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.
Before you can undergo surgical orthodontics, it is required that your jaw structure is nearly or fully grown. For female patients, this occurs around the age of 16, while male patients need to be at least 19 or 20 years of age. In other words, surgical orthodontics is only for adult patients who suffer from bite issues or are concerned about their facial appearance. However, even if your jaw structure is not fully mature yet, you can still undergo adolescent treatment that don’t require surgery, such as braces.
Depending on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaw, you may or may not need surgery. Your Orthodontist can tell you if orthognathic surgery may be needed as part of your treatment during your orthodontic consultation.
Our orthodontists will coordinate with a trusted oral surgeon in order to ensure that your orthodontic treatment and surgery are combined in an effective way.
We understand that surgery can be intimidating for most patients, and this is why we will schedule you for an appointment with the oral surgeon early on in your orthodontic treatment. The surgeon will discuss the details of the surgery and address any questions or concerns you may have. Treatment will commence with braces that our orthodontists will regularly monitor and adjust. Approximately two-thirds through this treatment, you will then be scheduled for your oral surgery.
Full recovery after surgery can take anywhere from 1-2 months, during which we will regularly see you to check your progress and fine-tune any issues. However, you can expect to return to work or school 2 weeks after the operation or even sooner.
Braces are usually removed 3 to 6 months after surgery, and you are sure to notice a remarkable improvement in your dental health and smile!
The process of orthognathic surgery is not new, and it has been performed for many years in dental practices and in hospitals, however with any major medical surgery, there may be certain risks of having orthognathic surgery. If you are 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 we will provide you with additional information. Your comfort is 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 to correct a bad bite, a malocclusion, or a jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.