Surgical orthodontics is called orthognathic surgery, and it is used to correct severe conditions of the jaw and face as they relate to structure and growth.
Early orthodontics can prevent the need for surgical orthodontics in many cases. However, severe malocclusions in children and adults may require corrective surgery.
Types of malocclusion that often are treated with surgical orthodontics include:
- Severe underbite– the lower jaw juts forward and the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth.
- Severe overjet– referred to by many as “buck teeth,” this is a condition where the upper front teeth jut outward and are more susceptible to dental trauma.
- Crossbite in adults– the teeth of the upper and lower jaws don’t line up properly from side to side, and can create facial asymmetry as well as premature tooth wear.
Dr. Carrie Jennings Southworth refers patients in need of surgical orthodontic treatment to an oral surgeon. She works in conjunction with the oral surgeon to develop a treatment plan.
In most cases, Dr. Jennings will put braces on the patient’s teeth to make some improvements prior to surgery. After about a year of treatment, the oral surgeon can perform the necessary surgery while the braces remain on the teeth. Dr. Jennings typically provides an additional six to nine months of orthodontic treatment after surgery to finish up the occlusion.
When the braces come off, a beautiful smile is revealed!