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FAQ:  Orthognathic Surgery


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Orthognathic Treatment Alternative

Question:
I was told that I should get my jaw broken prior to getting braces on. I'm 30 years old and I would really rather not go through this because I have been hearing medical reports (on TV) stating that people who have had this procedure done 10 to 15 years ago, are now having problems with their jaw.

Is this absolutely necessary to do before I get my braces on? I have a slight overbite.. you can hardly notice. My doctor said that if I didn't get the surgery that the braces will bring my top teeth back to meet my bottom teeth but in doing that... my jaw/chin profile wouldn't be as defined as it is now. Basically it would look like I didn't have a chin. I would rather not look like a turtle! ... Visitor from Sackville, Nova Scotia

Answer:
The procedure which you are decribing is called Orthognathic Surgery. It can be done on both or one of the jaws (top and/or bottom). The braces are usually placed on the teeth prior to the surgery and the teeth are moved to the ideal position for the final bite after the surgery.

This will make the teeth appear to be doing worse before the surgery yet perfect after. Without seeing you and doing a full examination it is impossible to state if this is a need. You may want to have a second opinion and also consult to determine if a chin augmentation (move the anterior part of the chin fowards) would be indicated without the orthognathic surgery.

Editorial Staff

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