SMILING IS SERIOUS BUSINESS
One of the nine recognized dental specialties, surgical orthodontics (orthognathic surgery) is used to correct severe conditions such as bad bites, jaw abnormalities and malocclusion. It focuses on complex craniofacial cases involving the mouth, jaw, face and skull. If you require surgical orthodontics, your orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure you receive the best care possible.
WHEN IS SURGICAL ORTHODONTICS NEEDED?
Surgical orthodontics is used to treat adults suffering from improper bites or other aesthetic concerns. Jaw growth generally stops by age 16 in females and age 18 in males. The jaw must be finished growing before orthognathic surgery is implemented. This treatment only occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED IT?
The need for surgery is dependent upon the severity of the case. Your orthodontist will inform you if orthognathic surgery is required as part of your orthodontic treatment.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery in a hospital. The procedure can take several hours, depending on the severity of the case. Once completed, patients will require a two-week rest period. Orthognathic surgery is a major treatment so time off is recommended during the healing process. Once the jaw is healed, your orthodontist will fine-tune your bite and install braces, which are usually removed within 6-12 months of surgery. After braces are removed, a retainer will help maintain your new smile.
As with any major surgery, orthognathic surgery comes with inherent risk. The process of orthognathic surgery is not new and it has been performed for many years. Please let us know if you’re concerned about treatment with orthognathic surgery. We’re happy to answer your questions and provide any additional information that you require for peace of mind.
For most, the greatest reward of orthognathic surgery is a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Whether you’re experiencing bad bite, malocclusion or jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery will help restore your confidence and leave you with a confident smile.