Similar to how orthodontics repositions teeth, surgical orthodontics (also known as orthognathic surgery) corrects severe jaw irregularities such as bad bites, bone abnormalities, or malocclusion. Surgical orthodontics helps straighten out the jaw which improves the patient’s ability to chew, speak, breath and their physical appearance. If you need surgical orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to provide you with the best possible care.
WHEN MIGHT SURGICAL ORTHODONTICS BE NEEDED?
Surgical orthodontic treatment will be considered for adult patients who have finished growing and have improper bites or facial aesthetic concerns. Jaw growth is typically complete by age sixteen in females and eighteen in males. All growth must be finished before orthognathic surgery is an option. After orthodontic surgery aligns the jaw, braces will be applied to help reposition the teeth.
HOW DOES ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY WORK?
The surgery is performed in a hospital by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Orthognathic surgery can take several hours depending on the severity of each individual case. When the surgery is complete, you will have about two weeks to rest and recover. After 4-8 weeks of healing time, your orthodontist will make slight adjustments to perfect your bite. Most braces are removed within six to twelve months following orthognathic surgery. After braces are removed, a retainer will be fitted to help your teeth maintain their new positions.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY?
Just like any major surgery, there may be risks of undergoing orthognathic surgery. However, the orthognathic surgical process is not new and has been performed in hospitals for many years. If you have concerns about your upcoming orthognathic surgery, please contact us and let us know. Your comfort is important to us and we are happy to answer any questions you may have.