For some patients a discrepancy between the size and position of their jaws can mean that achieving an ideal bite/smile cannot be done with tooth movement alone. In these cases, a combined treatment plan involving the expertise of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is required. Just as an orthodontist repositions teeth, the surgeon can reposition the jaws. Such surgery, known as orthognathic surgery, aims to improve the patient’s facial appearance and ability to chew, speak and/or breath.
Treatment plans involving orthognathic surgery typically involve an initial stage of orthodontic treatment to position the teeth ideally within the jaw bones. The patient is then referred to the surgeon for repositioning of the jaws and the orthodontic appliance stays in place throughout this period. Once surgery has been completed, the orthodontist finalises your bite and smile and aims to remove your appliances typically within 6-12months following surgery.
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