Orthognathic Surgery: Presurgical Orthodontics

You have been scheduled for orthognathic surgery. This is treatment that reshapes the jaws to improve their form and function. Before surgery, most people need to have orthodontic treatment to move and straighten the teeth. This allows the surgeon to place the jaws in the proper position. Dental work is also needed throughout the process. This presurgical phase is often the longest part of treatment.

Dental assistant making mold of patient's teeth.

Preparing your mouth for braces

To support the teeth, the gums and underlying bone need to be healthy. So you’ll need to keep up with routine dental care throughout the treatment process. All cavities should be filled before surgery. If you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’ll see a periodontist or general dentist for treatment. Other dental problems may also need work. For example, if you have wisdom teeth, they will most likely need to be removed before you get braces. When your teeth and gums are ready, you’ll go on to the next step.

Getting your braces

Braces help make sure that the placement of your teeth will work well with the position of your jaws after surgery. The braces use gentle pressure to slowly shift teeth into their new positions. Modern orthodontic treatment uses very mild pressure to reduce the discomfort. Also, modern braces are less noticeable than old-fashioned braces. While you have braces, you’ll need to avoid certain hard or sticky foods. You’ll also need to be extra careful about brushing and flossing your teeth. Your orthodontist will tell you more about taking care of your braces and your teeth.



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