Jaw Surgery

15The upper and lower jaws are foundations by which teeth are supported. Sometimes, when the jaws are too short or too long, too wide or too narrow, braces alone cannot completely correct a bad bite. In addition to affecting a person's appearance, an improper bite can lead to problems such as abnormal tooth wear, periodontal (gum) disease, and possible joint pain.

Orthodontists correct crooked teeth and bad bites. For problems related to jaw formation and misalignment (skeletal problems), an oral surgeon may be needed. When corrective jaw surgery is required, it is common for an orthodontist and oral surgeon to work together.

Some severe cases can only be corrected with a combination of orthodontics and surgery (called orthognathic surgery). The orthodontist, working with the oral surgeon, designs a combined orthodontic/surgical treatment plan. Depending on the problem, treatment by other dental specialists may also be required.

What Problems Do Orthodontics and Surgery Best Correct?

  • A protrusive upper or lower jaw (one that sticks out too far)
  • A retrusive upper or lower jaw (one that is positioned too far back)
  • A retruding chin (one that is too far back)
  • A skeletally narrow upper jaw
  • An unsightly display of gum tissue above the upper front teeth
  • An inability to achieve lip contact when the lips are relaxed
  • An elongated facial appearance
  • Facial asymmetry (chin/lower jaw not centred in the face)
  • Cleft palate (in young children)

Which Comes First?

There is an initial period of orthodontic treatment to align the teeth so they will fit properly after surgery is performed. Dr. Redigonda/Dr. Anderson and the oral surgeon will schedule surgery after the teeth have been properly aligned. The braces are left in place during the surgical procedure to help stabilize the teeth and jaws. After surgery there is an additional period of orthodontic treatment to bring the teeth into their final, desired positions.

Benefits of Treatment

While the thought of undergoing jaw surgery as part of your overall orthodontic treatment plan may seem daunting, it really is not uncommon. The rewards for such treatment can be very dramatic. Better dental health and facial appearance as well as a beautiful smile for the rest of your life can be achieved.

Does OHIP Pay For the Jaw Surgery?

Yes it does. The jaw surgery procedure is covered by OHIP. The orthodontic fee associated with treatment is not an OHIP benefit. The oral surgeon will also have associated fees that is not an OHIP benefit.

We will determine if orthognathic surgery is the correct treatment option for you.

Mandibular Advancement

Mandibular Setback

Maxillary Impaction Gummy Smile

Maxillary Impaction Skeletal Open Bite