When patients have severe jaw discrepancies resulting in a poor bite that cannot be addressed by orthodontics alone, an orthognathic (jaw) surgical-orthodontic treatment plan is the ideal treatment. For example, the upper and/or lower jaws may be too large, too small or have developed asymmetrically. Patients with cleft lip and palate, craniofacial microsomia, Pierre-Robin syndrome, craniosynostosis, Treacher Collins syndrome, and ectodermal dysplasia may all exhibit these altered growth patterns. These altered jaw relationships may also occur in association with other syndromes or independent of any medical diagnosis.
If orthognathic surgery is indicated, our orthodontic specialists work with your child’s surgeon to plan the surgical movements and prepare the teeth to fit together well after jaw surgery. At CHOP, orthognathic surgical planning is often done with the aid of 3-D X-rays and computer software to give the most precise surgical plan. The surgery should be done when your child is done growing to ensure that he does not outgrow his correction.
Treatment time includes approximately 6 to 12 months of orthodontics to prepare for surgery and 6 to 12 months following surgery to finalize the bite, depending on the severity of the case.
As our patients enter adulthood, they may continue treatment in coordination with Penn Medicine. Our team works closely with your other care providers to manage ongoing, coordinated care that will be best for each patient’s individual needs.
Updated January 2014