Braces & Jaw Surgery

Braces and jaw surgery symbol

A poor bite may result from crooked teeth, misaligned jaw, or a combination of the two. Where the poor bite arises from misaligned jaw, braces treatment alone may is not adequate, we may recommend that you consult with an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMS) about resetting your jaw bones, in conjunction with braces treatment.

What causes a Jaw Discrepancy?

The upper and lower jaws are bony structures that form the foundation of your teeth and influence their position. Both jaws may be mismatched in their position, size and shape. This could be hereditary, or could be due to childhood trauma or infection at the jaw joints.

What is Jaw Surgery?

Corrective jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery, helps to correct jaw discrepancies by repositioning either the upper, lower, or both jaws. Common correctable problems include:

  • Protruding lower jaw and anterior crossbite (“underbite”)

  • Receding lower jaw or chin

  • Protruding upper jaw

  • Retruded upper jaw

  • Excessive exposure of upper gums (“gummy smile”)  

  • Facial imbalance or asymmetry

  • Open bite (excess vertical space between the upper and lower teeth when mouth is closed)

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea

Aside from the correction of the jaw proportions, alignment and aesthetics, orthognathic surgery also helps to improve chewing function and speech.

This video describes a few types of corrective jaw surgeries. In order of appearance, these are:

  1. Advancement Genioplasty — for treatment of receding chin, by realigning the chin forward

  2. Maxillary Advancement — for treatment of retruded upper jaw, by moving it forward

  3. Maxillary impaction — for treatment of gummy smiles, by repositioning the upper jaw upwards

  4. BSSO Mandibular Advancement — for treatment of retruded lower jaw, by moving it forward

  5. BSSO Mandibular Setback — for treatment of protruding lower jaw, by repositioning it backwards

  6. Maxillary Posterior Impaction — for treatment of open bite, so that the front teeth are able to bite

4 Stages of Treatment

We understand that jaw surgery is a significant procedure. Therefore, we will make every effort to ensure that you fully understand what the procedure is about and why it is recommended.

Stage 1: Detailed Consultation

First, we will schedule a detailed consultation with an experienced team of braces dentist and oral surgeon to assess your condition. The team will work closely together to determine the type of braces and jaw surgery most suitable for you.

Stage 2: Pre-surgical Orthodontic Treatment

For most patients, braces is first used to straighten the teeth and move them into their appropriate positions in relation to the jaws. The patient is seen at regular intervals for a period of between 9 and 18 months to adjust the braces.

Stage 3: Surgery & Recovery

After the teeth are aligned and the surgical plan is finalised, the surgery is carried out under general anaesthesia where the oral surgeon realigns the jaws into their pre-planned position. There will be no external scars on the face as incisions are made from inside the mouth. After surgery, small rubber bands attached to the braces will hold the jaws in place for healing. Post-operatively, the patient usually stays in the hospital for 2 to 5 days. Recovery time is variable, but most patients return to study or work about 4 weeks after the surgery.

Stage 4: Post-surgical Orthodontic Treatment

Braces adjustments resumes 3 to 4 weeks after surgery. Final detailing is done to achieve the final alignment and proper bite.

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