Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. In fact, about one in every five orthodontic patients today is over age 21. Thanks to today's smaller, less visible, more comfortable brackets, adults are finding braces more appealing. Healthy teeth, bones and gums respond well to orthodontic treatment at almost any age. It's never too late to get a healthy, beautiful smile.
Jaw surgery is more often required for adult orthodontic patients because their jaws are not growing. Just as orthodontics repositions teeth, surgical orthodontics corrects jaw irregularities to improve the patient’s ability to chew, speak, and breathe, as well as facial appearances. Moving the jaw also moves the teeth, so braces are always performed in conjunction with jaw correction. This helps make sure teeth are in their proper position after surgery.
Your orthodontist will consider surgical orthodontic treatment for non-growing adult patients with improper bites and those with facial aesthetic concerns. Jaw growth is usually completed by age 16 for girls and 18 for boys. All growth must be completed before jaw surgery can be performed. However the pre-surgical tooth movements can begin one to two years prior to these ages.