You’re never too old for orthodontic treatment, and in fact, one in five orthodontic patients today is an adult. But, there is a good reason why the majority of people you see in braces are adolescents – they have the benefit of a still growing jaw to achieve ideal tooth movement.
Some patients, especially those who are older and who have never undergone orthodontic treatment, may require corrective jaw surgery to get their ideally functioning smile. This surgery is also called orthognathic surgery. Its goal is to straighten or realign the jaws and correct any skeletal deformities that may be present.
If you have a very severe malocclusion, and do not have the benefit of a jaw that is still growing, orthognathic surgery might be the answer for you. For girls, the jaw typically stops growing between the ages of 13 and 15, and between 16 and 18 for boys. Orthognathic surgery and orthodontics work to move the teeth and jaws into their proper positions to ensure a balanced, functional and healthy smile.
If you have any of the following issues, you may want to speak to an orthodontist about how a combination of orthognathic surgery and orthodontics to help you get a proper bite.
- Problems chewing or biting food
- Problems swallowing
- Jaw or joint pain and frequent headaches
- Abnormal or excessive wear of your teeth
- An open bite
- Birth defect
- Lower jaw or chin that recedes
- JAw that protrudes
- Chronic mouth breathing
- Unbalanced facial appearance
An orthodontist can form a diagnosis and treatment plan, and in conjunction with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon work as a team to ensure you have a bite that functions properly.
The surgeon will perform the actual surgery, but you will work with an orthodontist both before and after to place the teeth in the correct position for the surgery. Most patients will require braces both before and after surgery.
Following surgical orthodontics, many patients notice not only improvements in how their mouth functions, but also in their appearance and their speech. If you are an adult who is interested in perfecting your smile to improve its health and function, call us today at 661-222-7444.
Dr. Salmassian is a Board Certified Orthodontist and specializes in comprehensive orthodontic care for the whole family. For any Questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary orthodontic consultation please contact our office at 661-222-7444 or visit us at www.salmassianortho.com