Surgical Orthodontics

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What is Surgical Orthodontics?

Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct severe discrepancies between the upper and lower jaws that cannot be adequately addressed through braces alone. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine dental specialties, and focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull. Dr. Chris will work closely with excellent oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the area to ensure that if you need surgical orthodontics, you receive the best care possible.

When might Surgical Orthodontics be needed?

Surgical orthodontics may be used to treat adults with improper bites or other aesthetic concerns. Typically, jaw growth stops by age 17 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, and orthodontic braces will then be used to move the teeth into their proper position.

How do I know if I need Orthodontic Surgery?

Depending on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaws, you may or may not benefit from orthognathic surgery. Dr. Chris can tell you if orthognathic surgery is something that will address your treatment goals.

How Does Orthognathic Surgery work?

Braces are typically placed for about one year in preparation for the surgical procedure. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery in a hospital and can take several hours depending on each individual case.

Since orthognathic surgery is a major treatment, we recommend that you schedule some time away from work and school during the healing process. After your jaw has healed, your orthodontist will once again “fine-tune” your bite with braces, which are often removed within six to eight months following surgery.

What are the risks associated with Orthognathic Surgery?

As with any major medical surgery, there may be certain risks of having orthognathic surgery. The process of orthognathic surgery however is not new, and 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’re happy to answer any questions that you may have, and provide you with any additional information. Your comfort is important to us.

What are the rewards of having Orthognathic Surgery?

For many patients, the most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is achieving not only a beautiful, healthy smile, but also a positive facial change. 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.