Am I Too Old For A Maxillary Setback Procedure?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I was hoping I could be a candidate for upper jaw surgery to correct an overbite caused by over the years involuntary tongue thrusting while sleeping. Hopefully a procedure to pull back the upper jaw? I’m not sure if it would be possible as I’m 65 years old but am in excellent health and very active. Thank you for any help or advice you may have!! 

A: Thank you for your inquiry. While it would be unusual to have maxillary surgery at 65 years of age, that age does not necessarily preclude one from doing it. What is more relevant is the current state of your bite (occlusion) and how much maxillary setback is needed. (as judged by the amount of overbite) Almost all cases of such jaw surgery require orthodontic correction so when the upper jaw is moved back the upper and lower teeth will fit together properly. There are also aesthetic issues of your upper lip position and your facial profile to consider.

Please send me some pictures of your face and your bite and I may be able to give you some further guidance as to its advisability for your face and bite relationship.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana