Orthodontic Work and Jaw Surgery

Will jaw surgery make orthodontic work necessary? Will it ruin past orthodontic work? Should you wait until you’re fully healed to worry about tooth alignment?


When you’re considering jaw surgery, these are some of the questions that may come to mind. Many who pursue jaw surgery do so because their smiles are misaligned. This could be causing physical problems, or you may think of it as an aesthetic issue. Whatever the case, when you need jaw surgery, it’s likely you’ll need orthodontic work as well. It’s just a matter of timing it correctly.

Orthodontics and Jaw Surgery Work Together

You may be surprised to learn that your orthodontist and jaw surgeon will work closely together. Orthodontic work is a central part of a successful procedure.

When a jaw is out of alignment or wrongly formed, the teeth often try to make up for it by shifting or tilting to compensate. Because of this, orthodontic work will be completed both before and after the surgical procedure to ensure that once the healing process is complete, the teeth are set up for the proper alignment.

The Preparation Stage

It can take from a few months to a year to prepare teeth for surgery. The exact time frame will depend on the extent of the misalignment. If the teeth need extensive orthodontic work, removing impacted teeth, closing spaces and correcting positioning can easily take a year, but talk with your oral surgeon and orthodontist about your specific case.

The Surgical Procedure

During surgery, braces help your surgeon when they must repair both jaws at once, since they act as “handles” during the procedure. If your teeth needed braces to prepare for jaw surgery, they will usually stay on throughout the procedure.

The Healing Stage

As the jaws heal from surgery, braces will continue to solidify the teeth’s new positions, strengthening your new, even, straight smile. For the most part, braces will usually be removed within a few months to a year, but then you will be outfitted with a retainer. Wear this according to your orthodontist and oral surgeon’s instructions to keep your new smile aligned and in place.

It’s Worth It

Jaw surgery and the orthodontic work that goes with it is a lengthy process. But think about the long-term rewards you’ll enjoy: a corrected bite, less wear on your teeth, no more sleep apnea and an aesthetically pleasing smile. Contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today to learn more about the process and see if you’re a good candidate.