Just as orthodontics repositions teeth, surgical orthodontics and orthognathic surgery (jaw surgery) corrects jaw irregularities to improve a patient´s ability to chew, speak, and breathe and improves facial appearances. In other words, surgical orthodontics straightens your teeth and jaws. Braces in conjunction with jaw correction helps make sure teeth are in their proper positions after surgery.

Using the latest in digital imaging technology, we will demonstrate the overall functional and esthetic benefits of orthognathic surgery.  Computerized treatment planning minimizes treatment times and recovery periods and it improves the overall efficacy of your surgery.  State-of-the-art materials such as titanium plates and miniature screws provide stability, strength and predictability to your treatment.  These advances in technology, procedures and equipment reduce post-surgical recovery time, thus allowing patients to return to their normal routines soon after surgery.

Who needs surgical orthodontics?

Your orthodontist will consider surgical orthodontic treatment for non-growing adult patients with improper bites and those with facial esthetic concerns or abnormalities which may cause difficulty with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Jaw growth is usually completed 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.

How does it work?

Dr. Shamlian collaborates with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon from the beginning of your treatment to design the best treatment plan for you. During your orthodontic treatment, which usually lasts 18-24 months, you wear braces and will visit your orthodontist for scheduled adjustments to your braces. As your teeth move with the braces, you may think that your bite is getting worse rather than better. However, when your jaws are placed into proper alignment during orthognathic surgery, the teeth will then fit into their ideal positions.

Surgery is performed in the hospital with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and can take several hours, depending on the amount and type of surgery needed. In lower jaw surgery, the jawbone behind the teeth is separated and the tooth-bearing portion is moved forward or backward, as needed. In upper jaw surgery, the jaw can be repositioned forward or backward, or the jaw can be raised or lowered. Certain movements may require the jaws to be separated, with bone added or removed to achieve the proper alignment and stability. Other facial bones that contribute to alignment may also be repositioned or augmented.

When you have completed surgery, you should be able to return to school or work within two weeks or as directed by the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. After the necessary healing time (about 4-8 weeks), your orthodontist “fine-tunes” your bite. In most cases, braces are removed within 6 to 8 months following surgery. After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to maintain your beautiful new smile.