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Orthodontics vs. Oral Surgery: When Are Braces Not Enough

Although orthodontics has come a long way to provide treatment for straighter smiles, there are cases where braces alone may not be sufficient to address complex issues. Therefore, an orthodontist in Fullerton, CA, suggests oral surgery may be considered in these circumstances. We will discuss the situations in this blog article where orthodontic treatment alone might not be sufficient, as well as the function of oral surgery in attaining the best results.

The Basics of Orthodontics

The main goals of orthodontic treatment are to realign the teeth and enhance the bite patterns. To progressively shift teeth to their ideal locations, orthodontic devices such as braces, clear aligners such as Invisalign, and other methods are used. Numerous dental problems, including crowded teeth, gaps, overbites, underbites, and crossbites, can be resolved using orthodontic therapy.

When Are Braces Alone Not Enough?

In many cases, orthodontic treatment is sufficient to correct dental issues. However, there are instances in which more complex problems involving the jaw or facial structure require additional intervention. There are some scenarios in which braces alone may not be sufficient.

  1. Jaw Misalignment:

Braces may not be sufficient to completely correct severe jaw misalignments, such as an overdeveloped upper jaw (overbite) or an underdeveloped lower jaw (underbite).

  1. Facial Asymmetry:

No cases of facial asymmetry can be attributed to dental alignment issues. These structural problems can be resolved through surgery.

  1. Impacted Teeth:

It may be necessary to surgically remove or expose teeth that are significantly impacted or obstructed by bone or other teeth to realign them.

  1. Significantly crowded teeth:

To ensure appropriate alignment due to extreme crowding, one or more teeth may need to be removed.

  1. Breathing and Airway Issues:

Breathing and airway problems can occasionally be associated with orthodontic complications. Orthognathic surgery in these circumstances can enhance both oral and respiratory function.

Orthognathic surgery’s function

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to perform orthognathic surgery, which is sometimes known as corrective jaw surgery. To improve facial harmony and bite function, the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both may need to be moved.

Orthognathic Surgery Advantages

  1. Improved Aesthetics: Correcting jaw misalignment and facial asymmetry can improve facial aesthetics, which can increase self-confidence.
  2. Better Bite Function: Orthognathic surgery can dramatically improve bite performance, resulting in more comfortable chewing and speech.
  3. Less discomfort: In some circumstances, jaw misalignment-related headaches and chronic jaw discomfort can be relieved with surgery.
  4. Addressing Airway Problems: Surgery can enhance airflow and assist in the relief of sleep apnea and other breathing issues.

Collaborative Methodology

Orthognathic surgery is frequently performed through orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists and oral surgeons collaborate to develop a thorough treatment strategy that addresses the dental and skeletal aspects of this problem.


Although braces alone are sometimes insufficient to develop beautiful and functional smiles, orthodontics has made tremendous progress in this area. Orthognathic surgery is a beneficial choice to attain the best results when complicated jaw or facial structural abnormalities are present. Consult with both an orthodontist and an oral surgeon if you are experiencing orthodontic issues that do not seem to be amenable to braces to determine the best course of action for your particular needs.

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