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 improves facial appearance. In other words, surgical orthodontics straightens your jaw.
Moving the jaws also moves the teeth, so braces are always applied in conjunction with jaw correction. This helps to make sure teeth are in their proper positions after surgery.
Who needs surgical orthodontics?
Your orthodontist will consider surgical orthodontic treatment for non-growing adult patients with improper bites as well as those concerned with facial aesthetics. Jaw growth is usually finished by age 16 for girls and 18 for boys.
All growth must be completed before jaw surgery can be performed. However, the pre-surgical tooth movements can begin one to two years prior to these ages.