Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery or jaw 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 closely with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you receive the best care possible.
Surgical orthodontics may be used to treat adults with improper bites, assymetry or other aesthetic concerns. Typically, jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 18 in males. In order to receive orthognathic surgery, the jaw must be done growing. The need for surgical orthodontics occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly, and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. Orthognathic surgery will help properly align the jaw in conjunction with your orthodontic treatment to move the teeth into their proper position.
Your orthodontist can tell you if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment. Depending on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaw, you may or may not need surgery.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery, and the surgery will take place in a hospital. Jaw surgery can take up to several hours, depending on each individual case. Once the surgery is complete, you will have about a two-week rest period.
Since orthognathic surgery is a major treatment, we recommend that you schedule some time away from work and school during the healing process.
After surgery, you will continue your orthodontic treatment with your braces to “fine-tune” your bite. Most oral surgeons require the use of orthodontic rubber bands immediately following surgery to seat and stabilize your bite. Most braces are removed within six to 12 months following surgery. After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to help maintain your new smile.
As with any major medical surgery, there may be certain risks of having orthognathic surgery. However, the process of orthognathic surgery is not new, and it has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals. 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 peace of mind are important to us.
For many patients, the most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is achieving a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Whether you need orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite, malocclusion, or jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.
We’re here to answer your questions, and we want you to know your options! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. Our main goal is to provide you with the most innovative options available, and we believe patient education is essential for helping you achieve the greatest results.