At Langley Orthodontics, we perform orthodontic surgery to correct jaw irregularities, improve facial symmetry, and improve the patient's the ability to speak, breathe, and eat.
What does surgical orthodontics involve?
Surgical orthodontics (or 'orthognathic surgery') helps to improve the patients ability to breathe, eat and speak by correcting jaw irregularities. It can also improves the patient's facial symmetry and aesthetics.
Since moving the jaws also moves the teeth, braces are always a part of jaw correction surgery.
Braces ensure that the teeth are properly positioned after surgery.
Who is a candidate for surgical orthodontics?
Surgical orthodontic treatments are for adult patients who have bite problems, and for people with concerns about facial aesthetics, whose jaws are no longer growing.
For girls, jaw growth is usually complete by the age of 16, and for boys, at 18.
The jaw must be finished growing before orthodontic surgery can be performed. Pre-surgical tooth movements, however, can begin a year or two prior.
How does surgical orthodontics work?
Orthodontic treatment, which is typically 6-18 months in duration, begins first. During this time, patients wear their braces and visit the orthodontist for regular adjustment appointments.
Many patients feel as though their bite is getting worse instead of better as their braces treatment progresses. After the jaws are properly aligned via orthognathic surgery, however, the teeth should fit comfortably into their correct, planned positions.
What takes place during surgery?
Your orthodontic surgery will be performed in the hospital. Depending on the type of surgery you need, it can take several hours.
In lower jaw surgery, the jawbone is separated behind the teeth and the tooth-bearing portion of the jaw is moved either forward or backward.
During upper jaw surgery, the jaw may be repositioned forward or backward, or else raised or lowered. Some movements might require the jaws to be separated, and bone added or removed to achieve stability and proper alignment. Other facial bones that contribute to alignment may also need to be augmented or repositioned.
How long does recovery take?
You'll likely be able to return to work or school after about two weeks of recovery time. After your healing time is complete (about 4-8 weeks), your orthodontist will "fine-tune" your bite.
In the majority of cases, the braces are removed about 6 to 12 months after surgery. Once your braces have been removed, you'll wear a retainer in order to maintain your beautiful new smile.