewarded with straight teeth, bright smiles and facial symmetry – a beauty of shape, form and position.

What treatment is used?

Most orthodontic patients undergo an initial period of orthodontic treatment to align the teeth-(anywhere between 4 to 12 months) – so that they will align properly after surgery is completed. Surgery usually is not scheduled until the teeth have been properly aligned.

Orthodontic appliances used to align teeth prior to surgery are left in place during the surgical procedure to aid in stabilizing the teeth and jawbones. After surgery there is a period of follow-up orthodontic treatment to achieve final alignment of the teeth, thus complementing the new facial symmetry.

Can surgery be avoided?

In younger patients, future facial growth combined with timely orthodontic intervention can sometimes correct protrusion and/or retrusions of the jawbone. An orthodontist working with children as young as age 7 can use one of several orthodontic appliances to direct bone growth, thus eliminating the need for surgery in some patients. However, in adults, and those patients who have completed their bone growth, the improper tooth/bone relationship is frequently treated with surgery.

Are there any risks?

The portion of surgical orthodontic treatment provided by an oral surgeon entails the usual risks inherent with any type of surgery.

However, surgical orthodontic procedures are not new or experimental; they are routinely performed in dental offices or hospitals on a regular basis. If you or a member of your family are about to undergo surgical orthodontic treatment, your oral surgeon would explain the risks, to set your mind at ease.

What are the rewards?

Following completion of the surgical orthodontic process, dental health is improved – no bad bites or crooked teeth. The jawbones and profile relationships are also more stable, functional and aesthetic. Facial appearance is improved.


What problems does surgical orthodontics best correct ?

There are a wide variety of causes of jawbone discrepancies – heredity, trauma or other developmental problems. Most commonly corrected problems include:

  • The protruding or detruding chin.
  • Gummy smile.
  • Severe upper and lower teeth protrusion.
  • Overall elongation of face.