Surgical Orthodontics

What is Surgical Orthodontics?

Surgical orthodontics corrects jaw abnormalities to improve chewing, breathing and speaking. It may also enhance a child's appearance. Your orthodontist works closely with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to make sure your child receives the best treatment available.

Types of Surgeries

  • Lower jaw surgery: The oral surgeon separates the jaw and moves it either backward or forward.
  • Upper jaw surgery: The surgeon repositions the jaw backward or forward, up or down.

In both types of surgery, the oral surgeon may add or remove bones as necessary for alignment and stability. He may also reposition or augment other facial bones as necessary.

What can I expect with Surgical Orthodontics?

Orthodontic treatments can range from 6 months to 18 months or more. During that time, the orthodontist will schedule regular adjustments to your child's braces.

The surgery itself takes place in a hospital. Your child's orthodontist will work closely with the oral surgeon who will perform the procedure. Depending on the type of correction needed, the surgery may last a few to several hours.

Surgical Orthodontics Doctors and Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why choose Children's Health?

    • Early intervention is provided in a variety of cases.
    • The orthodontic program has been a part of the craniofacial team since 1990.
    • The orthodontic clinic is a full-time facility.
    • The orthodontists have been trained in craniofacial anomalies and cleft lip and palate defects.
    • The Children's orthodontic clinic leads the nation in the number of presurgical orthopedics.
  • Does my child need surgical orthodontics?

    If your adolescent child has a misaligned jaw or teeth, she may need surgical orthodontics. Signs of misalignment include trouble chewing, worn teeth, a protruding jaw or a receding chin. Your child may also have a condition such as sleep apnea that can be relieved with corrective surgery. Your child's jaw development must be complete prior to surgery. This is usually at age 16 in girls and 18 in boys. Orthodontics including braces are often implemented before any surgery.