A disharmony between the position of the upper and lower jaws, or the jaws and surrounding cranio-facial structures, can be the cause of bite discrepancies, functional problems (breathing, eating, speaking) and compromise facial appearance. Disharmony of jaw position can also include the size of the jaw, particularly narrow width of the upper jaw and small or long lower jaw.
Minor disharmonies of jaw position can be compensated by using braces to adapt the alignment of teeth to the position of the jaws.
Mild jaw disharmonies can be corrected or partially corrected using orthopaedic appliances in conjunction with braces.
Moderate to severe jaw disharmonies can only be corrected by surgically repositioning the jaw or altering the jaw shape/dimension. Orthognathic (jaw) surgery procedures are arranged and meticulously planned with a specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment to align the teeth on both jaws so the bite co-ordinates correctly following jaw surgery. Most jaw surgery procedures and associated orthodontic treatment are deferred until completion of skeletal growth and involve one to three days in a private hospital. The jaw surgery is scheduled at the appropriate stage during the course of orthodontic treatment which usually involves braces that are removed after surgery because they are necessary for stabilisation during the healing phase and also for post-surgery orthodontic finishing to achieve the optimum result.