Surgical Orthodontics in Surrey BC
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 and for
improved facial appearances. In other words, surgical orthodontics
straightens your jaw. Moving the jaws also moves the teeth, so
braces are always performed in conjunction with jaw correction. This
helps make sure teeth are in their proper positions after surgery.
Who needs surgical orthodontics?
Dr. Kanani will consider surgical orthodontic treatment for
non-growing adult patients with improper bites and those with facial
esthetic concerns. 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?
During your orthodontic treatment, which usually lasts 6-18 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 proper
Surgery is performed in the hospital with an oral 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/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. After the necessary healing time
(about 4-8 weeks), Dr. Kanani "fine-tunes" your bite. In most
cases, braces are removed within 6 to 12 months following surgery.
After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to maintain
your beautiful new smile.
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