Why Your Child Might Need Orthodontic Surgery

January 18, 2019
Jason K. Bunch, DDS, MS

The need for orthodontic surgery becomes prevalent when one or both jaws do not align properly, meaning orthodontic treatment alone cannot create a proper bite. While we as orthodontists can typically fix the misalignment of the teeth through braces, a misalignment of the jaws sometimes requires surgery.

Why Your Child Might Need Orthodontic Surgery

Reasons Your Child Need Orthodontic Surgery

Orthodontic surgery — also known as corrective jaw surgery — cannot occur until the jaws finish growing, which typically occurs around age 16 for females and 18 for males. If one of our orthodontists believes your child needs surgery, he or she will work with a dentist and oral surgeon to determine the final treatment plan.

Some reasons for orthodontic surgery include:

  • To make biting and chewing easier.
  • To correct issues with speech or swallowing.
  • To correct a bite or jaw closure issues, especially with open bites when the molars touch but the front teeth do not.
  • To minimize the breakdown of the teeth.
  • To correct facial imbalance, which could include underbites, overbites and crossbites.
  • To relieve pain caused by TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder.
  • To repair facial injury or birth defects.
  • To improve your child’s ability to fully close the lips comfortably.
  • To provide a solution for obstructive sleep apnea.

Why Your Child Should See a Pediatric Orthodontist


The Benefits of Jaw Surgery

Orthodontic surgeons work to correct irregularities of the jaw bones, realigning the jaws and teeth, while also improving facial appearance. Some positives for jaw surgery include:

  • A balanced appearance in your lower face.
  • Improved function of your teeth.
  • Improved sleeping, breathing, chewing and swallowing.
  • Improved speech impediments.
  • Improved self-esteem.

When jaw problems cannot be solved through orthodontic treatment alone, corrective or orthodontic surgery can be the only option at times. Most surgical cases involve wearing braces ahead of time and during the recovery process, until healing and proper alignment conclude.

At Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics, your health and well-being are our top priorities, and we will work with you every step of the way to ensure that you are comfortable with the treatment plan. We want you to walk away with the best possible smile. If you’re interested in learning more about orthodontic surgery, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are happy to answer your questions!

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