As a child develops into an adolescent and then into an adult, changes occur with the growth and development of the face and associated jawbones. The normal process of facial growth allows for the upper and lower jaws to grow forward and downward, positioning the teeth in a stable occlusion (bite). This facial growth tends to be complete by the age of approximately 14-16 years old for females and approximately 18-20 years old for males. When the upper and lower jaws have uneven growth, the resulting occlusion (bite) will be misaligned. A misaligned bite can result in difficulties with speech, chewing, and breathing. When the misaligned teeth cannot be corrected with orthodontic treatment (braces) alone, surgery to correct the misaligned jaw may be indicated.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have extensive training in the correction of misaligned jaw relationships termed orthognathic surgery (corrective jaw surgery). In accordance with an Orthodontist, a plan for orthognathic surgery is developed. This process involves the placement of orthodontic brackets and wires for a period prior to orthognathic surgery and continued orthodontic therapy after the surgery has been completed. Please see the video link below for further information provided by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) regarding orthognathic surgery.
Please see the informational video below for more information about orthognathic surgery: