Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct severe cases that include bad bites, jaw bone abnormalities, and malocclusion. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine recognized dental specialties, and it focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull. If you need surgical orthodontics, your orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you receive the best care possible.
When might surgical orthodontics be needed?
Surgical orthodontics may be necessary to treat adults with improper bites or other aesthetic concerns. Typically, jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 18 in males. In order to be a candidate for orthognathic surgery, your jaw must be done growing. The need for surgical orthodontics develops in patients with jaws that do not line up correctly, and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. Orthognathic surgery will help the jaw align properly, and will be followed orthodontic braces to move the teeth into their perfect position.
How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?
Your orthodontist will determine if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment, this will depend on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaw.
How does orthognathic surgery work?
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery in a hospital, the process will take several hours to complete. Once the surgery is complete, you will have a two-week rest period. Orthognathic surgery is considered a major treatment that will require you to schedule some time away from work and school during the healing process. Once your jaw has healed, your orthodontist will once again “fine-tune” your bite. Following surgery, you will be prescribed braces, most braces are removed within six to 12 months after surgery. After your braces are removed, the last step will require you to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in the desired position.
What are the risks associated with orthognathic surgery?
As with any major medical surgery, there are risks involved with orthognathic surgery. However, orthognathic surgery has been performed for many years. If you’re concerned about an upcoming treatment with orthognathic surgery, please contact our practice and let us know. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have and provide you with any additional information. Your comfort and confidence are important to us.
What are the rewards of having orthognathic surgery?
The most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is achieving a beautiful, healthy smile that inspires a lifetime of happiness and confidence.