Treatment Stages and Timeline

Treatment Phases:

There are three phases of treatment to correct a poor bite and relationship of the jaws:

  1. Pre-surgical orthodontic treatment: An orthodontist levels and aligns the teeth. Takes about nine months to one-and-a half years to complete
  2. Surgical treatment: An oral surgeon manipulates the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both, to achieve the proper relationship of teeth and jaw bones. Surgical correction of each jaw takes about two hours to complete.
  3. Post-surgical orthodontics: Six weeks after surgery, the orthodontist will complete the orthodontic treatment and do final bite adjustments. This phase typically takes three to six months. Once braces are removed, a retainer appliance may be recommended to maintain the position of the teeth and prevent relapse.

Initial Evaluation:

During our first meeting, we will discuss your desires and expectations and the feasibility of surgical treatment. A brief overview of our general treatment approach will be presented at this time. A thorough medical and dental history and examination will be completed, and special X-rays and diagnostic studies may be performed.


Treatment planning for orthognathic surgery is done after careful study of several types of diagnostic records. We can use existing records obtained by your orthodontist or take new records at our office

  • Dental impressions for study models of your teeth
  • Photographs
  • X-Rays

During this visit we will discuss your diagnosis and explain the treatment alternatives to you. Ample time is spent answering any questions your may have and reviewing the sequence of treatment. A predetermination letter will be sent to your insurance company and the fees will be reviewed with you. It’s best to bring your spouse, parent or close friend for this important evaluation.

Pre-Surgical Orthodontics:

Your orthodontist will discuss in detail the orthodontic aspects of treatment. Prior to surgery, the orthodontist will level and align the upper and lower dental arches independently. This can sometimes worsen your bite until the surgery is performed. During this treatment period, it may be necessary to have minor procedures performed, such as removal of wisdom and/or other teeth.

Final Pre-Surgical Records:

Within two weeks of your surgical date, final records will be taken. They will be used to finalize the treatment plan, to perform model surgery and fabricate the surgical splints used during surgery. This helps make the surgery accurate and predictable. The treatment plan is thoroughly discussed, consent forms are reviewed, and additional photographs are obtained. Pre-surgical testing and a physical are completed as part of your hospitalization work-up.

Surgical Procedure:

You will arrive at the hospital at your scheduled time in preparation for your procedure. You will be seen by an anesthesiologist and nurses who will care for you during your operation. Following surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room and then to your room. Most patients go home the next day.

Post-Surgical Orthodontics:

This begins about six weeks after surgery. During this time, your orthodontist will begin fine-tuning your bite and finalizing the position of your teeth. This phase may take three to six months. At that time, you will be given a retainer to maintain the position of your teeth and prevent relapse.

Post-Treatment Dental Procedures:

Any required dentistry such as crowns, bridges, or any other restorative work that was delayed until your braces were removed, can now be completed. Your family dentist will be kept informed throughout treatment. The timing of required post-treatment dentistry will be coordinated in cooperation with your orthodontist.

Post-Treatment Final Records:

Once all treatment is completed, a final set of records will be taken. These records serve as a baseline for stability studies. At this point, you will enter into a period of long-term follow-up care to ensure the long-term stability of your treatment.