Some orthodontic problems are due to a mismatch in the size and/or position of the upper and lower jaws. In these cases, braces on their own cannot correct the problem and orthognathic or jaw surgery may be required to achieve the best result.
These bite problems are often associated with difficulties chewing food properly, speech or breathing problems and excessive wear of the teeth. Many people with misaligned jaws also express concerns about their appearance, such as a protruding lower jaw or a receding chin. Our orthodontists work with an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon to ensure that if you need surgical orthodontics, you receive the best care possible.
How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?
Your initial consultation is designed to provide you with information regarding your bite problem and the various treatment options. If surgery is an option for you, your orthodontist will describe the steps associated with such treatment.
If you are interested in surgical treatment, we will arrange for you to have a consultation with an experienced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. During this appointment, the surgeon will explain the surgical aspects of treatment in detail, as well as the associated benefits, risks and complications.
How does orthognathic surgery and braces work?
Most commonly, we begin your treatment by fitting the braces and straightening your teeth in preparation for surgery. It can take approximately 12 months to move the teeth into their correct positions. Once your Orthodontist and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon are happy with the preparation, your jaw surgery is scheduled. This is done in a hospital environment, with most patients staying 1-2 days, depending on the type of surgery they are having done. You will still have your braces on during and following surgery, as the orthodontist needs to fine tune your tooth positions to suit your new jaw bone structure.
What if I don’t want surgery?
While orthognathic surgery is often the best way of correcting a bite, it is not for everyone. For many patients an alternate option, referred to as “Camouflage Treatment” can be performed. In these circumstances, we accept that the jaw bones are misaligned and instead move the teeth to suit your particular jaw bone structure. In patients with mild to moderate jaw bone problems, camouflage treatment is commonly utilised and can achieve excellent results!