Aligning Teeth Before Orthognathic Surgery with Invisalign or Braces?

I'm deeply considering orthognathic surgery, however from what I understand braces are required to align the teeth before surgery. My question is could I use invislign braces instead of traditional braces before the surgery. If possible I would like to avoid being in braces for 2 years before the surgery actually happens.

Doctor Answers 8


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In my opinion Invisalign could be an alternative to traditional braces for aligning the teeth before orthognathic surgery.  However, not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign and some people have no alternative to traditional braces.  I recommend researching for a board certified oral maxillofacial surgeon who can then refer you to an orthodontist who has experience in preparing patients for orthognathic surgery.  The orthodontist can then evaluate you and determine what options you have to align your teeth properly.

Be well and good luck!


Invisalign is NOT severely limited

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You need to work with your orthodontist and oral surgeon and see, but I would think that Invisalign would work great for a least part if not all of your preop and postop treatment.

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

Invisalign for Jaw Surgery: Yes and No

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With any jaw surgery, there is usually a pre-surgical phase (approx 9-12 months) where the teeth are aligned and ideally positioned. Then there is a post-surgical phase (9-12 months) where the bite is detailed before treatment is usually done. There is no reason why Invisalign could not be used for that initial stage--In other words, YES, Invisalign would work for the first phase of treatment.

In this scenario, when you are getting closer to surgery, traditional braces (you could have CLEAR brackets) would have to be glued on your teeth so the surgeon could perform the surgery. The post surgical phase would best be accomplished by leaving the brackets on your teeth until treatment is done. Therefore, you could potentially cut your time in true braces by half. There are some surgeons doing cases without braces (using implants or nothing at all) but I would not recommend you go that route.

On a final note, it will definitely cost more than using braces alone as the cost to the orthodontist would be significantly more.

Best of luck!

Todd Barnett, DMD
Akron Orthodontist

Invisalign for orthognathic surgery

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You have asked a very good question.  You need to consult an orthodontist and surgeon who routinely perform surgical orthodontic treatment using Invisalign.  

In my area, I have an orthodontist who routinely does Invisalign orthodontic treatment to prepare patients for orthognathic surgery.  He and I have created a very detailed system for preparing and performing the surgery to maintain the detail and stability for a great result.

The most important factor in this treatment is that you seek treatment from an orthodontist who is very experienced in SURGICAL orthodontic treatment utilizing Invisalign.  Many are not.  In addition, he or she must have a good working relationship and communication with a board certified maxillofacial surgeon who is comfortable with this approach.

Best of Luck!

Steven Gollehon, DDS, MD, FACS
Greensboro Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Invisalign used with Orthognathic surgery

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The short answer is yes.  However, there are some problems that are best treated with braces.  It all depends on the surgical treatment plan because certain types of movements are less predictable with aligners.  The use of TADS, or temporary anchorage devices can sometimes be used with aligners instead of braces for Orthognathic treatment.

Leon Klempner, DDS
Long Island Orthodontist

Braces or Invisalign before surgery

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You could use Invisalign before surgery, but you would need to get the braces placed before surgery.  If it is going to take 2 years of pre-surgical orthodontics to get you ready for surgery your case may be too complex for Invisalign to actually get the teeth in the correct positions for surgery (usually the presurgical phase is less than 2 years.).  So you may end up wearing braces both before and after surgery and there may be added cost if you use both Invisalign and braces.  I suggest that you discuss your case with an experienced orthodontist to in order to come with a plan that meets your needs.

Brian Povolny, DDS, PhD
Seattle Orthodontist

Orthongathic surgery and braces

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You are better off doing traditional braces. Invisalign is limited to mild to moderately complex cases. Once you involve orthongathic surgery, your case becomes much more challenging.

David Cheng, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Braces are better in combination with orthognathic surgery

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If you are going through the trouble of doing orthognathic surgery, I wouldn't bother questioning whether you should do Invisalign. You are severely limited with the kind of tooth movement you can perform with Invisalign, and with the complexity of a treatment like you have, you are best to get the traditional braces. Sorry.

M. Andrew Atwood, DDS
Bellevue Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.