There are two main issues that orthodontic treatment deals with. The first is tooth crowding and the second is jaw disorders. There is no treatment age for crooked teeth, crooked teeth can be corrected at any age.
The situation is slightly different in jaw disorders. In order to intervene in the jaw with orthodontic appliances, the patient must be in adolescence. After puberty, the surgical procedure comes into play, as the jaws cannot be intervened with orthodontic appliances. In patients older than 18 years of age, in cases where the lower or upper jaw is forward-backward, below-upward or to the side, orthodontic treatment and surgical replacement of the jaw are combined. Such treatments, in which orthodontic treatment and surgical treatment are combined, are called “orthognathic surgery” or “surgical orthodontics”.
What awaits the orthognathia patient?
During the pre-surgical orthodontic treatment, which will usually last 6-18 months, a normal orthodontic treatment is performed by placing brackets on the teeth. At the end of this period, it is time for the patient’s jaw operation. The patient is taken into surgery without removing the wires from the mouth.
The surgical operation is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia and together with a maxillofacial surgeon or a plastic surgeon. Surgery may take several hours or longer depending on the amount and type of surgery planned. In lower jaw surgery, the jaw bone part behind the teeth is divided into two, and the bone part with the teeth is moved forward or backward according to the planned surgery. In maxillary surgery, the jaw is moved forward or backward or repositioned by moving it up or down. Sometimes, some bone addition (graft) or reduction may be required after the bone is divided into two parts in order to give certain movements to the jawbone and to ensure proper correction and stability.
The patient can return to school or work 2 weeks after the surgical procedure is completed. After the necessary recovery period (approximately 4-8 weeks), the wire treatment takes about 6-12 months. At the end of this period, the brackets are removed and the treatment is terminated.
In summary, orthognathic treatment takes about two years. In the middle of this two-year period when the wires are in the mouth, an operation is performed in which the jaw is brought to its proper position.