05 Jul Do I have to be a certain age for corrective jaw surgery?
By addressing various deficits or issues with the jaw, corrective jaw surgery can have dramatic effects on the appearance and function of a patient’s smile. It can be a valuable tool as a stand-alone procedure, or your oral surgeon may collaborate with an orthodontist as part of an overarching treatment plan.
A patient’s suitability for corrective jaw surgery can be determined by a number of factors, including the patient’s developmental stage. An oral surgeon can give patients or their parents more guidance after evaluating the case.
Conditions That Require Corrective Jaw Surgery
Corrective jaw surgery generally targets deficits or defects in the upper and lower jaws that can affect the smile’s appearance and function and cause joint pain under some conditions. The following conditions may warrant corrective jaw surgery:
- Open bite
- Cross bite
- Congenital jaw defects
- Treatment for facial trauma
- Treatment for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
Corrective jaw surgery may target the maxilla (upper jaw), mandible (lower jaw) or both, depending on the patient’s needs.
Age Considerations For Corrective Jaw Surgery Patients
An oral surgeon typically will not perform corrective jaw surgery on a patient whose jaw development is still unfolding. Doing so could lead to unpredictable results or necessitate a do-over of the surgery after jaw development is complete.
Therefore, most patients younger than their mid-teen years will not be good candidates for corrective jaw surgery, although it can be appropriate in some rare cases.
While age is not typically a factor in the decision to provide corrective jaw surgery to older teen and adult patients, other issues may be weighed, such as the patient’s:
- Oral health (e.g., presence of uncontrolled oral diseases)
- Overall health
- Willingness to comply with all pre-operative or post-operative instructions
Any of those factors that could interfere with the patient’s healing and recovery should be weighed during the treatment process so that they can be controlled if necessary.
Many older teen and adult patients can benefit from corrective jaw surgery. Visit Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates for a consultation to determine whether it might be a good fit for you.