Corrective Jaw Surgery
When most people think about orthodontics, they think about straightening and repositioning teeth that are crooked or out of alignment. But sometimes the underlying problem is actually the size and shape of the jaws themselves, not just the teeth. In these cases, an oral surgeon joins the treatment team to perform what is called orthognathic surgery, a procedure that corrects the position of the jaws so that the teeth and facial structures are more properly aligned. Patients who undergo this surgery not only have improved facial appearance, but also report improved speaking, chewing and breathing as well.
Treatment begins with an orthodontist, who places braces to move the teeth prior to surgery. Then, an oral surgeon performs orthognathic surgery to reposition the jaw bones. The surgery is usually performed through incisions made inside the mouth so there are no visible scars. Patients continue treatment with their orthodontist until the desired position and appearance of their teeth is achieved.