What Type of Skeletal Problems Can Orthodontic Surgery Help?

What Type of Skeletal Problems Can Orthodontic Surgery Help?

When people think about orthodontics, they tend to think about braces, aligners, and retainers. But orthodontics encompasses other treatments too, including surgical treatments aimed at correcting more serious and complex issues affecting your facial anatomy.

Brendan Smith, DDS, MS, is an experienced, trusted provider of surgical orthodontic treatment (or orthognathic surgery) in Cedar Park, Texas, helping patients at Freedom Orthodontics improve their bite and correct underlying skeletal issues that can affect their speech and health. Here’s a quick overview of some of the skeletal issues orthodontic surgery can treat.


Malocclusion describes a bite that doesn’t meet the way it’s supposed to. There are lots of types of malocclusions, and each can vary in severity. 

Without treatment, malocclusion can interfere with the way you eat and speak, and it can alter your face shape as well. Some milder malocclusions can be treated with braces, but others require surgery to reposition your jaw and help your teeth meet optimally.

Asymmetrical growth

If your upper jawbone grows at a different speed than your lower jawbone, you can wind up with an asymmetry in your jaws. Asymmetry can lead to malocclusions, along with problems with speech, eating, and breathing. Dr. Smith uses advanced orthodontic surgery techniques to adjust jaw position and promote symmetry between the components of your jaw.

Jaw fractures

Jaw fractures can be very serious, resulting from falls, car accidents, sports injuries, and other traumatic events. Orthodontic surgery uses special techniques to stabilize your jaws to support faster healing and normal jaw function afterward.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD)

Temporomandibular joint disorder affects millions of Americans, causing symptoms like jaw pain, clicking, or “sticking” sensations every time you chew, bite, yawn, or even speak. 

Some TMD cases can be treated with orthodontics or other treatments aimed at reducing jaw strain. But sometimes, surgery is needed to reposition your jaws or support normal jaw movement in other ways.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea happens when your airway is blocked during your sleep, interrupting your breathing dozens of times a night. Without treatment, apnea raises your risks of serious medical problems, including heart disease, heart attack, and diabetes.

Sometimes, sleep apnea can be treated with special appliances you wear while you sleep or by using a CPAP machine. But for many people, these options aren’t effective. 

Orthodontic surgery can be an ideal solution for people whose airways are blocked by poor jaw positioning. By slightly advancing your jaw, your airway can remain open without taking a toll on your bite alignment or your facial shape.

Cleft lip or cleft palate

Cleft lip and cleft palate are more common than many people realize. Without surgery, cleft defects can dramatically affect your speech and ability to eat, plus they can take a considerable toll on your self-confidence. 

Orthodontic surgery closes clefts and restores the shape and function of your lip or palate, improving your speech and other functions.

Learn more about the treatments we offer

Dr. Smith is skilled in advanced orthodontic surgery techniques, using a patient-centered approach aimed at addressing your unique jaw problems to improve your health and quality of life. 

To learn more about orthodontic surgery and other treatments that can help you, call Freedom Orthodontics or book an appointment online today.

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